If you pay any attention to the papers, you’ll be fully aware of the problems that face recent graduates and young people today in Britain. High rates of unemployment, ridiculously low pay and internships that serve merely to exploit your willingness to ‘make it’ are not exactly anyone’s idea of fun. Having graduated only last year, I’ve since worked in positions ranging from website development and copy editing to serving coffee and full English breakfasts; all high-interest fields for a Communication & Media Studies graduate, clearly. It came to a point where I had had enough, packed my things up and moved to London. Some might say it was a massive risk, but when you’re rewarded with the experiences I’ve had in my short time in the city, you only see it as a necessity. Trawling the internet for a position of interest, I discovered a role here at Velvet PR; a passionate B2B marcomms PR company based in coffee-culture haven Chiswick. Although my first draw to the role was the experience I could gain within a sector of PR I had never explored before, the real cinch was the personability of the team shown through Velvet’s site. For me, there’s nothing worse than working somewhere with the sterile environment of a morgue (a certain weekly magazine I worked a brief time for comes to mind, but that’s another story).
Having never truly looked into the world of marcomms and only my degree to refer to, the travel to Velvet on my first day was a little on the tense side. After being introduced to the team and shown the office, all of those feelings soon subsided as I was welcomed as if I had been a part of Velvet for years. Putting me at complete ease, they made me come to the realisation that I am here to learn, not to enter at a senior level. Of course, with being an intern comes the awful thought of what I would be doing; making coffee, collecting post and organising files that no one had read since 1998. To my surprise, this was all dismissed within minutes, as I began collating information in relation to a client’s latest venture and creating a handbook for our client to use in the future. From the very first task onwards, I knew my decision to leave home and move into a position I didn’t have the world of knowledge about was the right one. Already in my time here, I have called the likes of the international press, been given numerous responsibilities to ensure deadlines are met by the team and voiced my opinion on events I feel suit our clients. Even in my first week, I was invited to a lovely company dinner to see off a velveteen on maternity leave. And that’s one of the best parts of it all; I am heard, not merely another fixture in the room.
Sure, I collect the post and make tea, but my time here is so much more than that. To Velvet, I am not just another intern to be run into the ground, I am a team member.