Agency life – why an internship is a great way to gain experience.

Final year university student Eilidh Deeney joined BIG for the summer on our internship programme. Here, she talks about her experience.

Before entering my final year of university, I was keen to gain some experience in PR and Marketing. After researching available internships, I submitted my application to BIG Partnership and was selected to be one of the 14 invited to the recruitment open day. We were greeted by two department heads and the CEO of the company, before tackling a brief as a group and devising a marketing campaign for the opening of a new hotel. I left the interview hopeful and was extremely proud to have been chosen as one of the two summer interns thereafter.

Walking through the doors of BIG Partnership on my first day was a nerve-wracking moment. With a ten-week internship in front of me, I was filled with the usual first day anxieties about the summer that lay ahead. However, on arrival, it was evident that these fears were unnecessary. I soon found the office environment to be relaxed, the atmosphere to be fun and the people to be so, so friendly.

I spent my first few weeks in PR, where I immediately felt like part of the team. Although I had no previous knowledge about the sector, everyone was extremely patient and generous with their time; so much so that I had drafted my very first media release within the week. I had the opportunity to contact news desks with sell-ins, brainstorm ideas for clients and reach out to influencers regarding collaborations. Throughout the entirety of the internship, I was also aware of crisis communications and how PR teams respond to incidents which transpire. This was an invaluable part of my time at BIG and it was truly eye-opening to see the extent that clients rely on agencies in a crisis and how many view BIG as an extension of their own team.

I later moved to the marketing team where I gained understanding of the more technical side of agency life. I was again hugely supported by the team who took the time to explain every question and query they were bombarded with. I was involved with testing the functionality of several clients’ websites and received training on working with different CMS (the backend of a website) – a skill I never considered I would leave the agency with. I felt that I gained a full and varied insight into the role of marketing teams as I was involved in numerous client brainstorms and surveys, as well as researching potential clients for the company.

My time at BIG has taught me a lot about the industry. Although challenging at times, I have hugely enjoyed the diversity of agency life, compared to my prior in-house knowledge. I was surprised by the number of services one agency can supply, and truly enjoyed seeing the numerous skillsets which come together to help one client. While I had submitted the application with digital marketing in mind, I feel that my time in PR provided a major insight into the job role and has prompted me to consider a potential future in the sector. This experience was my first taste of agency life and I know I will be a lot more confident pursuing my career after university because of it.

Always a fan of the work-life balance, BIG absolutely provides this. Birthday celebrations and days off, pizza for lunch and a BIG bar on a Friday all contributed to a great office atmosphere and ensured that there were lots of opportunities to meet various members of the team. These moments were very memorable; so much so that I believe I will have to incorporate a 4pm Friday beer and packet of onion rings into my weekly routine.

My experience at BIG would have been vastly different, had it not been for the people in the Glasgow office. Throughout my time at BIG, my colleagues made sure that I was learning as much as possible, and there is no doubt in my mind about the value of the internship. I would like to extend a huge thank you to the entire team in the Glasgow office for making my time here so enjoyable and look forward to my next steps into the industry.

Are you a student or recent graduate? Come to our event on 7th November to find out more about ‘agency life’ and hear from three industry experts including BIG Head of Social Media, Lucia Funai.

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