Top Five lessons I have learned during my PR internship with Launchcode PR.

For just over two months I have been doing an unpaid internship with Launchcode PR. Launchcode PR specialises in public relations and marketing for tech start up companies. This has been my first internship and it has been a big learning curve. I would like to share what I have discovered during my work experience.

  1. People are friendlier than you would expect.

I don’t know why but I assumed doing an internship would be like The Devil Wears Prada. I thought I would be working for a cold unapproachable boss and would be eaten alive if I made a mistake. The reality was my boss was patient, friendly and encouraging. Launchcode PR is located in a co working space in Northbridge called Tech Hub. As a female going into tech, which is mainly a male dominated industry, I was a bit intimidated but soon realised I had nothing to worry about. The Tech Hub members always made me feel included. So don’t be afraid to speak to the people you work with, everyone has something they can teach you.

  1. Believe it or not working in an office can be hard on your body.

It never occurred to me that I might find it difficult to sit in one spot from 10am to 4pm but it was at first. I suppose I got used to primary school, high school and university where we got regular breaks. Whilst I have been fortunate to go out to lunch with my colleagues on a few occasions I often didn’t like leaving my desk because of the work time I felt I would miss out on. My shoulders, neck and back could get pretty sore being hunched over my laptop so my advice to people starting work experience would be to force yourself to get up and stretch your legs every now and then.

  1. The workload can be full on and fast paced.

At university we have a month to complete an assignment. At my internship I can be writing up to 1000 words a day. Just work hard and do the best you can to meet deadlines. If you suspect you might not get something in on time speak up early so your boss can help you address any problems you might be having. Furthermore if you are a perfectionist like me you can sometimes struggle with having to hand over work you aren’t entirely happy with. Honestly in a busy, fast paced company there is no time for unrealistic expectations. Do the work to the best of your ability, send it and move on to the next task.

  1. Getting involved really makes a difference.

I admit it; tech really isn’t my thing but I refused to not at least try and improve my understanding of it. I applied to be involved in Perth {Web} Girls which encourages women to get into tech by teaching them programming. It was a great experience and I got the chance to meet a lot of interesting people. A few weeks later at Lanchcode PR’s first birthday I came across an important figure in the local start up community. He recognized me from Perth {Web } Girls, we talked and he ended up giving me his business card. I also got the chance to go to the West Tech Fest Oz App Awards. Speakers flew in from Silicon Valley, the Lord Mayor was there and so was the US Ambassador John Berry (I got to sit next to his security guard). Attending events that important in your industry will not only teach you new skills but are also great for networking.

  1. There is a big difference between learning how to do something and actually doing it.

I walked into my internship a little bit smug. Through my time at university I had created countless campaigns and written several reports and essays. However I soon learnt there was a big difference between hypothetically creating a campaign and actually implementing it. Whilst I knew the theory behind why newsletters were important, I had never had to write one. This highlights just why work experience is so important.

So don’t put it off any longer because although internships can be overwhelming and painful (literally) at first, there is no better way to make future contacts and take your first step in the work force as a public relations practitioner.

Brooke Napijalo is a third year student at Murdoch University studying a Bachelor of Digital Marketing and Media, her degree involves several public relations units and she wishes to go into PR once completed her degree.11131931_929564440416597_629169779_n

*Photo taken at Launchcode PR’s first birthday.

Brooke is on the far left and Shahirah Gardner,  Brooke’s boss, is on the far right*

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