BA History of Art student Jess Holroyd spent two weeks working at McCann PR on an internship created in partnership with the University.

McCann PR love taking on hungry and innovative interns who share the same values as them. “Truth Well Told” is their philosophy, and the truth is that they are committed to nurturing and supporting young talent.

This past summer, Jess Holroyd (History of Art) worked as a PR Intern at Communications House in Solihull. This was a bespoke internship created in partnership with the University of Birmingham and was facilitated by Birmingham alumna Chris Arthur, Managing Director of McCann PR.

Jess’s role as an intern was: phoning clients, media sales work (pitching campaigns and stories to the press), copywriting, social media analysis and creation, and supporting events. All in all, Jess was working on live client accounts and doing the tasks of a junior account executive.

During the application process, applicants were asked to prepare a presentation for a hypothetical campaign, followed by an interview where they were questioned about their passion for the media and PR, their creativity, their communication skills, their desire to make an impact, problem solving experiences, and examples of project work.

Some tips for applicants to PR work experience, internships and graduate roles from McCann are: “Stay connected: use Twitter, LinkedIn and networks like the CIPR. Read the industry press (like PRWeek and Brand Republic). Demonstrate your skills, be entrepreneurial, and get more experience.”

Jess’s thoughts:

“My main achievement has been improving my confidence, especially through the art of sales and negotiation, of which I had next to no experience previously. I also improved my phone manner, and feel I was able to communicate in a friendly but effective way rather than be cut throat, an aspect I was initially worried about.”

“I’ve gained experience of writing press releases, which have really improved my writing style. I’ve also learned not to be scared of asking questions, as the team are really enthusiastic and helpful.”

“I’ve always liked writing, but I wasn’t sure of what exact area I wanted to go into before. This has reaffirmed my desire to go into PR and advertising.”

“My commute across Birmingham has been refreshing, it’s given me more structure and made me realise how much time I waste sometimes.”

“I was initially quite scared by the application process, but it was a good exercise and the interview wasn't as scary as I thought!”

“No day was a groundhog day.”

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