Whilst still at my previous agency, I had the fortune to spend several precious days trawling through terribly written applications for the position of intern.
Thankfully, the current (paid, just FYI) intern at the London Office was selected by my boss, so I was saved the pain of having to sit through yet more applications for a role in ‘comunications’ (if you want a job in an industry, makes sense to know how to spell the industry. Or have basic proficiency in using the spellcheck. S’all I’m sayin’).
But, although she seems to be perfectly proficient for someone who’s only been in PR the best part of a fortnight, it seems she’s a product of a university careers office that’s not doing its job in telling candidates what’ll be expected of them should they land one of the (indubitably million) positions for which they’ve applied.
If I were the gal bequeathed with the task of spurring the great young minds of our nation’s graduates on to finding gainful employment, I’d like to think that I’d think to give them a few basic heads-ups…
- Turning up half an hour early on your first day is an easy mistake to make, but not one that’ll endear you to the person who was planning on using that crucial time on a Monday morning to make sure she could fend off other work long enough to get you settled in.
- Even if, having spent some time in the office, you come to the conclusion that the dress code’s pretty casual on any days where there aren’t events or meetings happening, it would pay to err on the side of overdressed on your first day. Lumberjack shirts and Converse don’t count as overdressed in the world of corporate PR. Ever.
- However much of a shock to the system it might be to have to get up at a vaguely normal time, commute to an office, and then put in a full day’s work, it really is deeply inadvisable to spend nearly all day not bothering to stifle your many and loud yawns. It will make your colleagues wonder whether you’re really cut out for PR if you apparently find it so crashingly boring, and whether – if the opportunity of a job were to arise – you would really be someone they’d want to take on.
- However much of a shock to the system it might be, you are expected to put in that full day. The occasional slope off at 5pm because you have an unmissable doctor’s appointment is one thing. Doing it every day for a multitude of reasons including letting your boyfriend into your flat, and shopping for your father’s birthday gift won’t curry any favour – even less if your hour of departure starts to creep ever closer to 4pm.
- All that having been considered, it’s worth noting that you’ll be forgiven much if you can make a cracking cup of tea. Just don’t yawn whilst you’re doing it.