My week at Bird
After graduating from the University of Leeds in the summer of 2014 I found myself outside of education for the first time without a clear idea of what I really wanted to do in terms of my career.
I took a variety of different jobs, from manufacturing e-cigarettes to applying sequins to leotards while trying to find a career path that suited me. I spent a short time working in the sales department for a local radio station, however while in this role, I found myself becoming increasingly interested in the marketing and PR work done at the station, especially in the social media side of things.
I left the sales position but carried on in a voluntary role, helping manage the stations Facebook and Twitter pages, but I was keen to gain more experience to help me fully understand what a career in social media would entail. I was pointed in the direction of the Bird Consultancy, and after a quick exchange e-mails and a meeting with Kate (Byford), I was offered a week’s work experience which I accepted gladly.
I arrived at the Bird Consultancy for the first day of my placement, and was very quickly made to feel comfortable by the friendliness of the people in the office – I was even made a cup of tea, which I had assumed would have been my job for the week!
I attended the team’s morning meeting where I was given a real insight into how a PR campaign is structured, and I found myself learning a lot, just through listening to the discussions around the plans they were working on. After the meeting I was given my first tasks, which were directly connected to the campaign that had just been discussed, this made me feel included from the outset and this initial experience was great for helping me settle in for the week ahead.
While initially I was carrying out administrative jobs such as helping prepare coverage reports for clients and assisting with gathering information for one of Birds current campaigns, however as the week went on I was given social media based assignments which I really liked working on.
Whenever I came up with ideas, it always felt as though they were taken seriously, and that the feedback I received was honest and considered, moreover, I was always made to feel like I was part of the team, with my contributions not only being welcomed but encouraged, this made me feel as though my opinion was valued in spite of my lack of prior experience, and over the course of the week I felt more and more confident to share my ideas.
On top of this, it was fascinating listening to the conversations about the projects and current campaigns being worked on (not that I was eavesdropping). I realised what very quickly what a creative and vibrant atmosphere I was working in, and very much enjoyed being a part of it.
For myself going forward, this week has been a truly valuable experience, it has given me a great indication of what is expected of someone in a social media position, and given me the chance see what my strengths are in this position, and more importantly, highlight the areas in which I need to develop in order to successfully pursue this career path.
By Ellis Hodgkiss