The age-old problem for recent graduates is lack of experience. We’ve all heard it in countless interviews, or seen it on graduate job advertisements. How can I be expected to have experience when nobody will give me any?! This is what I was asking myself as an email popped up from Acceleris, inviting me to do a two to four-week internship in Harrogate through the Acceleris Academy Programme.
I had heard about Acceleris from the Prolific North website, on which they are listed in the top 50 PR agencies in the North. Great, I thought, this is a really good company and they’ve offered me an internship, starting immediately – what’s the catch? It turns out there wasn’t a catch; Acceleris is just committed to giving graduates and young people a platform to boost their career prospects, and this is something I’m extremely grateful for.
After graduating from Newcastle University in 2015 with a degree in History and Politics, I worked as a recruitment consultant for nine months. It’s safe to say it wasn’t the job for me, so I left and decided to go back to university, Leeds University to be exact, to do a Masters degree in Political Communication. I’ve always had a passion for politics and an interest in communication and, if I’m being honest, I had no idea what profession I’d like to work in, so it seemed like a good option.
I started the course on a part-time basis and would have finished in September 2018. However, as it often does, life got in the way, and my long-term girlfriend and I found out we would be having a little girl. I decided to leave university and pursue full-time work to support my family, and I set my sights on PR. I had learned a great deal about PR theory during my Masters course and thought it would be a great way to combine my passion for writing and communication and my interest in business and the corporate world.
My lack of experience wasn’t a problem for Acceleris; they were happy to give me an opportunity, and I’ve been given a real taste of the world of PR. Acceleris interns don’t just make the teas and coffees (although I made, and drunk, my fair share!), you really are treated like a contributing member of the team. During my time here, I’ve been given real responsibility with client work, from writing press releases, blogs, and working on a large copywriting project, to in depth research tasks and saving client coverage. It’s been a really diverse few weeks.
Acceleris interns are not simply assigned any old task that needs doing; I’ve been given the chance to express what it is I enjoy the most and get involved in that side of the business. For me, that has been Writers Inc, the copywriting division of Acceleris. So much so that I’ve stayed for four weeks rather than two, which I guess means I must have done something right!
Overall, it’s been a great four weeks with great people and interesting work. As I write this, I am half way through my last day and I will definitely miss the place and the people. I’m genuinely grateful to have come across a company that doesn’t focus on the fact that you don’t have enough experience, but on how it can give you experience. I hope to take what I’ve learned and use it to gain my first full-time position in the industry and who knows, I might even come back one day in the future!