Industrial Training or SIWES (Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme) as some schools call it is one of those undergrad moments every student must pass through. This period, usually lasting between three to six months is meant for students to familiarize themselves with the industry they may find themselves in to gain experience, discover themselves and possibly get vital insights for future career decision making and networking.
For me, this was an opportunity to explore and discover, and I was not about to let anything get in my way. First plan was to locate a placement.
Choosing Brooks and Blake
The decision came after series of research on the top PR agencies in Nigeria. Industry magazines were helpful but the final decision came down to recommendations by a lecturer. Brooks and Blake’s wonderful industry footprint and closeness to my home also made the decision making easier. Lastly, the name Brooks and Blake was catchy and served as a ‘non Nigerian’ hook for me. And yes!, they are a Nigerian brand with a global touch.
This is usually a big day filled with waking early and getting to work to meet unknown faces. It turned out that I was the second IT student joining the organization. The first IT student had been around a month before I came. Being two female IT students, we easily bonded. The bond was quick and natural. Sadly, though, her IT period ended just when I was getting into my strides. My first day happened to be B+B’s Monday meeting. The morning discussion was a baptism into the agency. Fast forward meeting formalities, I was assigned to the media team to begin my two months stay.
Working with the teams
I worked with three different teams; namely, media, client service and digital. My activities involved working on many exciting projects and activations, developing a PR plan and budgets as well as implementing social media content strategies for existing clients from a number of industries. I also had to learn one or two things about digital marketing. This varied work allowed me to gain comprehensive real-world knowledge and practical skills in the field.
I quickly got better in some skills. Notable ones are writing, creative thinking and multitasking. I learnt that the PR professional is meant to be a repository of knowledge, events and plans. As I learnt, ‘no trending conversation must pass thee by’. I also had to come to terms with doing research and brainstorming. You see, in B+b, research is the core of every plan. These helped me better my creativity as well as my forward planning skills because PR requires an ongoing monitoring and identification of media and coverage opportunities.
While on this internship, I gained firsthand insights into how a PR agency functions and how relationships with clients are being established and maintained. I developed thorough understanding and appreciation of the management and business model of a full service PR and marketing communications consultancy operating across a range of clients from various sectors – from healthcare, telecommunications, and professional services. This helped me realize that comprehending the client’s expectations is the first and probably most important step towards meeting brand’s Eldorado. I also took part in an activation and learnt the ropes on how to manage an activation, get press worthy pictures and construct a blog post that tells the story of the activation. Another big one for me was on learning how to manage client’s expectations and demands during and after an activation.
On Self Discoveries
At Brooks and Blake, I discovered how much I enjoyed writing. Press releases, features, articles, blog post, case studies, PR plan and other social media content on various topics are common place for everyone. To write a good copy not only requires that you know the audience of the particular brand, but you also need to very well understand your client’s business so you can weave a compelling story from it. This constant change of topic was thrilling and I managed to develop a specific voice for each client and subject, which I found very exciting.
Most importantly, through this internship I acquired a strategic understanding of how different businesses operate in real life and how important it is for a PR professional to understand their core offerings, needs and objectives in order to effectively deliver the overall goal.
This work experience gave me confidence to know that I am well suited for the profession and combined with my constant efforts to learn more on my own, I now feel well prepared for my first real PR role. It was a great learning experience, a confirmation that I have chosen the right career and thanks to it would be a better communicator, storyteller and person in general.
I am glad I chose Brooks and Blake. I had the opportunity to get my hands into a lot of work. I was also exposed to the work culture of the organization. I am going back to school armed with personal and organizational values that have worked and continue to work for one of the most forward thinking perception managers in Nigeria.
Word To #TeamBnB
In the next 5 years, B+B would be global. If it continues the way it’s going. You should remember that ‘Together we can achieve more’. I would really miss you all.
I will be telling and practicalising all I learnt during my short stay.
– This piece was written by Ifeoluwa Adeyemo a 300 level student of Mass Communication at Covenant University. She did her two months IT with us.