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Out of Office: a different kind of work experience

Although I certainly hoped to feel at home by the end of my time at Speed, I never anticipated I’d actually be at home for the duration of my week’s placement. Thanks to a certain global pandemic and the current national lockdown, I can add online work experience to the list of ‘Things I Didn’t Expect From 2021’.

Of course, a remote work placement has had its advantages; for one, I already knew where to find the coffee machine, printers, and toilets. On the other hand, a board game box balanced on a coffee table does not a desk make, and my family’s sitting room can’t compare with the Speed offices in Bristol. Nonetheless, my time with Speed’s Business & Corporate team has given me invaluable insight into the world of PR and communications.

As I found my feet, my first few days of work involved different kinds of research; this gave me the time to meet with team members from the various departments at Speed to learn about what they do on a day-to-day basis. From an introduction to digital media to a one-to-one pitching masterclass, I’ve been shown the most of what this great agency has to offer its clients.

Through the rest of the week, I moved from research into content writing, working on briefs of my very own. With each passing day I’ve been able to work with new people on different projects, giving me a clear sense of what working in the offices would’ve been like. I’ve learnt that PR agency work involves all kinds of clients and accounts, each requiring a fresh and innovative approach to really be successful. Everyone I have spoken to has been more than happy to answer my questions, encouraging me to make the most of my time at Speed and to reach out if I needed anything else.

In my short time at Speed, I have been fortunate enough to sit in on a weekly catch-up, a monthly meeting, and a cross-department brainstorm. From these discussions, I’ve seen how all the various skillsets from across the company come together, offering a holistic approach to every brief they’re given, no matter the department. Despite the challenges of working remotely, the team have clearly made every effort to maintain a collaborative and supportive environment.

In reflection, I’m very grateful to everyone I’ve worked with across my placement, not only for providing me with such a rewarding experience, but for allowing me to join their journey even in such trying circumstances.

Perhaps one day, in better times, I’ll finally get a sneak peek of the offices!

By Erin Turner, a comms student from UWE.

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