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February 28, 2020

Eight weeks ago, I said farewell to my country Australia, to embark 10,000 miles away to the vibrant city of London to commence my internship at Brighter Group – A Finn Partners Company. Considering I had journeyed half-way across the world, working with the travel team seemed like a natural fit.

Nevertheless, with no previous public relations experience, starting this role initially was quite daunting as I did not know what to expect. After experiencing my first peak-hour commute on the London Underground I was relieved to arrive at the office. Entering the open-plan desk space, I observed the workers typing away at their keyboards, and instantly felt uplifted by the busy atmosphere, confident I would be doing meaningful work.

Building skills and acquiring knowledge

It’s safe to say I hit the ground running. Within my first week, I was writing press releases, planning social media calendars and tracking media coverage for our clients. No two days were ever the same, and I was constantly learning about new public relations activities.

I thoroughly enjoyed working for the travel team and my knowledge of the world expanded immensely from even doing the smallest of tasks. I’ve now acquired random knowledge like the fact that Napoleon spent his final moments on the remote island of St Helena or that bubble tea was invented in Taiwan.

It was also incredibly rewarding working for an agency with a sustainable tourism focus, encouraging travellers to visit the more niche and local regions around the world. Prior to this experience, I had little knowledge in this area so working across the different accounts has really enriched my understanding of the world and has strengthened my interest in travel.

My travel experiences

Working for The Brighter Group increased my interest in travel, and it inspired me to explore new destinations I had previously not visited. Although London is a great place to live, I really enjoyed travelling to the smaller areas in the country, as it gave me a greater appreciation of UK culture. Some of my weekend travels included visiting Oxford University in Oxford, admiring the charming architecture in Bath and eating fish and chips on the Brighton Pier.

Being from Australia, I am still amazed by the proximity of countries to the U.K. Naturally, I took advantage of this opportunity and also travelled to parts of Europe including Spain and Ireland.

My advice for interns traveling from afar

Although it can seem quite daunting travelling afar to do an internship, you will gain a sense of independence that you never thought you had. Three pieces of advice I would give to future interns include:

  1. Read the news whenever you can. This will only enrich your understanding of what is happening in the world and will make you more informed when completing your PR work. It’s also interesting to observe how the media differs from your home country.

 

  1. Embrace the new culture you’re living in. Swapping an Australian summer for an English winter was difficult at first. However, seeing past this I learnt so much about the UK from working in the London office and from my own travelling around the country. Take advantage of living in a new culture even if it’s as simple as indulging in a Sunday Roast!

 

  1. Embrace the industry you’re working in. Whilst working for the travel team I learnt so much about the world and sustainable tourism. This has only strengthened my interest working within this sector.

Overall, completing an internship with Finn Partners was an amazing experience. I really enjoyed completing hands-on and meaningful work for our different clients. I have built so many tangible skills that I can now invest into my studies and I have optimistic expectations for when I enter the workforce after I graduate.

 

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