Danny Trench Bowles is a recent Trinity College graduate who participated in DHR Communications’ internship programme during the 12 weeks up to Christmas. Here, he looks back at his time spent at DHR, what he has experienced and everything he has learned along the way.
I started in DHR Communications as PR and Events Intern in late September 2016. I was looking to get practical experience in the public relations field before I moved to Amsterdam to do a Masters in Political Communication in the New Year. I had planned to complete this Masters with the intention of working in PR or public affairs, however the only knowledge I had of these fields was second-hand.
Having completed my 12-week internship in DHR, I am now more certain that PR is the area I want to work in. I couldn’t have wished for a better introduction into the world of PR and public affairs than the one offered to me by DHR. I really got to see and get involved in the breadth of tasks that DHR does for its clients. Every day represented a new challenge; a new skill to be learned. I got to draft press materials, write reports, sit in on meetings, attend events and manage social media accounts. But I also learned skills that I never thought I would come out of the internship with like video editing and designing. I’m delighted to have completed the internship and gained practical PR experience, as well as transferrable skills that will be very useful to me no matter where I end up.
I was able to do all of these different tasks because DHR took my own objectives for the internship very seriously; I wasn’t just an extra pair of hands to help out, DHR wanted to ensure that I got what I wanted out of the 12 weeks. I sought to try my hand at as much as I could, and the DHR team did their best to facilitate that. I met with my internship supervisor Sebastian fortnightly to ensure that I was meeting my objectives and to allow me to ask any questions I had. But, in truth, Sebastian, and everyone from the DHR team were happy and available to chat and answer my questions at any point; especially Louise who had to deal with the majority of my questions as the occupier of the desk next to me. She, like all of the DHR staff, was patient with me and made it very easy to settle in.
The 12 weeks I spent at DHR were busy weeks for the company, which meant I got to do lots of different tasks. I was thrown right into the thick of the action in my first week, attending one of DHR’s biggest events of the year, the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation’s pre-budget political briefing day. It was exciting to be at the coalface and garner a better understanding of political influence and how unions, charities, etc. exert political pressure. In my final week I also assisted at the Samaritans’ political briefing event where I ran the Samaritans’ Twitter account, even getting the hashtag for the day trending Number 1.
Over the course of my internship, my favourite piece of work was for the Archives and Records Association’s ‘Explore Your Archive’ week. It was exciting to be involved from the beginning and to see the work with this client through to its end; being involved in DHR’s own internal work planning, brainstorming about possible media coverage, pitching to appropriate media outlets, corresponding with particular journalists and the client, attending the photocall in the Royal College of Physicians Ireland and creating a video from footage taken at the event. The campaign received widespread coverage in The Irish Times, the Irish Examiner and thejournal.ie; there was a great thrill in seeing the fruits of my labour in some major Irish media outlets.
I found my 12 weeks in DHR really worthwhile and enjoyable. To anyone interested in working in PR, I would strongly recommend applying for an internship in DHR Communications. It was the perfect place for me to gain the invaluable practical experience in public relations and public affairs that I needed. More generally, it also gave me great experience of working in an office environment. Everyone at DHR was welcoming and made a great effort to help me settle in and get what I wanted out of the internship. For that, I am very grateful.