John Smith is a 2nd Journalism student at DIT who has been participating in DHR Communications’ internship programme for the summer. Here he looks back at his time spent at DHR Communications, the moments that stood out and what he’s learnt so far.
Making the transition from college to the office can be quite daunting, and one that isn’t made easy these days. With cutbacks, a lack of permanent positions and the temptation to emigrate due to job possibilities elsewhere, it can be difficult to find work and stick around in Ireland once you finish college. It’s for these reasons you must take it upon yourself to stand-out from other potential candidates and gain as much experience as possible before you graduate. This is exactly what I’m trying to do by participating in DHR Communications’ summer internship programme. By spending the summer here and learning as much as possible about an area I am interested in, I am hoping it will give me an advantage over others when I go to apply for jobs after college.
My time at DHR Communications has flown by! While it has gone by quickly, I also feel as though I’ve been here for the longest time because I have done so much in such a short period.
Heading in on my first day was daunting, I didn’t know what to expect or what was going to be expected of me. I feared I was under-prepared and under-qualified, constantly reassuring myself the team knew I was only an undergraduate with no professional experience in PR. However, there was no time to think about any of that once I got in the door, as it was full-steam ahead with preparations for Inspirefest 2015 – a three day event focusing on diversity in STEM.
Inspirefest was my first real taste of what running an event was like and showed me just how much time and effort these people put into their work. I began two weeks before the conference started so I was heavily involved in the run-up to it; from checking referees for potential volunteers, to making the attendee name badges, and even setting up the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre! It comprised of early starts and very late nights – often working from 7am until 10pm but the experience was so worthwhile and will stand to me in the future.
After Inspirefest I was based more in the office, but that didn’t mean I was only sitting behind a desk. I have had the opportunity to attend multiple photocalls and launches which were great experiences. Seeing how they operate behind the scenes, setting them up and being involved with the preparation of props was something I really enjoyed.
I’ve also gotten to undertake some more office based tasks; organising and maintaining media clippings and performing media ring-arounds for example. Perhaps not the most glamorous, but extremely beneficial experience, as I will now have a greater understanding of the work in any new position I apply for.
Another part of the internship that gave me an invaluable insight into the mechanisms of PR has been being able to sit in on client meetings. The array of clients DHR Communications has, and the needs and expectations of their clients, varies greatly, meaning I was able to be surrounded by all sorts of different situations; from the setting up of a new government health initiative, to launching the new interactive Discovery Space at St Patrick’s Cathedral.
Getting the intern position at DHR communications has been a real eye-opener for me in many ways. It has helped me grow both personally and professionally, and I will always value both the opportunity and experience that it has given me. The team here at DHR Communications have played a large role in both of those developments. I have always been made feel very welcome, and although I’m sure I was a nuisance with my incessant questions, I was always listened to and was made feel valued.
My advice for any student, or anyone for that matter, who is thinking about applying for an internship, would be to just go for it. The worst thing that can happen is that you get a rejection letter; we’ve all been there, more times than we care to admit. But when you do secure a position, whether it is for two weeks or two months, appreciate that experience, because you won’t get it again. Each one is unique. Voice your opinions, learn new things, make new connections and get involved, for as Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”.
Going into the internship at DHR Communications I wasn’t sure what career-path I was going to go down, but having spent the summer here, I am confident that PR & Communications is where I want to be. Getting this opportunity has helped me in so many ways, and I can’t thank the team at DHR Communications enough for all they’ve done for me.