My name is Tess, I’m 20 years old and studying Media and Communications at Bournemouth University. Having finished my second year, as part of my degree I now have to complete some work experience in a media field of my choice during the summer break. So here I am, at my first ever week of real consumer pr work experience at Escapade!

Media and Communications is a very broad degree covering a range of topics from English language to web and mobile studies and everything in-between! So when it came to applying to placements I had quite allot of choice. Personally I already knew that I wanted to have a taste of the marketing and PR industry, and was lucky enough to be able to do a weeks work experience here at Escapade.

But the real question is, has university prepared me for this experience?

Well…yes and no.

I would like to think that university has transformed me into a much more independent person, so in terms of living in a hotel on my own for a week and organising myself, I wasn’t too phased by this. However in terms of doing actual work, I had no idea what to expect because most of the theory that we learn during lectures is very different to the tasks set in a working environment. It seems I’m not alone with this thought, as a new survey conducted by work ready graduates revealed that less than 50% of students felt prepared for work after University! So in terms of my confidence to carry out tasks given during my work experience, I was nervous that I wouldn’t understand allot of what I would be asked to do. However this was not entirely the case.

Now on my final day, I have found out that actually, I am more prepared than maybe I thought I was. Yes, I know that there is this stereotype of University placements… having to do mind-numbingly boring tasks like tea and coffee rounds, or photocopying because employers don’t want to give students any responsibility, sometimes understandably, so it can’t be hard surly?….BUT, this has not been the case for me! I have been set a range of tasks, challenging, interesting and creative, all of which have been very different to what I had imagined and have opened my eyes to how much detail and work really goes into consumer PR campaigns. Even after just one week at Escapade, I have learnt so much about PR, things that I could not have learnt in a lecture. So overall this week has been much less daunting than I had built up in my head and a very valuable one that I have thoroughly enjoyed!

Tess Coughlin