Work experience one of the most valuable weeks in my education

Work experience one of the most valuable weeks in my education

By Daniela Velkova  

​It’s another cold Tuesday, the first working day after Easter. I’ve slept a total of four hours thanks to nerves. It took me 15 minutes to pick what I wanted to wear for my first day at HR Media (in all fairness, I planned 25 minutes in case of particular indecision).

I’ve checked the address on Google Maps about seven times before leaving my house, as if the office would magically move and I wouldn’t get the memo.

I can see the building now, the closer I get the more the pep talk in my head is failing to work. As promptly planned, I arrive on time with a few minutes to spare. “Okay, I got this.”, I tell myself and press the buzzer to be let in.

Warm smiles welcome me inside. By the time I know what is happening, my first day has passed and am calling mum to tell her all about it. I just think – ‘Why was I so nervous?’

But let’s start from the beginning. I’ve been studying journalism for the past three years at the University of Sheffield. As far as I know, it’s one of the most versatile courses. From the traditional print and broadcast modules to online driven subjects. I’ve had to write, record, film and edit videos, code a website, even design and create a business plan for a magazine. Being through so many different skill areas, left me feeling lost in a middle of a maze – I had no idea where to start, where to go.

So when I was looking for work experience, I thought I would try something slightly different. Here’s where the number one PR company in South Yorkshire comes in. I’ve heard journalists implying how boring PR is and how any decent journalist would never go into the industry. My week at HRM proved wrong all the stereotypes I’ve ever heard before.

When I look back at my experience here, I have no idea why I was so nervous. Maybe it was because it was my first day at an actual office. From the moment I sat in the meeting room for my induction with the reassuring smiles of Jill and Joe, I finally felt excited for the unique experience. After all, HRM is an incredible award-winning place, filled with professionals. How can you not be excited to learn from the best?

The team is just like one big family and once I sat at my desk all I hoped for was to be adopted by them – they did, without missing a beat. 

If working with the best and most welcoming PR people in the region wasn’t already enough, I learned so much more than I ever expected. I never considered PR to be as versatile as it is at HR Media. The competitive environment just makes you want to work and do as much as possible. Never once did I feel like I was wasting anyone’s time and wasn’t wanted in the office - on the contrary, I felt like a valuable team member, who was needed throughout each day.

I was at HR Media for only a week but this week was one of the most valuable in my education. As I was leaving on a sunny Friday afternoon, I realised how much this experience had changed me. The wonderful HRM team gave me the confidence and support I needed through my three years at university - they did it in just four days. 

Finally, I have an idea of what might be the way out of that daunting maze, something I truly enjoyed – PR.

I will be forever grateful for all the encouragement and ‘great job’ comments that came my way. I was provided with an incredible opportunity and I cannot express my gratitude enough for the amazing HRM team.