Whiteoaks gave me the experience all graduates deserve


After graduating from Swansea University with a 2:1 in English Literature I hit the classic post-graduate panic mode of not knowing what was next.

I decided to spend the summer travelling around Asia hoping to ‘find myself’, buying myself more time to figure out what route I wanted to take. During my time in Thailand I applied to complete my masters in Communications, Media Practice and Public Relations – within 48 hours I had acceptance and my academic studies started all over again in September 2016.

I was instantly fascinated by PR in my first lecture. For the first time at university it was enjoyable to complete research for my assignments and work on projects. I had finally found something I felt passionate about and had a surge of energy to work to my full potential.

As I began specialising in something I really loved, the next step was securing work experience.

After writing endless emails to PR agencies across the country, I was delighted to hear back from Hayley at Whiteoaks, who very generously offered me three weeks at one of the industry’s leading B2B PR companies.

Based in Farnham, 160 miles south of my home town, I jumped at the opportunity, booked an Airbnb and set off to complete the most valuable and exciting three weeks I could have hoped for!

Whiteoaks offered me the perfect experience. I was instantly welcomed into the office by industry experts who kept me busy every day with exciting tasks that I found immensely rewarding — no fetching dry cleaning or coffee for me, this was the real thing. I witnessed first-hand Whiteoaks’ commitment and loyalty to its client base, driving for results, whilst also producing transparent campaigns that significantly sets the consultancy apart from other PR agencies.

Over three weeks I moved around all of the equally fantastic and welcoming teams in the company and contributed work towards different accounts. I am very appreciative of the level of responsibility I was given during my time at Whiteoaks and the work was extremely rewarding. It was also really encouraging to receive recognition for my work — especially when I secured national coverage.

While at Whiteoaks, I learnt that just because you study a subject at undergraduate or postgraduate level does not immediately make you an expert in the industry. The working world is extremely different from the academic one and it is very satisfying to finally put into practice what you have learnt from lectures, books, or academic journals.

Many graduates have disappointing experiences completing internships and placements. However, all four of the teams really got me involved with everything they did, providing a full range of tasks for me to complete. I feel extremely lucky to have had this experience that has reinforced my desire to forge a career in the industry.

I highly recommend that those in education secure as much relevant work experience as they can before graduation to have a greater understanding of where you belong. I certainly have a much clearer vision of where I want to be once I have completed my masters and that is 100{20156fe61baea400d2663eb990f17abdabeb6ef183a2129287a793abd8ac1d8a} in a PR agency.

So on that note, thank you Whiteoaks for a wonderful three weeks and for confirming that this is the career for me!
All of my energy will now go into completing my masters. I am very excited to graduate later this year and to finally enter the real world doing something I love!