Work Experience at Whiteoaks
We always love to engage with ambitious young people, hoping to inspire them to embark upon their own exciting PR journeys! Over the summer we were joined by two students, Tom and Clare, who worked with different teams for two weeks to gain an insight into how we operate. Luckily, thanks to the easing of lockdown restrictions, they were even able to come in and experience life in the office! Here is how they found it.

Clare Merrick

Background and Interests:
Currently, I am studying for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick and am in my second, and penultimate, year. In my free time you will most likely find me watching the football (come on you Blues!) or listening to some records from my collection. I live in a village near Slough (which I thought was a bit of a commute!) so I found somewhere to stay a bit closer to the office to be able to come in every day during my work experience. I wanted to get experience in PR because I have my heart set on working in the industry when I graduate, but I felt I didn’t know enough about which specific team I wanted to work with and which area would be best suited to me. Whiteoaks is such a friendly and forward-thinking company that I was delighted to be able to get to do some work experience here. I knew that I would be able to learn a lot from Whiteoaks as they are a leading B2B agency and that they would have just the kind of environment in which I would eventually like to work!

Writing at the end of my first week, I have greatly enjoyed what I have done so far and am very much looking forward to the next. This week I have been working with the Content team who have taught me how to write various different styles of pieces for clients. I’ve been doing tasks such as writing articles, press releases and synopses, proof reading, editing and research, and have learned an enormous amount in the process! It was great fun to deploy my creativity in these assignments and to try to utilise my background of English Literature. Some of the tasks were a challenge at first as I was initially unfamiliar with the formats that were required but, albeit with the help of the Cookbook, I persevered and gained some invaluable experience along the way. I will be changing team next week, moving to the Digital team, and am very excited to be working with them and learning a lot more!

Future Plans:
As I will have graduated by this time next year, my thoughts are already turning to what my next steps will be! I am currently mulling over the idea of doing a masters, partly because the COVID-19 pandemic has already robbed me of a year and a bit of the usual “university experience” but have not yet come to any firm conclusions on the matter. Either way, when I have finished my education, I would like to start working in PR and Communications.

Tom Baldry

Background and Interests:
After studying Sociology and Business Economics at The Sixth Form College Farnborough and achieving the results I needed to, I then went on to study at my dream university which is The University of Exeter. The course I am studying at university is BSc Management and Marketing and I am about to head into my third and final year in September after the most amazing first two years. I like to keep myself very busy but when I do have some free time outside of studying and my part-time job, I am most likely to be found going out for dinner and drinks or listening to live music with my friends. I decided that, before I graduate next year, I wanted to put what I have learnt from my degree so far into practice and apply it to working in order to develop my current knowledge and understanding. When I learnt more about Whiteoaks as an agency I realised that it is definitely the sort of business that I see working for in the future as everyone is very approachable and no questions are off limits so therefore doing work experience here was really a no brainer!

My first week of work experience at Whiteoaks is coming to an end and I have already done and learnt so many new things thanks to the brilliant team I have been working with. In this week alone I have done many different tasks such as working on social posts, data mining, research, editing and even contributing to the Whiteoaks website and so much more! I have really enjoyed all the tasks that I have done this week and have found it gratifying being able to put the knowledge I’ve learnt from my degree to a use.

Future plans:
As a result of the pandemic ruining many people’s travel plans including my own, after hopefully graduating this time next year I plan on going travelling for around six months to a year around Southeast Asia which has been a lifelong dream of mine. On the return from my travels, I think I will make a decision as to whether or not I want to go back to university to complete a masters program. If not, I will hopefully go into working in social media marketing.


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