p4 group pr agency brisbane internship program

Expect the unexpected: My IRL internship experience

Let’s face it, finding the perfect internship can be a taxing process.

From writing various applications to the unnerving interviews and possible writing tests, an unknown work environment where you have to meet your deadlines is a huge adjustment.

Having just completed a two-week stint at P4 Group while finishing my final semester at the University of Queensland in a Bachelor of Communications, I wanted to share an overview of what to expect when interning to make the process a little less daunting.

Cold call, warm response

The application process for an internship at any agency similar to P4 Group can be competitive – think of the number of students doing your course right now and times that by every university in your city/ state – that’s a lot of competition! My advice is to ring the office and introduce yourself before sending your CV over, you’ll be sure to stand out of the crowd.

Dropping a cold call and saying hello can be quite an intimidating experience, but it allows you to make a very personable impression with people like Laura, P4’s friendly Office Manager. Incidentally, by making that call, you can be rest assured that your application will be more than welcome when it eventually reaches the Intern Manager’s inbox.

Vibrant but inclusive culture

Many millennials rank company culture as a decisive factor, saying it’s a major deal breaker when considering an internship opportunity. For me, when I started at P4 Group, I was transitioning from previous internships that had a strong and formal corporate culture to a vibrant and collaborative P4 Group, and this took some getting used to.

The team at P4 actively involved me in work discussions and invited me to join them for lunch outings and after-hours culture building events. Before I knew it – I was as much a part of the team as everyone else.

P4 Group adopts an open office structure that facilitates active discussion and easy collaboration among colleagues. It is not uncommon for co-workers to swivel around to one another for a short chat on projects they are working on together or checking in to see how their day is going.

Life at P4 sometimes goes beyond 5pm, and that’s not always overtime, but trips to the nearby brewery for a book club or the weekly Friday snacks and ‘win of the week’ session to ease into the weekend. These culture building sessions allow interns to learn more about their team in a more relaxed setting away from office and work, and I highly recommend making time to immerse yourself in these.

Meaningful tasks, constructive feedback

P4 Group’s Internship program strives to train interns to become better prepared when eventually working in the industry – there are no coffee runs, hours behind the photocopier or answering phone calls – this is as real world as it gets. Tasks allocated to interns have deadlines to reflect the fast-paced nature of the industry.

Writing tasks assigned receive detailed and constructive feedback from your team member and, while I thought I was relatively adept at writing, producing a press release under timed conditions for a client in an industry I had limited knowledge about was a new challenge.

Rather than redoing the press release and sending it out the client, the team talked me through edits line by line and paragraph by paragraph, allowing me to immediate implement feedback. Noting this, future writing tasks became progressively easier.

All that glitters is not gold

To the misinformed, PR is full of glitz and glamour and always being part of special events.

Is that true? Maybe for some, but that’s not what every day looks like. Throughout my two weeks at P4 Group I spent time drafting media lists and releases, finding contacts for upcoming events, and trawling through social media to identify and build influencer lists suited to clients.

These tasks might be considered as menial to come, but throughout your internship you will quickly learn that, in the communications world, they are the foundation of an effective strategy.Relax, you will still never be asked to do a coffee run.

Finding your sweet spot

I was once told internships not only help you figure out what you like to do but also what you hate doing. Considering this, P4 Group has an incredibly expansive client base ranging from non-profits to commercial property developers and a plethora of consumer and lifestyle brands.

If you are new to the game and a little clueless about the industry, such wide exposure will be a good way for you to find what you love and eventually build a career out of it.

Swim, don’t sink

A friend who was a naval diver shared with me that one learns to swim fastest when at the deepest end of the pool. An internship can feel like the equivalent to being at the deep end of the pool, however, if you’re lucky like I was, you will have all the floaties and support you need to be a PR pro in no time.

Ready to take the plunge and apply for an internship with P4? Reach out to us here.