My first work experience placement was different to everything I had expected from a stereotypical office job. Everyone I met was welcoming and friendly, and enthusiastic towards their job. One week at Portland exceeded all my expectations in terms of the supportive environment and the number of talented people working there.
I applied to Portland because I was keen on gaining some practical experience dealing with politics and public affairs, which Portland is well known for. I had the opportunity to spend a week in the Government Advisory team and witness the varied day-to-day work that goes on, as well as spending some time in the Disputes and Brexit team. I can truly say I’ve been extremely lucky to get a work experience placement at a renowned and reputable agency, which has increased my commercial awareness, communication skills, and organisation skills.
Before going to Portland, I had no idea what PR and communications was, but my experience there has given me an insight into what the career entails and the important role the industry plays. From the outset, I felt like a fully integrated member of the group, given the responsibility to complete tasks that would be valuable for my learning and for the team. I have been involved in carrying out research tasks, putting together information and observing the work that goes on for the account.
I was very lucky to be placed alongside George Kyrke-Smith, who was a great supervisor and mentor. He was very supportive throughout the week, explaining each task to me, answering any questions I had and giving me feedback. I also had the opportunity to spend some time with other members across the department over coffee, getting to know more about them and their role in the team.
My time at Portland challenged me to perform my best and build my confidence. Although it can get quite overwhelming at times, my time there gave me the opportunity to learn and practise various skills which I will need for the future. One of my key highlights from the week was attending a Portland Academy alongside the Brexit Unit, in which I had the chance to hear from various experienced members of the team as well as Tim Allan, the Managing Director, which proved to me how much time and effort goes into each assignment.
Being in an office surrounded by talented and skilled people has given me a real understanding of the industry and the way it works. As someone who is still trying to figure out their career, Portland has opened my eyes as to what I want and expect from my future profession.
To find out more about Portland’s career opportunities, click here.