While the image of student life varies, it would be fair to say it has its stereotypes. The reality is, of course, that university can be an incredibly daunting period. When reflecting on my final year as an undergraduate, the memory of the winter holidays is one of exam stress, balanced by Christmas excitement, balanced again by job stress. Left without the faintest idea of the kind of career I wanted, I took to Google in what would be a manic few days of filling out applications, taking personality tests and failing numeracy tests.
The end result was a career in public relations. Fast forward eight months and I began my first day on the LEWIS Graduate Programme as an Account Coordinator. Over the next six months, my fellow graduates and I would attend graduate training together, learning the skills required to cope in the fast-paced environment of an integrated marketing agency.
Me and my fellow graduate intake have now progressed to Account Executives, but the Graduate Programme will soon be launching for a new group of Account Coordinators to learn the ropes. Thinking of applying? Here’s some insights into our first six months at LEWIS.
What were your first impressions of LEWIS as an agency?
I initially joined LEWIS as a PR intern, having no previous experience in the industry and wanting to get first-hand experience of a day in the life.
Even on my first day, I was struck by how friendly and eager to help everybody was in the office, from the Account Executives of the previous intake, right up to senior management.
Everybody was happy to support me and answer any questions I had. No matter how silly I thought a question was, the team was always so encouraging, and it really was the perfect place for me to learn.
It’s safe to say I felt slightly overwhelmed on my first day at LEWIS given that it was my first ‘adult’ job.
But everybody was so friendly. The fact I ended the day feeling so at ease is testament to the welcoming and good-natured ethos of the team.
While it is only natural to feel nervous on the first day at work, thinking back makes me laugh. This rings particularly true when thinking how we were all in the same boat, regardless of how confident we might have acted!
On my first day at the London office, I had no idea what to expect. Before joining LEWIS, I had spent the previous year in Switzerland on a ski season.
When entering the office, I was struck by how professional, yet creative and fun-loving everybody in the office was.
For me, the people are the most important part of any job, and so being made to feel so welcome while immediately being given work to do on live accounts was a sure sign that LEWIS is the right place for me – it helps that the views from our office in Millbank are unbeatable!
What has the graduate programme taught you?
Having had no previous experience in PR or marketing, or even knowing what to expect, the graduate academy has been invaluable.
Right from day one, I was taught everything I needed to know when running the day-to-day for a client’s press office, whether it be phone pitching, writing thought leadership or organising events. There’s also been plenty of incredibly helpful training on marketing as a whole, giving me insight into a variety of skills including digital marketing.
I cannot express enough how much the past six months have taught me. They’ve been a real eye opener into the world of PR and marketing, equipping me with the skills and insights needed to handle varied and often conflicting workloads.
Additionally, LEWIS is unique in that we have the opportunity to learn about the integrated work across the agency, whether it be public relations, digital graduate training or even web design.
The extensive training has taught me the necessary skills to develop a rewarding career in both B2B and B2C communications.
During the programme, we learnt about every area of the agency. For me, the highlights had to be learning how best to pitch to journalists and hone in on my creative writing skills.
I’ve progressed in my career confident that the Graduate Programme was the ideal place to equip me with the skills needed to thrive in the modern workplace.
What has been your favourite experience at LEIWS?
My favourite aspect of working at LEWIS has to be the benefits on offer.
While the day-to-day can sometimes feel hectic and busy, the team recognises the importance of unwinding and looking after your mental health, whether it be after work yoga, a pub quiz or team trips to exhibitions.
The best part of working at LEWIS is undoubtedly the social activities.
We spent the summer party at a rooftop bar, and it was the perfect way to get to know the people beyond my team that I wouldn’t usually work with on a daily basis. We also have monthly socials which gives everyone a chance to let their hair down and spend time together.
My favourite part of the job is seeing my hard work pay off – the satisfaction from seeing articles I’ve drafted appear in the media is second to none.
That being said, I’d be lying if I said the social side of the job wasn’t a highlight. The weekly running club, the office-wide Come Dine with LEWIS and the Friday drinks trolley are a few perks but to name a few.
Dynamism at its finest
Public relations and marketing is an industry where your to-do list for a given day could be anybody’s guess, whether it be managing influencer or media relations, copywriting, event management, social media, or anything else for that matter.
When it comes to the Graduate Programme at LEWIS, the only thing more varied than our workload is our background. Take my intake as an example, consisting of graduates in psychology, modern languages, and media & communications, hailing anywhere from UCL to the University of Sydney. It’s safe to say there is no linear pathway towards a job in PR or marketing.
So whether you want to become a PR pro or a digital marketing expert, LEWIS offers the perfect environment to make that first step – so give it a shot, and you may very well find yourself in a career you love.
If you’re ready to start your career in PR and digital marketing, take a look at our Graduate Programme now.