Written by Guest blogger
This is a guest blog post by current student Dominic Gayler.
My name is Dominic Gayler and I’m just about to go into my fourth and final year on the BA Public Relations course now changed to BA (Hons) Marketing Communications with Public Relations. Over the last 12 months I have been working in my role as a PR and CSR intern at Liverpool Football Club.
Throughout my year at the Club I have been lucky enough to make the most of a whole range of experiences including; handling of media, article writing, co-ordinating community events and internal communications.
Finding the right placement…
The placement search can be a stressful one and when May came, and I hadn’t secured one I was starting to panic a little. However, this made me try even harder to improve my CV and applications. When I saw the job at LFC as I was scrolling through LinkedIn, I felt excited and motivated to go for it.
After a meeting with BU careers service who looked at my CV and helped me to make adaptations, I set about putting my application together. Thankfully, my application was successful, and I was invited for an interview at Anfield before being offered the job the same day!
Roles and responsibilities…
As I mentioned before, during my time in the North West I was given the opportunity to take on a variety of different tasks. Although a lot of days were different for me my main responsibilities centred around three key things. These were; providing material for the community section of the Club website, updating the staff intranet and helping to facilitate the smooth running of various community events.
My favourite part of my placement experience was the fact that I was able to gain experience across 3 different aspects of communications; PR, CSR and Internal Comms. If I was to pick one specific element of my job that I’ve particularly enjoyed it would be the community events. Having the chance to engage with the local communities around Anfield and contribute to schemes that a make a real difference to these people has been a real pleasure.
Leaving university life behind and moving 270 miles up the country to take on a full-time job in a new city brings inevitable challenges. For me, the overall change of lifestyle and circumstance was both the biggest challenge and learning curve rolled into one. At first, I did find the move difficult at times, however with the brilliant support of my colleagues and my supervisor I feel like I found my feet much quicker than I thought I would.
Other challenges came in the workplace. Getting used to how an office environment operates, managing relationships and ensuring I was having a positive impact within my department were all things I experienced. Whilst I don’t think you ever really stop learning I feel as if all of these experiences have allowed me to improve myself as an employee.
For me, working at the top of the sports industry has always been an aim and I’m delighted to have a years’ experience at one of the world’s biggest sports clubs under my belt. Over the past 12 months I have been able to gain a real insight into the workings of a huge football club and I hope that this will help me to secure further jobs in football as I look to build my career. Before then though I need to finish my degree and I hope that everything I have learnt on placement will go some way to helping me complete it to the best of my ability.
From talking with friends who have also been on placement, I think everyone’s placement experience is very different- and this starts with the search. My advice to students who will be looking for placements in the near future is to apply for everything that matches your skill set. I know it might sound like a lot of effort- but the more you apply for early on, the more practice you get in writing applications and attending interviews. Even if these are jobs you don’t really fancy, the process of applying and interviewing can be really beneficial when looking to land the job you really want.
Finally, I’ve found the placement year to be an overall amazing experience. Not only have I had the opportunity to work in my preferred industry, but I’ve learnt so much about the working environment, the skills required and how to develop myself.