Written by jconnolly
When I first started working at Bournemouth Council I didn’t know quite what to expect. To be honest with you, I didn’t even know where the Town Hall was!
I am one of very few Bournemouth University placement students working in the public sector. A lot of people on my course got jobs at swanky PR agencies in London or at Disney (which the big kid in me was very jealous about), however I chose a slightly different route.
I study Media and Communication at BU and the role of Marketing Assistant in the Corporate Communications team at the Council just seemed ideal for what I was after. It offered me hands-on-experience with services, events and campaigns, all of which are there to help or improve a part of Bournemouth in some way.
Now don’t get me wrong, at first I was dubious about what it would be like. As a student you don’t tend to get involved much with the Council. Unless of course you’re calling up about Council Tax because you’re received a letter and you just don’t understand what you need to do.
However, once I started on some engaging and thought-provoking projects such as volunteer recruitment, a homelessness prevention campaign and Boscombe regeneration (to name a few), I realised that my time at the Council was going to be captivating and I really wanted to get stuck in.
Working in the Communications team means you have to be resilient, alert and have a thick skin. We are the first port of call for press and media enquiries and for the general public on social media. We are the voice that represents the Council so what we do and say is extremely important. This role has rewarded me with a confidence that I never thought I would have and shown me what working in a fast-paced environment is really like. It’s also given me an extra cardio workout – there’s a lot of stairs in the Town Hall and who has time to wait for a lift when you’re running late in between meetings!
My role as Marketing Assistant has been varied to say the least, and I really couldn’t list everything. I have done a lot of digital campaign work, written press releases, created videos and online graphics and assisted with events management.
I have met a lot of people along the way and the teams I work with have made me feel like a truly valued team member. I would encourage any media student looking for a placement with a lot of responsibility, a dynamic atmosphere and in a fantastic location to apply to Bournemouth Council if you have the chance!
Receiving praise and thanks from Councillors, Service Directors and those who have been in the industry for decades, and knowing my work has made a difference – whether big or small – makes all the early starts, late finishes and hard work pay off. It reminds me why applying for the job was one of the best decisions I’ve made.
Being a media student, I often feel like a small fish in a big pond and feel unsure as to which route is best for me to take in my career. However, working at Bournemouth Council has given me so many opportunities to explore different aspects of communication and even perfect my phone voice (we all have one let’s be honest).
Each working week, day, even hour I can be bouncing from project to project, wearing either my creative hat, my PR hat, my marketing hat or even my woolly hat when the Beast From The East hit us – that was an action-packed week at work that’s for sure!
My placement is nearly complete and looking back I can honestly say it was one of the most interesting and enriching experiences I’ve had.
Working in the Communications team is not an easy job but it is worthwhile when it promotes the fantastic services that the Council provides every day and when you see how it affects residents. I have had the pleasure of working with and learning from some amazing people who ultimately want the best for those who live here in Bournemouth.
Marketing Assistant and Bournemouth University Placement Student