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Au’Guest’ Blog post – Brighton Digital Festival creates careers opportunities too!

Written by Kelly Alyse, PR intern for Fugu PR, as part of the Wired Sussex guest blog month

I’ve always been quite proactive when it comes to looking for work experience and jobs. If I’m bored you can guarantee I’m looking at jobs (or pictures of Ryan Gosling), usually just out of interest, but when my degree in Film Studies at the University of Sussex in May this year was coming to an end, it was time for me to apply and figure out what I wanted to do with my life after Sussex.

I’ve had quite a lot of work experience previous to my placement with Fugu PR. I’ve worked in small boutique companies in lovely Brighton, to big professional companies in London - Some in PR and some in journalism. I knew once I had worked with the PR companies and seen the buzz of the job, that’s the direction I wanted to head in - A job that’s social, creative and definitely not 9 - 5.

I came across a post from Vicki, Managing Director and Owner of Fugu PR, on LinkedIn requesting for someone interested in a summer placement. I hastily replied stating my interest, and we soon met for a little chat about what she wanted and what I was looking for.

At this point I was in the middle of writing my two mammoth dissertations with a combined word count of 16,000 words so there wasn't much room to discuss anything immediately. Once my degree had finished in May, however, we met again to discuss further actions with the placement. Things were still up in the air as to whether there would be a placement or not so everything was quite nice and informal.

By the time July came around I had received my results (a 2:1 classification), and also an email from Vicki asking me to come in for a formal interview. Wired Sussex were running an internship programme, and working alongside FuguPR, they had a role for a PR intern to work with the Brighton Digital Festival, a month-long festival with over 100 events combining the digital and arts communities through exhibitions, conferences, workshops and performances with a real, great Brighton community spirit running throughout.

Obviously, this was something I was very interested in, so I came in, had the interview, showed my journalism portfolio with film reviews and press cuttings, wrote a mock press release and left again. The next day I got a call from Vicki saying she’d like to offer me the placement, but I had to start straight away because the position (originally meant for mid-August) had been moved to mid-July.

As I was working in Angel Food Bakery full-time where I had to give two weeks notice I thought I had lost out on the position. Luckily, thanks to the flexibility of both Vicki and Angel Food, I was able to work both jobs until the end of July - Which was also the month I graduated.

Very, very busy indeed.

Now August is here, I am a full-time Fugu PR intern managing the PR for the enormous Brighton Digital Festival. With the very kind help from Vicki and Penny (Fugu PR executive), I have been taught how to effectively write press releases, approach press, deal with enquiries, manage coverage of the event, provide all information required for press, along with so many other amazing job roles.

It’s a great internship to be a part of, especially for such an brilliantly creative festival and a wonderful, friendly company. I’m lucky enough to be supported by lovely colleagues, as well as work in a job that I’m absolutely and 100% loving.

Thank goodness for LinkedIn.

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