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My internship (a PR perspective) It feels weird writing about myself now...

Written by John Bannister, PR Executive Intern at Fugu PR, as part of the Wired Sussex, Intern Placement Programme

What is public relations? You'd think that, five weeks in, I would have an answer. But no. No idea at all. I do have answers to these two questions though:

1) What problems do our clients face?
2) How do we solve those problems?

I think they're a bit more important, and my internship at Fugu PR has shown me how to answer them.

Vicki Hughes, managing director for Fugu PR, has entrusted me with a surprising amount of responsibility in this internship and released me to a highly talented team of PR professionals (And Alice! Burn! (She is just as talented)) for support and guidance. Everything I have done has contributed towards real campaigns for important clients, improved internal processes or prepared the team for future adventures.

This is the key to a good internship, and Wired Sussex, with their Intern Placement Programme, understand that completely. Real, practical and valued experience fills a CV with so many reasons to employ a young professional. Fugu have allowed me to own my work so when something I have written is posted online or put in print, I can feel proud. When it gets national press interested in one of our clients, I can fill with adrenaline as I say: "Yes, I can help you with that."

But every so often I have to turn around and ask for help. Everyone understands and eagerly offers support - it's a nurturing environment and they have all been in this position themselves. Of course, things get busy and it sometimes takes longer to explain a task than for my colleagues to complete it themselves. In those situations, I just make a note and ask to be shown how later, so next time I'm ready.

The critical thing for those busy times, and the thing I have practiced most, and in fact the thing I would encourage you to work on most, is the art of the polite chaser email. With clients, journalists, editors, bloggers and various contributors trying to get the attention of the team throughout the day, things can be dropped down in priority. But keep a note on your to-do list of when to send a gentle reminder so things can still happen on time. It is appreciated by all parties.

I could go on and on about how great this experience has been (drop me an email and we can have a drink if you're thinking of taking one on - but the best testimonial is my CV. In my third week I started adding my new experience and skills, but Vicki interrupted to ask if I can stay on for another six months.

I signed the contract this morning.

For regular updates on the Intern Placement Programme and where it could lead, you can follow us on Facebook. and/or Twitter.

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