Altering the perception of the working world – A University Students account

As a trainee journalist in my first year of University at Leeds, embarking on a professional work placement is a far cry from the comforts that University provides; Late nights and lazy mornings, with little priorities other than attending lectures on time. However a professional work placement gives a flavour for what’s to be expected, post graduation.

As I stepped into tgi MEDIA on my fifth and final week of work placement, I was of course apprehensive. However I’d survived four weeks in various different media companies already, week five would be a breeze, surely?

With little knowledge surrounding social media marketing, I was keen to get involved and learn as much as I could from the team at tgi MEDIA in one week. However within the first five minutes of meeting Tori and listening to the range of clients they deal with, I suspected that my final week would be the busiest yet most exciting week of my placement yet.

As soon as I walked into the tgi MEDIA offices I was initially struck by the warm welcome I received from Tori and her team. Although everyone looked busy beavering away with their own work, everyone took time out from what they were doing to greet me. This instantly settled my nerves, because I must admit, walking into a professional working environment can be a little daunting for a student with little experience and very new to this!

The range of clients tgi media cover is certainly impressive. When I started, my knowledge surrounding press releases and interviewing clients was simply limited to what I’d learnt during my first year of University. Translating taught theory into practical skills was initially a daunting concept, however thanks to tgi media they gave me a platform to test my abilities. On Wednesday, I attended the Tees Valley School Games 2019 County Final, I had the chance to contribute to live social media reporting as well as gathering research which I would later turn into a press release.

Not only this week have I learnt how to meet deadlines, by producing three separate press releases for clients to be published in local newspapers the same week. But I have learnt skills that have prepared me for when I graduate and am thrust into the working world such as office etiquette and time keeping. The type of valuable skills that can’t be taught in a lecture theatre, but i’m lucky enough to have gained the experience to do so here.

This week has been full of questions, constant learning, valuable conversations, conducting interviews and more emails to journalists that ever before. Work placement opportunities like this are invaluable to University students like myself and I am extremely grateful for the experience and opportunity tgi media has given me over this past week.

Libby Dunne

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