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PR, Free Cake and Will Smith - A River Island Placement - Intern Wardrobe

PR, Free Cake and Will Smith – A River Island Placement
Amelia Vincent

“The worst part was all the free cake…”

 

Now I don’t know about you but as soon as my friend Sophie Sharpe let that one slip I couldn’t believe my ears. The rest of us have to bake our own dodgy attempts now we’ve hit adulthood, or pay hard earned money for a post break up treat. It sounded to me like she had found the dream job and I was instantly keen to interview her about her work placement.

 

Sophie graduated this summer from Manchester Metropolitan University with a degree in International Fashion Marketing. In her third year she undertook an industry placement to gain some vital experience as a PR Assistant at River Island. Although she had no clue what working in the press office of a high street fashion label would involve, she tried it on for size and found herself the perfect fit.

 

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What did she do on daily basis?

It is important to note how incredibly varied a position in PR is if that is what you are looking for. 4 days a week she went into stores and met press. Journalists would get in touch about features they were working on or photo shoots they were doing. They would come in and pick the products they wanted and Sophie completed the paperwork to get that organised. Alongside this she constantly checked emails to maintain relationships with the media and organised guest lists and invitations to keep on top of the event planning side of the role. In PR you are always working to an event, such as each fashion season. You have to be able to multitask massively, be unflappable, be confident phoning random people and be friendly. Some people might find the long hours when events are being run and the variation stressful but it fuelled Sophie working in a constantly moving environment.

 

Highlight?

“Probably the best moment was meeting Will Smith”

 

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Yep. That happened.

 

Low points?

“So much free stuff and free cake”

 

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No, I still don’t get it either.

Recommend it?

Yes. River Island also have 3 month and 2 week interns so are constantly getting new people in if readers are interested. The people were great to work with, I learnt loads and found a career path.

 

Any advice?

1)     “Before my interview I was working till 4am for a week and a half on my presentation” – she later cried on the phone when she got it because of the relief and excitement. Showing passion like this throughout an application process is vital. Sophie contacted the HR department to find out when applications were processed and this left her in good stead by showing a continual interest.

2)     “Be friendly because you never know who you will meet again” – you will start at the bottom in PR but remain positive because it is about who you know and leaving a good impression is vital.

 

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On the topic of passion and advice I would like to add my own personal impressions of Sophie. I have known her since we were about 10 years old through a mutual friend. By chance when we moved to the same school at 13 we were put in the same class. My strongest impressions of her right from the start and still now are those of unerring confidence and character. She is loud and I think I would consider her most distinguishing feature to be her cackle. When I was 10 I was intimidated by her confidence but it is this ease with new people which allowed her to excel in PR and probably won her the placement in the first place. As a result, it would be my recommendation to anyone considering a similar career path to throw yourself out of your comfort zone at all opportunities and you will grow into a valuable asset to any company.

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