As a final year French Studies and History undergraduate at the University of Birmingham, the time to apply for jobs is fast approaching and with no clear career path, the prospect was becoming a daunting one. I finally decided that a career in marketing was for me – an industry where no two days are the same, with various clients and tasks to perform. Securing a meaningful work placement was going to be vital before graduating.

After some initial research, I discovered PR and marketing agency Astley Media and instantly recognised it as the perfect place to carry out a placement. Being based in my hometown of Exeter meant that I was familiar with many of their clients, an exciting prospect for me. Furthermore, it seemed like an ideal learning environment, something which only became clearer when the Chartered Institute of Public Relations shortlisted the company for three major awards during my placement.

Having no prior experience in an agency environment, I arrived at the office incredibly nervous about the day ahead of me. However, I soon realised that there was absolutely no need for this. Everybody in the office was incredibly welcoming and supportive. Right from day one I was given multiple responsibilities on live projects.

I feel very proud to have worked with Astley Media and was highly impressed at the well-known companies and global speakers with which the company is involved. I have been exposed to a variety of areas including events and crisis management. My tasks included but were not limited to writing press releases, carrying out market research, conducting telephone enquiries and organising the company’s marketing content calendar. With everybody in the office highly experienced in their respective field, the office environment is relaxed and a working day has often been spent with much laughter, making work something to look forward to everyday.

And when I asked the team about what they thought I’ve brought to the company these past couple of months, the responses ranged from ‘enthusiasm’ and ‘focus’ to ‘laughter’ and an ‘obsessive love of indie guitar bands’ all of which I definitely see as positive traits!

Eight weeks later and my time at Astley Media will soon be at an end. It has been an absolute pleasure working with everybody and I am grateful to them for their mentorship and for helping me. I would wholeheartedly encourage anybody curious about work in a marketing and PR agency to give it a go.

Josh Pai