INTERNING INSIGHT: MY EXPERIENCE AT AEQUITAS – SARINA KIAYANI

Sarina Kiayani is a participant in the Taylor Bennett Foundation’s Summer Stars programme, and is about to enter her third year in Politics and International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She’s spent this summer interning at Aequitas

When I signed up for the Taylor Bennett Foundation’s Summer Stars programme, my first worry was that I would be tasked with menial jobs and not involved in any of the day-to-day PR undertaken in the office.

I’m very pleased to say I was wrong!

The best thing about working for Aequitas was that the company was so small – with fewer than ten employees. This meant that there was a lot of role overlap in the company, so I had plenty of opportunities to get involved in helping every member of staff, should they need it.

I never thought I’d get the opportunity to have such responsibility as an intern

I was tasked with things that I at first thought were out of my depth. I soon realised that these were the daily tasks of any successful PR worker, and I should relish the opportunity to attempt them to the best of my ability. These included writing an audit of the company’s social media and helping to draft a press release. Not only this, but I was also allowed to draft and post Tweets. I never thought I’d get the opportunity to have such responsibility as an intern. This, for me, highlighted how helpful Aequitas were with developing my skills in PR, for when I enter the workplace next year.

Everyone at Aequitas was always happy to answer any questions

Every single member of staff was also so warm and helpful. All interns on the Summer Stars programme received a free week of PR lectures before our internship placement and  one piece of advice we were given was to always ask questions. Everyone at Aequitas was always happy to answer any questions I had on the background to tasks I was given, giving me more confidence to undertake them.

A highlight of the internship was getting stuck in with current client business. My daily media scans and background research on countries and organisations were regularly used to contextualise client work. It was exciting to know that the daily tasks I was doing were helping to evolve client work every day. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that one piece of comparative research I produced was being put to immediate use in a client meeting!

Working with the media was what drew me to PR initially

Perhaps the most exciting thing for me was undertaking media work and being involved with promoting a client event from the beginning. Working with the media was what drew me to PR initially and working at Aequitas allowed me to see how agencies work with the media to enhance clients’ images. I was involved in the whole process of finding media coverage for a client event, from creating a shortlist of journalists on Cision, to drafting a press release and selecting the best journalists to send this to.

Finally, I’d like to thank the Taylor Bennett Foundation for providing me with this amazing opportunity. The lectures provided in the week prior to the internship were so worthwhile – I found out about PR tools like Cision and the importance of press releases in advance of being given tasks that involved them. The lectures on the media and public affairs also gave a direct insight into Aequitas’ work, so I felt somewhat at ease when I entered the office on my first day.

I’d also like to thank everyone I worked with at Aequitas – Sophie, Michael, Nick, Harry, Emma, Kate and Dot – who all gave me a such useful and engaging internship experience that I will value for years to come.

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