INTERNING INSIGHT: MY JOHN LEWIS EXPERIENCE, JOANNA XIOUROUPPA

Joanna Xiourouppa is a 2nd Year PR Student at Edge Hill University and shares her experience of interning with the John Lewis fashion PR team. 

Firstly, I want to stress the importance of internships in this career field. All experience is going to set you apart from your classmates. Get as much work experience as you can and not only will you be more employable, you’ll also learn a lot too.

Now let’s talk about John Lewis!

Yes, I went to the place where they create the infamous Christmas Adverts!

My initiative must have impressed her because within a month I was given two weeks’ work experience

I met the Senior Fashion Communications Officer of John Lewis at a blogging event last year, where we had a chat and I asked if they do any placements at their office. My initiative must have impressed her because within a month I was given two weeks’ work experience at their HQ in Victoria, London.

no question was too small or too stupid

I was so overwhelmed by this offer, couldn’t believe I was going and to top it off I met amazing people there – I even met Andy Street, the CEO of John Lewis (I know right?!) Everyone was so welcoming and no question was too small or too stupid – I’d like to thank Leah, my boss for the two weeks, for answering every question I threw at her.

My place was in Fashion Communications, with four lovely ladies. Each of them were very interesting to watch and I learnt so much from them, from how to speak to journalists to why it’s so important to find all press coverage each week…let’s just say I read a lot of magazines which I loved.

not once did they ask me draft tweets or sit working on social media

I also was relieved to find that during my time there, unlike any other work experience I have encountered, not once did they ask me draft tweets or sit working on social media. It was so refreshing to actually be involved in meetings and to come away from the placement feeling as though I’d learnt something from them. It also made me realise that social media is not the whole of fashion PR, no matter how current the internet may seem. People, in cities especially, pick up a magazines or two and read the newspapers. I was astounded.

I also realised that PR cannot be done purely from behind a desk. I was constantly running down to buying and to the postroom to pick up and drop off samples for magazines. fashion PR is so important and getting your brand’s clothes in magazines is essential for sales and promotion.

I even got to help choose what to send out – like Miranda Priestly in ‘Devil Wears Prada’.

Overall my experience there was incredible and I would really love to visit again, maybe one day as an employee.

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