Emmanuel Ofosu-Appiah, a Graduate from The University of Manchester, talks about how his time as a trainee on the Taylor Bennett Foundation programme in Summer 2012 helped open doors in his career and paved the way to his current role at a top business advisory firm in the city.
I was the typical example of a university student who had minimal and limited knowledge of the type of career I wanted to pursue after graduation. I studied English Language, Literacy & Communications and I was very anxious about going into the real world and actually making a start in life.
I had a whole host of career options open to me at the time but the one issue I had was selecting a path which I thought was right for me. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to be on Twitter one evening and came across the @PRstarsTB handle which was calling out for ambitious students who would like to participate in an intensive paid PR internship over the summer. However I realised I didn’t even know what the practice of PR was at the time, which meant I had to find out exactly what it entailed. I quickly typed up on Google the query ‘What is PR?’ and I was given thousands of responses within seconds. The one which really caught my attention was the definition given by the CIPR:
“Public Relations is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.”
The programme was an amazing and challenging experience
Instantly, I was hooked and subsequently applied to the Taylor Bennett Foundation Programme. The 10-week communications trainee programme was especially designed for ethnic minority graduates to strengthen their skills in the PR industry and provide them with industry relevant work experience. The programme was an amazing and challenging experience and also gave me the opportunity to make new friends.
The traineeship exposed me to whole new world which I never even knew existed and equipped me with vital skills which I still use today.
I participated in the corporate and financial PR trainee programme in conjunction with Brunswick Group. The traineeship exposed me to whole new world which I never even knew existed and equipped me with vital skills which I still use today. During our time at the Foundation we were briefed on how to plan strategic campaigns which we presented to industry professionals; compiled daily media reviews focusing on current news issues; writing of commentary and opinion pieces and were given the chance to visit top organisations such as The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Standard Chartered Bank and Threadneedle Investments.
I don’t believe that your background or culture should limit your chances of reaching a particular goal or getting a job in PR
I am convinced that the programme had a lasting effect on me and gave me even more hunger to want to succeed in the industry. I don’t believe that your background or culture should limit your chances of reaching a particular goal or getting a job in PR. However, I do feel that organisations such as the Taylor Bennett Foundation should be given even more praise as they are really interested in promoting diversity and equality within the industry as a whole. I would recommend the programme to anyone considering a career in communications and can honestly say it has been one of the best decisions of my life. I know all my following opportunities would not have been possible without my experience with Taylor Bennett. The work of the Taylor Bennett Foundation is incredibly important in promoting excellence and opportunity in our industry.
Emmanuel is now a Consultant at FTI Consulting working within the real estate division advising commercial property clients.