Life as an intern at AIKEN

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Finn Shiells

April marks ten months from the start of my student placement with AIKEN and time has certainly flown. This experience has given me an invaluable insight into the day–to–day activity of a fast–paced PR agency located in Belfast. It has been challenging at times, but it has also been extremely rewarding.

As a second year Communication, Advertising and Marketing student at Ulster University, I applied for this amazing opportunity in spring 2022 and by May, I was offered a place with AIKEN, which once I’d recovered from the initial shock was a really exciting chance to learn more about the communications industry and gain hands on experience.

My first few months at AIKEN were filled with a range of emotions. From meeting my new work colleagues, to completing client work and to working on my first event, I got to experience and assist with the work that goes into delivering comprehensive integrated campaigns. I can’t thank my colleagues enough for helping and guiding me through the first few months of my placement.

August brought one of my highlights of the year, the culmination of weeks and months of work. It was also the first event which I worked on from beginning to end. ‘Rabbit’s Big Day Out’ was a family fun day hosted by Electric Ireland. The event saw families, young and old, enjoy a day filled with fun activities that was designed to coincide with the school holidays giving hard working parents a free day out with their children before schools returned.

The day was a massive success, and it was really rewarding to see the joy on all the children’s faces and hear the thankful words from all the parents for providing a fun day out.

Since then, my placement experience has evolved into so much more I could have imagined. From event planning, to creating content for a range of social media channels, it has provided me with some of the most enjoyment I’ve got out of this whole experience.

I can definitely say that I made the right choice applying to the internship in AIKEN. It has allowed me to meet so many amazing people and gain valuable experiences and skills which will help me throughout the rest of my life.

To any second–year students who might be in the same situation which I was in almost a year ago, it can be a scary and nerve wrecking time having to apply and go to interviews, but the placement experience will help you decide if this is want you want for the rest of your life or if you want to go in another direction.

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