These past few months have been an absolute blur. I’ve been so busy and time has just went so fast, I can hardly keep up.
The first week of my placement year is over, and what an ending to the first of fifty-two. I’ve had such a great week, although it has been an overload of information and a lot to take in, but with time I will hopefully be something of a pro at being a PR Assistant. Here’s hoping anyway.
I have started my placement year with Coty UK – a global leader in the beauty industry. I had never heard of the company prior to looking for placements but once I heard the brands they had under their belt, I knew it would be an amazing place to work and learn.
Coty recently merged with Procter & Gamble and acquired a lot of their well-known brands, which has made life at Coty very busy with a lot of change happening. Coty is now split into three divisions; Consumer, Professional and Luxury. I will be working in the luxury division with brands such as Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Calvin Klein, Chloé, Mui Mui and many more.
The first day
I was an hour late. On my first day. Not through any fault of my own however. Slight hiccup in communications but I was already nervous about it being my first day never mind showing up late as well!
The usual inductions took place with talks about the company, what it does, the changes happening, working towards the future etc. and we had time to get to know the other interns. There’s eight interns in total with two working in consumer beauty, one in professional and five in luxury.
I was given a lovely Marc Jacobs notebook and the interns spent the day learning about the different brands that Coty look after and the history and story behind the brands.
The last few hours of the day allowed us to work alongside the current interns and shadow them, to see the kind of things we would be getting up to daily.
We were fed so much information on the first day, that I was exhausted by 5pm, my brain having taken so much in. I’m hoping it will all sink in quickly and that I will be able to pick up where the previous intern leaves off. We each have three weeks working alongside the current intern in the handover period which is a great aspect of the training process as they show us the ins and outs of the job.
The PR team that I will be working with are amazing and have so much experience behind them that I can’t wait to hear about. I really couldn’t be spending the year with a better team or company and I already know that I’m going to learn so much and be extremely prepared for the PR world when I graduate.
At the end of my first day I was presented with a huge bag of goodies – soooooo many bottles of perfume and products from philosophy and OPI Nails thrown in as well. The perks of this job are quite amazing for someone so obsessed with beauty products, like me.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mostly involved shadowing and doing odd jobs and learning about different systems and processes.
I’m quite glad that I don’t seem to be sat at my desk for longer than ten minutes at a time, always running around different floors, gathering products, sorting stock, carrying boxes, packaging press send outs, going to the printer, going to the shop to get certain magazines or newspapers and everything else you can think of. I really dislike being sat at a desk for hours on end, so I’m glad that I get to move around a lot with this job.
There were also a lot of opportunities to mingle with the other interns during the week and find out more about them. I’m the only intern in PR, with the others in marketing, visual merchandising and sales. I also learnt that I’m the one with the shortest commute (7 minutes!) with others travelling over an hour on the tube to and from work every day – yes, even with my 7 minute commute I still managed to be an hour late on the first day.
It felt quite surreal seeing so much press coverage for the brands and getting emails from so many different magazine editors, something that I haven’t experience when interning with smaller agencies. I can sense that I’m going to make a large amount of amazing contacts during my year with Coty.
I know I have always said that I want to work for a small agency in the future, but with so many great brands, employees that have so much inspiring experience behind them, the events I have attended already and will be attending in the future and the people that I’m meeting and am yet to meet, it seems that working for a large company such as Coty might not be such a bad career path to follow after all. Time will tell, it’s only been a week. I won’t go putting all of my eggs in one basket. *wink wink*
The last day of my first week of placement year. And what an end to my first week it was. I GOT TO GO TO LOVEBOX FESTIVAL. FOR FREE. I was paid to go to Lovebox Festival. I was working. Well, I was mingling with Instagram influencers and press while drinking copious amounts of free cocktails from our VIP tent. Oh yeah, did I also mention I was VIP AT LOVEBOX?!
So these kinds of things never really happen to me. I’ve never been VIP at an event before in my life. It was always a matter of being on the opposite side of the fence; waiting around in hour-long queues, trudging through the mud, paying ridiculous prices for drinks and burgers, queueing forever to use a horrifying portaloo and losing all your friends within the first hour and knowing full well that they were gone, never to be seen again.
Well, dear readers, this festival experience was like no other. But I will have a separate post all about Lovebox up very soon.
Let’s just say I had the best time working at Lovebox Festival, meeting influencers and press, working with great brands such as Lancaster, philosophy and OPI Nails, and I also got to enjoy Jamie XX and Frank Ocean – two artists I’ve never seen live before and can now tick off my list!
I also had my first Uber ride! Oh London, you’re changing me already.
The next weeks ahead
So my first week went pretty well compared to other first weeks I’ve had at previous jobs. The next year will be a huge learning curve, and I’m sure it will be filled with amazing moments but also mistakes that I will learn from and stressful moments that I will conquer. I have the whole year ahead of me and I can’t wait to see what comes my way.
I will be continuing my #PlacementYear series at the end of every month with a round up of what I’ve been up to, as well as some odd posts covering any important events or fun things that happen along my London journey.
Can’t wait to share with you how I get on, working in beauty PR in London of all places! Who would have thought that I would be saying that?! I definitely didn’t three years ago.
In the words of Ellie Goulding, ‘Anything can happen’. (Would you like some macaroni with that cheese??)