Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Going back to basics will make you different.

Tankiso Motsoeneng,
PR Intern at Weber Shandwick Africa
It is generally accepted that creatives are in Marketing, Digital and Advertising industries, where else creatives are also in Public Relations too. Conversations with my fellow peers are often on how we can bring creative ideas within our agencies. My name is Tankiso Motsoeneng and I am a Public Relations and Communication graduate from the University of Johannesburg. I am ambitious, courageous and enjoy engaging with people either at industry events or social clubs on campus. I chose Public Relations as a career choice, given my love of engaging with people, my confident personality and the bigger goal, to inspire.

The journey to finding placement and becoming a PR intern was not roses and daisies as a final year student. I sent out my Curriculum Vitae to all the Johannesburg based PR firms that I thought would have this position for me. In third year we are required to find placement (Work Integrated Learning (WIL)) in order to pass our qualification and no interviews came. I followed up, made it to the interview stage but no placement still because of the typical approach I used. After this realization, I back tracked and started over again.

I went to the writing centre at the University of Johannesburg, where they taught me about compiling a great Curriculum Vitae, this encouraged me to read a lot about tips and guidelines on interviews. I learnt a lot during this process, as I realised that times have changed on how my parents would compile this, compared to how it is done today. I also noticed that I overlooked a lot of grammatical errors, the angle of selling myself, as I took what ‘’most’’ students did. I have always had the perception that a good academic record with a lot of distinctions is the only thing that would secure me placement, but I learnt that a CV with grammatical and formatting errors will get you nowhere.

After this research, I went back to the PR industry to request placement again, it was frustrating and painful to be rejected but a lesson streak and I am glad I went through it. I wouldn’t have learnt that, when applying for placement or a job, you must have the rare factor and that persuading employers is hard work. I secured placement at Weber Shandwick Africa, the Holmes Report Global Agency of the Year (2017) based in Sandton – the technology team I work closely with gave me chance to engage with the industry, demonstrate my confident personality and still aim to inspire. The Public Relations agency is recognised for good media relations, crises communication & Issues management, digital, health, technology, consumer, public affairs and corporate.

I support the team with media relations, research, sharing the ideas and taking calls in the office. I started at the agency two months ago with an aim to complete my Work Integrated Learning (WIL) programme. Work Integrated Learning is a programme that is designed to provide work exposure for public relations students who are on their final year. It is aimed at testing the practical abilities of the student and allows them to discover the strengths and weaknesses they may have in different categories of Public Relations. I am grateful for such a programme, as I get to explore what I am good at, what I can learn and whether or not I am in the right career.

I have always dreamt of working in a well- reputable global agency that would challenge my open-mindedness in an intercultural space, that would allow me to think outside the box.  To the final year students out there looking for placement, my advice to you is – find your rare factor before approaching your potential employer and work hard at showing them that you want to join their team.

By Tankiso Motsoeneng.

1 comment:

  1. You are one of the most hard working people I have ever met and always open to learn. A bright future awaits you.