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What do interns do?

29th April 2015

Two students from Boston University in the States, Rachel MacDonald and Danielle Muzones, are spending six weeks at PR firm Grayling as interns. Here they describe a typical day at the agency and how they are finding life in London.

Our day

7:30am [Danielle]
: My cell phone alarm goes off and I welcome the day with a stretch. I freshen up before meeting Rachel in the lobby.

8:20am[Rachel]: Danielle and I walk to the 52 bus stop in front of Hyde Park for our 15-minute commute to Bressenden place.  We find two open seats on the top of a double-decker bus, and spend the journey scrolling through social media and gazing at the scenic route.

9:00am [Danielle]: We arrive at the office on the 20th floor and say “Good Morning!” to the team. Time to make a fresh pot of coffee and get in the queue for a cup (the line builds up quickly). For a second I miss the convenience of a Keurig instant coffee (a phenomenal US invention), but I know that a fresh pot always tastes better.

9:00am [Rachel]: We sit back at our computers and join in on a conversation about the upcoming election. As the discussion fades, we update our supervisor about our ongoing projects and each take on a new assignment.

10:00am [Danielle]: The start of the week always calls for a round-up of the team’s updates. We gather around a table in the conference room and discuss the week’s new business pitches, client meetings, and individual schedules.

10:50am [Rachel]: My research from Friday indicated a few journalists that would likely have interest in a client’s upcoming campaign, so I make some calls to give them a heads up. Their accents seem stronger over the phone and most reporters speak fast, but I do my best to keep up.
12:00pm [Danielle]: I grab my coat and head out with my supervisor to meet a trade journalist. We have friendly conversation over lunch and the exchange proves to be beneficial for many of our clients.

1:00pm [Rachel]:  There was talk about a new business prospect over lunch in the kitchen, so I offer my help with preliminary research. I love that I get to learn about new issues and trends daily.

2:00pm [Danielle]: A client’s social media plan needed some updates, so I began writing up tweets. It’s a fun challenge to fit a message in just 140 characters.

2:30pm [Rachel]: It Is time to touch base with my contact at the Royal College of Art as I am in the middle of organising a lecture to drive entries in a client’s contest.

3:00pm [Danielle]: Rachel and I meet with our supervisor to catch up on our projects. We receive great feedback and I take down key notes for future reference.

4:00pm [Rachel]: Danielle points out that somebody brought sweets for the team, which happens too often. I justify my indulgence because I am trying a new British dessert – talk about being cultured.

5:00pm [Danielle]: Time to brainstorm for a client’s upcoming campaign. Our team is in the early stages of planning, so we meet and delegate responsibilities for the weeks ahead.

6:00pm [Rachel]: We pack up our things and say goodbye to the team, but I am captivated by the sun set over Big Ben and the Eye – what a view! I take a picture to capture the moment … and to post on Instagram for all of my friends back home.

8:00pm [Danielle]: We intern by day and we study by night. After cooking up a salmon and vegetable dinner, I hit the books for my British PR course and eventually drift off to sleep.

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