She Interns: Snap-shot Round-Up!

Elevator shot and shoes!

Dress: H&M
Shoes: Clarks
Jacket: As before, Zara
Bag: As before Urban Outfitters

THE WORKING WEEK

It’s been a great week of being an office working girl; I’m sad to leave my little routine of secret power snacks, lovely lunch spots, and extra-efficient commuting times. But importantly, the lovely people, the gorgeous  office, the variety of work and the cheeky perks have built a picture of the real life ins-and-outs of the PR office world. Where I work and who with are now pretty high up on my dream job requirements. I suppose affirming my preference for writing tasks has been is pretty predictable, but learning new web systems, researching fashion trends  and today’s work of company information about brand ownership (L’Oreal, Estee Lauder and PPR = mind-blowing) and compiling art critic bloggers, have been right up there in educating my commercial and audience awareness.

So, as my intern experience comes to an end I thought I’d share some of my non-work time photos – to thank CMPR not only for the week of work, PR and office experience, but for introducing me to the Belfast working scene!

 

 

I was so sad to leave this week, as it’s been filling my pre-departure days with Belfast delight and I’ll have fond memories of my home town to remember as I jet off to my Year Abroad in China this Monday.

Thanks a million and I’m sure we’ll see each other again!

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She Interns: The Office Perks

Style #4

Top: Urban Outfitters
Skirt: Urban Outfitters
Jacket: As Before,  Zara
Clutch Bag: fcuk
Shoes: Shilin Night Market, Taipei

THE OFFICE

Now thoroughly in the routine of my morning commute and office life, I , rather predictably, nearly miss the train to work. Typical that I was thinking only the  night before how natural this early morning routine was feeling. Well, after that debacle  I gather myself together to my usual, only slightly less ridiculous self to work.

The CMPR Office is one real perk to this week’s work experience. I’m slightly obsessed with colour co-ordination, and entering through the offices heavy cream door,  what it beheld can only be described as my kind of paradise. Those who know me, know that my live colour-scheme is pink and green; from the pastel green wall in my bedroom with matching mini-polka pink green curtains to my two favourite pink and green mechanical pencils it’s a sickeningly cute combination-obsession that’s depths I try to hide from the public eye.  Well, I have finally found an environment in which I can bathe in pink and green glory: the CMPR Office.

THE WORK

Today after finishing two written information bubble, the work-load took a side-step from PR management, to the realities of running the firm – and that meant getting to grips with the office ebay account (!!). I was pretty surprised to find out about it – what on earth would a PR company use ebay for? How is that going to reach clients and customers? Well, turns out that it’s a fabulous idea, and here’s why: the company perks. As it turns out, being a small office of highly specialised PR staff in a city like Belfast is as good as being a celebrity. MD Cathy lands Q&A radio segments – one of which I was tensed in the office for, as it churned the staff into a research frenzy for the 30min warning we got before airing – magazine interviews, fashion event invites, screening invites, beauty products and much more in return for being Belfast’s first port of call for all needs editorial or runway related.  So where does ebay come into this? Well, such a small office can only need so many lovely (and expensive) products and any duplicates can be sold online. Personally I’ve never quite got to grips with buying on the site, although I’ve been on the wishful cusp of learning to sell on it many a time, so this was a timely intoduction! This week we were selling lots of Cathy’s daughters clothes, BNWT (brand new with tags to those not in on ebay acronyms).

I think I’m a long way off having children yet, but I nearly keeled over with how TINY AND CUTE the clothes were.

THE PERKS

And speaking of perks, you may have wondered with the mysterious white bag was in my Style #3 Photo  (or not, but I’ll let it slide…): on Wednesday I was given a bag of perks for little me!

I. Nearly. Spontaneously. Combusted.

I mean, seriously struggled to contain my excitement and gracefully express my gratefulness.

I did not know this happened in real life.

So my lil’ bag of goodies contained:

The Body Shop Morning Mist
Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Style Prep
Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Colour in
Nuxe Moisturising Lip Stick
Smashbox Girls on Film Blusher
Dior 3 Colours Ready-to-Wear Smoky Eyes Palette
Jason Shankey Heat-Proof Straightner Carrier

All I can say is a massive THANK YOU CMPR for my lovely gift!

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She Interns: City Heat

Double Style #3

Trousers: Primark, £11
Top: Urban Outfitters (turned inside out and belted) £5
Shoes: As Before Primark, £10
Bag: As Before Urban Outfitters, £23.50

CITY HEAT

Wednesday is a tipping point. Situated delightfully mid-working week, it has the power to drag every second tortuously across the face of the clock with pain that fills every cell with dread for the rest of the week – or disappear through keyboard-clicking fingers. It was at 7AM this particular Wednesday that the first ominous signs pierced my curtains: it was sunny at 7AM.

This is not good. Sun at seven, can only logically mean by twelve, the stifling heat of city is as thick and oppressive as a stale bap; we Northern Irish and our cities are not built for the sun. As I walk to my train, there’s a smell in the air that’s foreign to the region and it’s one that rises throughout the day: baking concrete, exhaust, asphalt, swift dry gusts of wind and the slight and unusual sourness of rubbish in hot. In the Office, these smells are dimmed somewhat by the distracting lack of air-conditioning, and despite the double doors thrown open in desperation to coax in an in-complainant breeze, it’s still and warm. I feel a staggering sympathy for menopausal women everywhere; heatwave is a permanent hot flush.

Wide Windows

THE WORK

But, despite the almost unbearable heat, Wednesday is a packed with fabulous work and breaks. I start the morning writing an info bubble for a magazine to give some press coverage to a local upcoming event. From one writing task to another, I’m given the positively delightful job of cataloguing and summarising AW/AF Campaigns and Hair/Beauty trends to prepare for Belfast’s upcoming Fashion Week, the launch of which is less than a month away. Another half-Asian, half-Northern Irish intern in today, who’s absolutely lovely, baffles me with her mere presence – clearly I’m not unique as I thought… Worrying. Nevertheless, we traipse up to Botanic on our lunch break to run clothes back from photoshoots and I meet a friend for a sweltering lunch by the Belfast Fish (my #1 favourite attraction in Belfast).

Returning to the office, I get straight back into my all-engrossing fashion work until the office breaks for a group clean! I love that they do this themselves, as it gives a homely sense of ownership to the office space. Office sparkling, and I’m released into the hot, city jungle for my commute home.

How am I half-way through already??

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She Interns: The Commute

Jeans: Topshop , £40
Shoes: Clarks , £32
Jacket: Zara, £30
Bag: As Before Urban Outfitters, £22.50
Top: Own Acrylic Print, Fabric Top, Zara, £5 Sale

TOTAL OUTFIT: £129.50

THE COMMUTE

Yesterday was the second proper commute of my life, and as I sit here typing, I’m making my third, joining what looks like a futuristic, dystopia-imminent horror movie. The train is pretty full on this pre 9am service, the air is hot and muggy from many suits pressed into unfortunately upholstered seats, and the 70 bodies exhaling in this compartment are all jacked into various devices. It’s all feeling very Watchowski Bros (usefully a brother and sister) and ominous to my Tuesday morning mindset, as I realise that 7AM is the weeks’ routine beginning; from the alarm I’m in the system and ‘online’ now that I have an iPhone. Mild sympathy is what I’m used to when I whip out my phone, until Sunday a nifty little Sony Ericsson k500i, but my fairly shockingly efficient iPhone fits right into the commuter life, where all my train companions sit in an early morning zonk with their consoles.

It’s the same pang of regret I get when I pull out my beautiful matt Kindle, another bewildering technology update for my 21st year; it’s not necessarily just nostalgia for childhood things, but the reluctance to feel the strangeness of holding items that, as far as I used to be concerned, were for the ilk of Captain Janeway and her starship crew. At least I can thank my Dad for his Star Trek education, or else, as it is, I’d be completely unprepared to accept these gizmos*. Even in the office, the use of email over speech is at first baffling, but again a blindingly efficient way of tracking responsibility, decisions, deadlines and documents.

Maybe it’s just that the edgy ear cuff I’ve taken to wearing this week that’s rubbing off on me.

THE WORK LIFE

Back into real work – it’s the day after and I’m typing up the work that I covered yesterday, which involved handing in the finished article I was writing yesterday, and getting straight into learning about client’s media booklets, a way to store their press coverage and provide not only a record of useful contacts and a backlog of old work, but provides a tangible demonstration of the company’s output ie. The Results. After helping compile a media booklet of my own, I was free to take an lunch break with my trusty packed box and kindle. Belfast is truly baking in this heatwave, and the hour is a welcome break from the office and shiny screens (which are nigglingly weirding me out today like it’s some episode of Black Mirror).

When I return, seeking shelter from the heat, I chat to Bob, the absolute old gentleman who looks after the permanent War Memorial Exhibition down stairs; can’t hear a thing, bless him, but we manage to communicate some form of happy friendliness regardless! I’m sent on errands with a long-term intern of the office, and she affirms some fears I’ve long suspected of the unpaid intern world (which is a self-perpetuating, studentential nightmare in certain respects) but encourages me to keep at it. Thank goodness for to meeting people on the same path for some thoughtsharing and morale-boosting. I spend the afternoon cataloguing some goodies the company receives from beauty brands and am released to chirpy freedom to catch the 1714 train home.

Today I donned my work clothes and played the (reluctant) commuter, scoped out the industry and took a sneaky peak into the perks cupboard.
It’s looking like staying in education forever is the key. Sorry Parents…?

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* Some academics have given this feeling a fancy name: premediation. Cheers Prof. Grusin!
You can check out his blog, Premediation, or his academic paper of the same title via Project Muse or JSTOR.

She Interns: The Desk Life

 

Shirt: £6, Beijing Silk Market
Jeans: £13.50*, Topshop , Sale
Bag: £22.50*, Urban Outfitters Sale
Jumper: £12.99, Missguided.com
Shoes: £10, Primark

TOTAL OUTFIT:  £64.99
*+ 10% student discount

THE DESK LIFE

The first day’s done and dusted, and there is one thing of which I am absolutely certain: I am not used to sitting at a desk. My eyes watered, my head pounded, my back ached and boy, was my butt numb; it seemed like everything of my physical body was pitching revolution at being confined to a chair for a measly six hours.

I have an immense respect for the 9-5ers. In hindsight of my working past, I’ve been extremely lucky to have worked very active jobs running photosets, shop-assistanting, acting as cater-waiter, art and english teacher, costume assistant, MUA and model… all roles free to spontaneity and standing perpendicular to the ground. That’s not to say I haven’t interned before; this week counts as my fourth set of work experience to date, but it’s only now that I’m realising the similarity these experiences actually have to academic life –  they always said university prepares you for the working world, but who knew they’d be right? That body-numb feeling is one that I’ve only felt otherwise in essay-crisis mode, a period of life that I slip in and out of with ease at University. My body may be numb, but (and let’s not linger on that particular pun) my brain is buzzing.

THE WORK LIFE

There’s a glossy sheen to everything on the PR floor, from the thick acrylic surfaces and shocking pink curtains to the original Terry Bradley (again, cerise) on the wall. It’s not a literal sheen, although perspiration wouldn’t be surprising from solid objects at the temperatures Belfast is reaching this week, but a shimmer that perhaps can only be felt by a bambi-eyed intern. The shimmer of a ‘real-life’ working office, of purpose and efficiency that made me feel goggly, left-handed (I’m not) and flustered as I tried my best not to bumble about my white desk in the open plan office – where everything is visible, especially ‘here’s-the-new-one’ bag-rustling and chair fumbling.

Reality, however, has never been a better friend. Blast FM is nattering on in the background, there’s chatter of a healthy gossip to business ratio that breaks the working silence, and after my first couple of questions (which are always the hardest) the real day started with basic tasks. I got to see the work for three big clients, pitching in for the research behind two written articles and having a sneaky peek at a fashion editorial that gave me some serious goosepimples. To close up the day, I got given a writing feature – to my type-happy delight – for a certain big newspaper, and nearly burned my retinas concentrating on it until 5PM jumped in and I felt a rush of home-time exhilaration.

 Today I donned my intern shoes, tappled out some real-life work and clipped out at 5PM feeling like a genuine, wooden-heeled office-girl – and I loved it!

Let’s hope my butt survives tomorrow.

Goodnight.

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The 'Welcome Home' Mat
Made it through Day #1, team!

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