Applying for placements can be a demanding and stressful process, particularly within the Fashion and Beauty industry. Nerve Lifestyle spoke to recent BU English graduate Georgia Reed, 22, who completed her placement year at Beauty Seen – the beauty and personal care industry’s leading global communications agency. Allow Georgia to give you an insight into her placement process and experience.
First things first: how did you apply for your position at Beauty Seen, and what was the interview process like?
I applied on MyCareerHub! I didn’t know much about the company at the time, but the advert on the website sounded like the job I had always wanted. I had to go through three stages of interviews for the role at Beauty Seen, one of which was a small project that I had to present.
What was your role and what were your main duties and responsibilities?
I was the Press Assistant for the brands TOPSHOP Beauty, Decleor, Rituals and Hawaiian Tropic. My main duties were to write press releases and e-blasts for the attention of press and bloggers, formulating client reports on weekly, monthly and quarterly basis which analysed the gained coverage of the products, organising and assisting at press events, and generally communicating with the press and bloggers on a daily basis in order to push coverage and maintain relationships. I was also in charge of the social media accounts for some of the brands, which saw me send interactive and influential posts to publications and followers. The other not so glamorous (but crucial!) duties included managing expenses, daily coverage scanning and sorting out the stock and office management!
What would you say was your favourite part about your role?
I’d say that the events that I got to go to and work at were my favourite. I assisted at the TOPSHOP Unique SS15 show which I loved, and working at press events at Somerset House and swanky London hotels like the Four Seasons were also a plus!
What is the best piece of advice you could give to someone applying for a placement or job in Beauty PR?
Good question! Just apply to as many as you possibly can, and try not to be disheartened if you don’t get a reply as it is such a competitive industry! Also, as hard as it may be, you have to accept the fact that you may have to work unpaid, which isn’t ideal.
So you are now Junior Account Executive for MSLGROUP, handling the Stella McCartney and Gucci fragrances accounts – congratulations! What did your placement year teach you when applying for your first graduate job?
I honestly didn’t realise how valuable my year at Beauty Seen was until now. All I was quizzed about in my interviews was about my experience there! Going on a placement year was one of the best choices I’ve ever made.
Lastly, what would you say are the pros and cons with working in the industry?
The pros are that it is such enjoyable work if you have a passion for the industry. It’s never dull, every day is different, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the freebies can be amaaazing! It is also so rewarding seeing your work published in publications that are so big within the fashion world – I loved seeing one of my pitches on Vogue Online, and it also helps with building your professional portfolio.
The con would be that the money in PR at a junior level can be bad, but saying that, once you’re in the industry and you’ve made contacts, you are in!