Friday, 20 November 2009

'Sorry we are short on desk space'

I have been studying MA Public Relations for seven weeks now and so far I’m really enjoying it. Part of the course requires me to undertake a four week work experience placement within PR from 11th January to 5th February.

So far I have applied to 32 firms which consist of agencies as well as in-house PR teams. I have been rejected from 14 firms, three firms are considering my application and I am still waiting for responses from the remaining 15. However, many of the firms I am waiting to hear from are ones which I have only applied to in the last couple of days. 13 of the firms I have applied to include Premier League and Football League club press offices, I have chosen to apply to these as I have a big passion for football and would like to work within sports PR in the future.

One of the reoccurring answers I have received when being rejected includes, ‘it is rare that we can accommodate anyone for work experience as we are really short on desk space.’ The answer from most of these firms, whether agency or in-house is that they haven’t got the capacity or enough desk space to accommodate a work experience placement student. This has led me to think, are PR firms really that small? After lots of researching on the internet I have come to the conclusion that while many PR firms are small there are also a few big ones.

One of the factors that could have contributed to me receiving all these rejections could be that I have only applied to places within the East and West Midlands, with over half of them based within Leicestershire. Many of the big PR firms are located within London and the South East. After looking on many graduate job websites I have found that the PR agencies which offer graduate schemes are all located in London, so if I want to get into PR via the route of a graduate scheme I would almost certainly be forced to relocate.

I have a few more weeks left to try and secure a placement so my plan is to follow up the firms which have yet to respond to me and if I am still unsuccessful then I will have to try firms in other locations regardless of the distance. This whole experience has taught me that it’s not easy to pick and choose where you want to live when getting a career.


  1. You make a good point Raj. I have had the same difficulty in contacting the larger PR firms. They seem to have little time or resources at the minute to accommodate work experience. I have had more luck with smaller PR organisations. They seem a lot more willing to provide a placement and are flattered that a PR MA student wants to gain experience from them. Keep trying and make lots of phone calls!

  2. To find a suitable work is really difficult. Even I am lucky to find one placement in Taiwan, I should spent 2 hours to go to office by bus on everyday. But the nice work experience made it worth.