Thabiso Senatla is a final year student at the University of Johannesburg, currently studying towards a national diploma in public relations and communication. Thabiso recently completed a week's internship with the Flow public relations team. Here's what he had to say about the experience.
During my interview, Caroline Smith, the head of the PR team at Flow Communications, told me that she receives many emails from students requesting internships. I felt grateful that I was one of those considered for an interview, and even more so when my interview was successful.
My first day at Flow started with a warm welcome from all the Flowstars. I was pleased that what I had read on the Flow website was a perfect depiction of the company: the people that work here and the kind of work they do are as wonderful as it appears online. They are the kind of people I would look forward to working with every day. I also attended an induction on my first day, which I found very insightful and informative. It taught me more about the company’s vision, mission, values, staff and services.
For the past three months, I have been gaining work experience at a major South African corporate. Working at Flow has taught me how different the daily operations of the corporate world are compared to the agency space.
Corporates have separate departments and each department exists solely to serve specific functions within the organisation. Relationships with customers, suppliers and competitors, as well as the driving of sales, are the key issues that corporates focus on.
An agency, on the other hand, deals with a variety of clients, and creativity and flexibility are more prominent. Flow, for example, offers a multitude of services, including public relations, graphic design, web development, content development, social media development and maintenance, and media training to a variety of clients.
The opportunity to work at Flow came at just the right time in my working life. Having never worked for a communications and public relations agency before, it has enabled me to learn more about this field first-hand and to learn more about myself in the process.