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An Intern's View into Public Relations

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An Intern's View into Public Relations

What's taught on the textbooks may not always reflect actual real-world environments as Bachelor of Business (Marketing and International Business) graduate Bui Phuong Khanh finds out.

What are you up to right now?
I've completed my internship. I plan to look for a full time job to settle down and pursue my career. I know what I desire and where I want to start from, and it's most likely to be in Singapore!

Tell us about your internship and how you went about looking for one
My job search strategy was simple, I started to search for internship opportunities on career websites and other platforms. Then I spent a day to send out my CV to the internship positions I was interested in.

Before you know it, I became an intern at a marketing agency. It’s a new agency in the industry so they needed fresh graduates to work with them in order to develop the business. Fresh graduates also get to gain some real world experience.

As a communications intern, my tasks  revolved  around  research and writing (which is just a part of the many roles of a full time worker!). Sometimes, I have to compile a coverage report to summarise all the events in the month as well.

How has the experience been for you so far?
I got the opportunity to work with the locals, and though I'm the only foreigner in the company, the seniors welcomed me. They took care of me and showed me the ropes. I find them great company as they also guide me on issues beyond work.

If you could highlight one memorable encounter/experience, what would it be?
We have a weekly meeting to share about the challenges we encountered during the week and how we managed to get them resolved. Once, (since I'm new) my colleagues posed a lot of questions and one of the  them  was  “what does Public Relations (PR) mean to you”, I was so ready and confident to respond with all the theories I've learnt from the textbooks but I felt the theories were not reflective of real-world scenarios now that I'm in PR.

What would be some of the lessons learned or challenges faced?
There are many challenges and we should always find ways to overcome them. One of the challenges is meeting deadlines. I need to commit to producing a write up within 2 hours of assignment for submission, so I just  try  my  best and prioritise my research and produce within the timeframe.

How do you feel studying at JCU Singapore has helped you?
JCU has definitely helped me a lot in my studies. I also sought help from Mr. Zeb Lim from the Career Advisory Centre and he has helped me with the editing and review of my CV. He was really enthusiastic in helping me and I appreciate his advice.

What's next for you?
I’m trying to find a full time position. I would like to work in a flexible environment with friendly and cheerful people. In the future, I might apply to work in a marketing company, or a marketing position/customer service position in an educational institute as I enjoy interacting with people.

Any career advice?
The workforce environment is tough and it becomes more challenging. It’s hard to find a job you love, but you should start with the small things because it is with these smalls steps which pave the way for you to reach to places you desire. I am still in  my  early  stages of pursuing my career so I might not have any conclusive advice. But as a student, try not to give up easily or stay in your comfort zone, you should persevere in the things you pursue.


Updates
I have found a job with Dentsu Media Vietnam, a well known agency in Japan and worldwide. I'm the Supervisor of the Sports Business Division, which is responsible for sponsorship packages from major clients and we work mainly in the sports industry in Vietnam.

Currently, we are working with VFF (Vietnam Football Federation) and its sub-organisation – VPF (Vietnam Professional Football) to deliver the sponsorship package to them.


Bui Phuong Khanh (right) with her manager at a football match event in Hanoi

Part of the role requires us to be present at every football match which we are responsible for, to ensure that sponsorship related subjects are designed and arranged accordingly.  The nature of the job interests me as the environment is open and offers flexible  hours. Overall,  I find myself quite a good fit for this position as well as the industry.