10 things they don’t tell you at school

Moving to a new job can be daunting, especially if you’ve only really studied before and not spent any significant amount of time in a professional environment.

For myself and fellow interns at Fleishman-Hillard this year the transition from academic to professional life has been massive.  To help you understand just where we are coming from I decided to write a last post with ten things that they didn’t tell us at school. ( The longer and less sanitized version produced the funniest email chain of the year and maybe made available if drinks are in the offing.)

  1. There is no such thing as 9-5. If you miss the start of your lecture at 9 the doors will close, In the office nobody minds what time you arrive. The spirit of professionalism is such that your dedication is assumed and you will be trusted from the beginning to work hard and cheerfully (and for those really late evenings the wii is on hand).
  2. You can be paid to travel. And the quality of hotel is much better than your average hostel.
  3. Royal weddings will be celebrated, as will all public holidays, cake competitions and birthdays.
  4. Language learning is a must. But I’m not talking about French or German- no I mean the massive list of acronyms unique to every sector that only the initiated can follow
  5. Stereotypes, whilst somewhat un-PC can be based in truth. With an office of 65 and many many nationalities you soon realise there is a reason why some are known for their efficiency and others their laid back lifestyle and woebetide you if you get this the wrong way round.
  6. Casual Friday. The best kept industry secret, closely followed by office nights out. Not only is socialising with your colleagues/bosses encouraged but you may be required as band groupies.
  7. Networking. A brilliant and beautiful concept. Taking people out for lunch (and maybe sharing some wine) is expected, and paid for. Particularly when clients come to town. And did I mention evening receptions…?
  8. Reading blogs and following Twitter is no longer counted as timewasting but a valuable part of being a super up to date on current affairs.
  9. No-one will understand what you do, learn quickly who really wants to know and who will be satisfied with ‘communications’ in order to avoid a bored audience as you explain the finite details of intricate political legislation.
  10. And somewhere along the road ‘they’,  becomes we. Personally the last one took me back the most. When people first asked what I was doing for my placement year I happily told them about Fleishman and what they were up to in the Brussels bubble but gradually over the last ten months a change has occurred and suddenly I find myself talking about what we were doing, our latest project and how we are making a difference in political communications.

After seeing first-hand how hard it is to persuade employers to take that first leap of faith with new graduates I am even more grateful for the opportunities, encouragement and investment in our training that has been consistently on offer throughout this year.

Folks you will be missed,