This is a long overdue blog post all about one of the best experiences I have had: my placement year with PlayStation UK. During my second year of university, I decided that I wanted to do a placement year. A year in industry, a year of experience and a year to really get down and dirty in the world of PR! An abundance of applications, endless phone interviews and a long list of assessment days –like many other students my search for the ‘perfect’ placement started off in October 2014.
So I applied. It was not a requirement of my course to undertake a placement year. It was my choice… Something that many of my peers couldn’t understand. Why would you want to add another year to your degree course? Why would you want to work for not ‘a lot’ of money?
I can tell you now that taking a placement year was the best choice for me.
In March 2015, I was offered a placement position as the PR Assistant for Sony Interactive Entertainment (PlayStation UK). I remember the excitement and fear (have I done the right thing?) when I was told the news over the phone.
My time at Sony PlayStation was spent with the PlayStation UK team, situated in Soho, London, just round the corner from Oxford Street (shopping, foodie and drinking central!)
Having the chance to work for such a well-known and respected company was amazing and things worked out better than I ever imagined! The office, the PR team, the marketing team, sales, finance, everyone and everything was wonderful, from start to finish. There was such a positive atmosphere across every department and I enjoyed building really strong working relationships with so many of my colleagues. Many of whom have now become good friends, people I really care about and will continue to talk to and meet up with for years to come – I’m sure!
The role of PR assistant came with an array of responsibilities, some of which seemed quite daunting at first but with the help and mentoring of colleagues soon became something I took in my stride. As well as my day to day responsibilities, I had the opportunity to become involved in some really exciting projects, like the launching of the new PlayStation Virtual Reality (aka. PSVR). I was also fortunate enough to have had days away from the office at various agencies and studios, as well as attending prestigious gaming events (like Paris Games Week – IN PARIS!) and not to forget the gaming awards days/evenings!
There I am – FROW at EGX last September
Getting hands on, in-industry experience, has truly helped me to shape the path that I want to take when I graduate. Before placement, I didn’t have a clear idea of whether I wanted to work agency side or in-house, I didn’t really understand the various differing roles found within a multinational organisation either; however, I now know where I want to go, I know which career path I want to follow. A year spent working with some of the best professionals in the industry has taught me so much. (Shout out to the PlayStation UK team! You know who you are! All of you!)
To sum-it-up, my year out of university has proved invaluable to me. The experience of doing real work and the opportunities that afforded me not only looks good on a CV it also had major input on my final year job search.
I have now been fortunate enough to be offered the role of Events Assistant for the Business School Faculty at my university. A part-time role of 20 hours per week which fits nicely around my studies… And six weeks in, I am loving my new role! Not an international organisation like PlayStation, but working for, and in, my place of education certainly has its benefits. This new position suits me immensely and I am learning so much. But alongside studies, and I won’t lie here, it has been difficult getting back in to the swing of things. The final year of University is and will continue to be a difficult one. I admit it. Hands up. I seem to have forgotten how to Harvard Reference and how to use the University portal and how to get a book out from the University library and even how to start an assignment! Ahhh, the joys of study! It will be over before I know it though, and that is a scary thought…