Helena Wright, aged 14, writes about her work experience at the RSPB.
Work experience is something very memorable for many people. For mine, I wanted to do something that I’d never really done before, ideally to do with the media as that’s something I’d like to go into in the future.
For these reasons, I decided to go to the Fundraising and Communications department at the RSPB Lodge in Sandy, mainly working with the Consumer PR team. Throughout the week, I had many opportunities to do different types of work.
My week included inductions with: the Media team, the Campaigns team, the Events team, and of course, the PR team. It was really interesting to learn how much work goes on behind the scenes and how different the work of each team is.
One of my first tasks which I often came back to throughout the week was to do with magazines. On my first day, along with some of the PR team, I went out to buy a variety of different magazines, some more to do with wildlife than others.
I was then given the task of going through each one and making notes of the editors and authors of specific articles to do with wildlife or nature. I also made notes of any magazines which had room for more articles or sections to do with wildlife, perhaps a magazine which focused on health issues. This helped the team to find any potential magazines to approach.
It was really interesting to do this, as it put into perspective how much work and effort actually goes in behind the scenes of a seemingly simple article or advertisement.
I was instantly welcomed by everyone when I first entered the work place. The environment within the office certainly reflected this. Although everyone mostly independently works both on the computer and phone when in the office, there was always a friendly chit-chat from desk to desk.
On my second day, I was taken on a nature walk by two members of the department. It was really interesting to talk with them generally as we walked the scenic route. However, what really made the walk was when we completely by chance bumped into someone who was going to the far end of the reserve to watch some nesting hobbies.
Image credit David Knowles
He very kindly let us join him, and as well as seeing some general wildlife on the way, we were able to see the hobbies and learn about their lives. The reserve is actually so much bigger than I realised, and is such a lovely place to work around and be near to.
Another thing I did which spread over a couple of days was creating and editing some agile content. The title of this was ‘Where have all the birds gone?’ We made and edited a short video explaining why all the birds seem to disappear in peoples gardens over summer.
We started off by writing a script for the video. We then found relevant spots around the reserve to film each shot, before filming the video. I then found some music to go in the back, before helping to cut and edit the final video.
The Phoenix Forum is a kind of council for young RSPB members to get involved in the making of the teenage membership package, as well as external events. I was given the opportunity to write a press release for its 20th anniversary coming up this year. I had to pick out extracts from an article written by Youth Officer Tony Garrett and turn them into a press release celebrating the Forum. This was very interesting to do as not only was I learning about the Forum, I was learning details on how press releases are actually put together.
Overall, my experience was thoroughly enjoyable and it was very interesting to learn how everything works both in and out of the office.
Well done Helena, I wish I had had the opportunity and the knowledge to do this when I was your age.
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