Pathfinder Spotlight: Jack Waters
Jack Waters is a History student studying at Trinity College Dublin. Jack completed an international exchange to Barcelona last year and is currently completing his final year in Dublin.
My name is Jack Waters and I was raised in Raglan, Monmouthshire. Whilst I have a strong connection to my home, I have always believed in taking new opportunities outside of my comfort zone. The idea to push myself into brand new environments drove me to study History at Trinity College Dublin, undertake a year abroad in Barcelona and work for two different PR firms over the Summer.
One of the greatest challenges of studying in university during the Covid pandemic was building relationships within a working environment. It is a skill that I have always valued highly, but something I felt I really needed to improve before graduating. I believed that the PR world was the perfect place to develop this skill. Not only does it require building strong relationships within the company, but also with clients and journalists too.
Dipping my toe in new waters...
On my search for an internship, I was lucky enough to find Dale Lovell through the mentorship programme on the GlobalWelsh Connect platform, whose contacts and expertise within the advertising industry allowed me to get in contact with two leading PR firms, GingerMay and Velvet PR.
The contrasting size and structure of both firms greatly appealed to me. The large office at GingerMay meant that I was surrounded by lots of people who I could learn from and shadow to accelerate my learning. It is amazing what you can learn from having a casual chat during a lunch break or making a coffee! Through this experience I was able to learn the ins and outs of the PR world at a rapid pace. The specialised training I could access through the account directors and copywriting teams also accelerated my learning and gave me a strong theoretical understanding in a relatively short space of time, which I was then able to apply in practical scenarios.
In contrast, the small team and flat hierarchy structure at Velvet PR meant I was working alongside the partners and account directors on a regular basis. Every morning the whole team met and discussed ideas for opinion pieces, bylines and hooks for press releases. I was able to be actively involved in these discussions and bring my own ideas to the table. I was involved in writing and talking to journalists about new stories as well as finding new speaking opportunities for our clients. Being able to take an active role amongst the owners and directors gave me a fascinating insight into PR leadership. This allowed me to take on a level of responsibility with clients and journalists that never would have been possible within a larger firm.
One of my most important aims during these internships was to develop my writing skills outside of the academic style. I personally took the initiative at GingerMay to organise training with the copywriting team and wrote a blog on sustainable travel for their website. I also gained experience writing a number of press releases and opinion pieces. This was invaluable in helping me to get away from the essay style of writing which I have been taught throughout school and university. It certainly broadened my skill set and will be something that I can use in the future.
Finally, living and working in Tunbridge Wells and London was a fantastic personal experience for me. It has certainly broadened my perspective and accustomed me to life in other parts of the UK. The buzz of London was something I really enjoyed, and it has made me sure that I will be back there at some point in the near future. But for now, I’m back in Trinity studying hard (and enjoying!) my last year in Dublin.
My GlobalWelsh experience...
Global Welsh, and specifically my pathfinder membership, has been a huge asset for me over this last year and has put me in contact with such a wide variety of people I might never have met outside of the platform. It gave me that initial nudge you sometimes need just to get the ball rolling in the right direction. I’ll certainly remain an active member on the site and I would love to be able to help others who find themselves in the same position I was in before connecting with my fantastic mentor Dale Lovell.
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