My Internship at Direct Line Group

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Business Management Student Robbie Griffey spent 9 weeks working as a Public Relations Intern at Direct Line Group. Here, he tells us all about his experience and why it's helped him prepare for his future career.

I arrived for my first day of a 9 week placement as a Public Relations intern at Direct Line Group excited, eager to learn, and I must admit now, a little nervous. In many ways, this has been my first real job, where I’ve been given a designated role and real responsibilities. I don’t like to place part-time jobs or work experience in the same category as what I’ve been doing at DLG, because they don’t even come close.

Direct Line Group, based in Bromley South, have provided me with an opportunity to work at one of Britain’s largest insurers and to get an insight into how they remain so successful and such a huge brand, despite having gone through, as all companies eventually do, some pretty tough periods. You get a really good idea of what this entails in a PR department, whose ears are constantly pressed to the grindstone, picking up every detail and taking something from it. Their role in keeping the brand in the minds of consumers is one that fascinates me, so I’d like to thank them for giving me that opportunity, and for how much they’ve helped all of the interns, especially by providing us with an exciting group project that we’ve had the privilege to be involved in.

Thanks to that, perhaps the most important thing I have picked up during my time here is a greater understanding of what it is I want to do. I’ve learnt how a company of this size helps to bring the best value to its employees, customers and shareholders. I’ve learnt what stands in the way of that too. But the single most important thing that I will take away is that a career in PR can be incredibly fulfilling, enjoyable and interesting.

Insurance isn’t the sexiest of industries, and insurers will be the first to admit that, but that makes it all the more interesting when it comes to finding out of to change this perception. Researching areas for stories, picking out the interesting statistics and developing press releases is a big part of what I do to ensure this, but I’ve also picked up other skills through extra activities that can be done to help this process. Communicating between departments and the importance of everyone working together in order to succeed has been incredibly important too in my day-to-day role, and as a result I have met some fantastic people and had the opportunity to make some incredible connections at the company. All of this has really helped me decide that PR may be the career for me.

All of this has really helped to boost my confidence and to realise how much value I can bring to an organisation, without sounding too bigheaded! I have had the pleasure to work alongside and learn from a variety of very talented people, and have been given tonnes of feedback of how I’ve been progressing. Since I have started, it has all been very well organised (ignoring some minor IT issues – it seems they follow us everywhere!) and as a result, I feel like I am already well prepared for the workplace, and that my employee draft stock as it were, has been boosted significantly.