Blog: An unforgettable experience at ELFT in the Comms department
The On The Level PR team are happy to host work placements to give people considering a career in communications the chance to spend time with us, see what goes on behind the scenes and get some hands-on experience. Seventeen year old Hermione spent three days with us in April in the East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) office. Despite us temporarily ‘losing’ her and giving her rather a lot to do, she appears to have loved every minute.
I am a language student doing my A levels at Hills Road 6th Form College in Cambridge. I would like to study journalism so applied to do some work experience with the communications team at East London NHS Foundation Trust. They were three days that I will truly never forget.
From the moment I walked into the office, the team made me feel really welcomed and immediately got me involved in the projects that they were doing. They put me right to work, showing me what the job entailed, getting me to proofread things, such as a patient leaflet about Parkinson’s disease, and writing a blog to spread awareness of the new postpartum/post-natal depression therapy for individuals who have experienced traumatic births. They even offered one-to-one sessions with me to explain what each of their roles were in the trust.
On day 2, I also had a little unplanned adventure, as I was supposed to meet Sean at the Westfield vaccination centre, so I took a trip to Shepherds Bush instead of Stratford. Who knew there were two Westfields? I can now understand how the BBC got confused.
The team also let me join various meetings including the ‘Dying Matters Awareness Week’ meeting, where I learnt the importance of helping those even in their last moments and how that can positively effect theirs and their families lives. I attended a People Participation meeting where we got to hear how the input of service users has helped to improve services. I particularly enjoyed the whole department meeting where I listened in to how they have developed the new ELFT intranet. And I got to learn how to use new software, like ‘Canva’, where I made some posters for a charity campaign. I also got to us a dot-digital email messaging system where I created a template for an email campaign for the Digital People Participation Community.
Despite my voyage to west London, everything turned out great in the end and it was an experience that I would happily relive. It helped me understand what is involved if a career in communications is an option for me.
I would like to say a thank you to everyone I got to speak to and meet while I was there, but especially to Janet, who was a great mentor who guided me through the whole experience and made me feel like I had someone to rely on the whole way through. And to Sean who helped me get passed my detour on the second day and helped me work through the third. Also to Nina, Sara and Francesca, who spoke to me about my options in life, making my future a little more clearer to me. And of course to the boss Steve, who gave me this amazing, enriching opportunity.
If you would be interested in a short placement or a day with the OTLpr Communications team, get in touch.