This week for my Interview Series, we have Luisa Regattieri, Account Coordinator at Espresso Communications, discussing why she chose PR, her various internship experiences and job hunting tips for graduates out there.
I am an Account Coordinator at Espresso Communications. I am responsible for monitoring coverage for clients, researching, planning and assisting my team to ensure we provide our clients with the best service. Espresso has been a great place to kick start full time work in the PR industry, as the role is flexible in the sense that as I gain more experience, I am exposed to greater responsibilities.
I work with a range of clients, predominantly in the consumer and enterprise technology sector. However, as each client is different I am also working across other verticals such as advertising, retail and business.
Espresso’s clients range from start-ups to well known and trusted companies in their respective industries. As such, the type of consulting I am required to offer is unique to each client, allowing me to expand my skills and gain a wider array of experience.
2. Before Espresso, you interned at Guide Dogs NSW/ACT and Hotwire – what was that like? I’d imagine they were quite different experiences?
They were definitely two very different experiences, and essentially that is why I chose each of them. Hotwire was my first internship and a great window into the world of PR. It gave me a better understanding of what gets done day in, day out, in an agency setting. Working in an agency gave me the opportunity to work in teams to achieve goals for each client, and also exposed me to a lot of very savvy minds, who have shaped the way I approach PR.
My internship at the Guide Dogs was completely different. Firstly, it was in-house. The opportunity allowed me to understand how PR is integrated under the marketing umbrella of a bigger organisation. I learnt that unlike an agency, where you are required to juggle multiple clients, with an in house role you are only required to work on one client. Whilst this can appear somewhat easier, my experience proved that an in house PR person’s role is often stretched further to encompass aspects of marketing and event planning, which can lead to longer hours.
3. What do you think made you choose PR as a career path?
After a year studying a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Sydney, I knew I wanted to study something more vocationally focused. I have always been interested in communication, having complete a TAFE course in Media, in Year 11 as part of my Preliminary Higher School Certificate. When exploring my study options, the Public Communications degree at UTS was of most interest to me, so I enrolled in the Public Relations stream and haven’t looked back!
4. What was your job hunt like?
Unlike most, it was actually relatively painless. Having just returned home from a few months abroad I didn’t place too much importance on getting a job straight away. I think this is what made the process a lot less stressful. Espresso seemed like a great fit because of my experience with Hotwire, and when I met the team I knew it was the kind of agency I wanted to work at. I must admit I was very lucky!
In terms of the process for applying, I used websites such as SEEK and Pedestrian.TV to apply for jobs, summiting a tailored cover note and CV, for each job I was interested in. As Espresso was one of the first to respond, I did not need to use other websites. However, I would highly recommend setting up a LinkedIn account and keeping in contact with anyone you have met from internships or work experience. LinkedIn also allows you to stay abreast of trending topics and issues in your industry.
5. That jump from studying to working can be quite jarring. But that jump from part-time work to full-time at a PR agency is even more intense. How did you find your first week?
Before starting work full time, I returned just a few weeks earlier from four months overseas, so adjusting to my first week was very intense. I would go as far as to say even the first month. Getting into a work routine was difficult, especially since my body was more accustomed to a university lifestyle of sleeping until midday. However, once you get used to the working hours, and learn to juggle multiple tasks on the go, it becomes easier. In the PR industry, I have also learnt there is no such thing as a typical day – sometimes you just have to learn to go with the flow.
6. For the graduates out there looking to get their foot in the door, what would be your advice to them?
My advice would definitely be to work hard and be proactive. Looking back on my internships, although I had to juggle university, casual work and an internship, it was definitely worth it. At the time it can seem a little inconvenient, but it was my experience that landed me the job at Espresso. It has also helped me to feel my confident in my current role.
***To get in touch with Luisa, you can check out her LinkedIn profile***