March 30, 2022

My experience of a Ketchum London Internship

Hi I’m Emily, and I have recently completed an internship at Ketchum. I’m autistic and also have a physical disability: Hemiplegia.

I graduated in the summer of 2020, at the start of the pandemic, with a Sociology degree from the University of Surrey. Due to my disabilities, I had prioritised my education, so I had very limited work experience which hampered my attempts to secure employment. Fortunately, I heard about the charity ‘Ambitious About Autism’ and the opportunities they facilitate for people to gain work experience with companies offering supportive internships. When I saw the intern role at Ketchum, I thought it would be a great opportunity and I was also excited about the prospect of working for a prestigious, global communications consultancy.

My first role was in the brand community, working on the Booking.com Global Hub team who support Booking.com with PR and Social. I learnt so much about the world of PR and how brands are managed from behind the scenes. I conducted lots of research projects including one around sustainability and travel brand sponsorship deals, analysing media coverage and contributed to planning creative ideas for 2022. I’ve gained invaluable experience and skills through owning my own proactive newsjacking content about top destinations for Galentine’s Day, from research through to writing and deploying to local market teams to pitch. I conducted my own research into the travel industry and disability and then successfully presented my findings to the team. Disability accessibility, inclusivity and representation is a key passion of mine, so I really enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to conduct this research.

My second role was on the Research & Analytics team. I have loved getting to see another side of the agency’s work and conducting research for various clients across Ketchum’s roster, with a weekly Trends In Travel newsletter a particular highlight. It was amazing to get some real-life experience of working in research and analytics and put into practice some of what I learnt on my Sociology degree. I have loved the variety of the work, from tracking Olympic coverage for Samsung, to researching travel trends for Booking.com and consumer opinions about anti-dandruff shampoo for H&S. I’ve really appreciated the opportunity to work across a variety of clients and the chance to learn about the range of analytical tools and techniques available.

I’ve greatly appreciated the flexible, hybrid nature of working at Ketchum. I have absolutely loved coming into London, experiencing first-hand office dynamics and I’ve learnt so much from working alongside so many amazing colleagues. However, my disabilities mean I tire more readily so the days working from home also enabled me to recharge my batteries and to always give of my best whilst not been over strained by the commute.

Through this role, I have become more confident and developed my independence. The supported nature of the internship was invaluable as was having a buddy, alongside such encouraging and supportive colleagues. Everyone I met were really welcoming, encouraging and supportive.

I love the ethos and the mission statement of ‘doing work that matters’ behind Ketchum. The fact that Ketchum London is ‘Doing Work That Matters’ is really important to me as I am particularly interested in having a career where I can make a difference and with Ketchum’s mission, I feel that I can make that a possibility.

The inclusivity and diversity that Ketchum London promotes is amazing, and the recognition of their great work, highlighted by the many awards for Inclusion and Diversity is brilliant. Their participation in the ‘Ambitious about Autism’ internship scheme is fantastic. It’s so encouraging to work for a company that recognises and values diversity and inclusion.

I was particularly interested to learn about the work of Ketchum’s Diversity and Inclusion Council which seeks to sustain and support a diverse and inclusive culture at Ketchum where employees feel encouraged and heard. The Council participates with internal and external initiatives and speaker opportunities on hot-button topics ranging from how to improve diversity and inclusion practices to support trans and non-binary staff in PR, to rewiring systemic culture change for inclusion.

I’m really fortunate to have had such a valuable and amazing experience of working at Ketchum. Overall, it has been a brilliant learning opportunity. I’m delighted and very excited to now have been offered a permanent position as an Account Coordinator in the Research and Analytics team. Whilst I have learnt so much already, I’m really looking forward to learning even more. Internships are a great opportunity to try out a role and gain experience at the same time and can be the stepping-stone to the start of a career as I am fortunate to have found.

Written by  Emily Luck, Account Coordinator, Research and Analytics