When are people introduced to the world of internal communication? At school? When they join a company? How do they start their IC career?
Sarah Kyle (pictured) is 19 years old and currently in her second year at the University of Southampton in the UK, reading BA English. Here she writes for my blog to share insights into discovering the profession. Sarah is keen to expand her network and I invited her to write a guest article to highlight what she’s learnt so far and how you can help her.
Over to you Sarah…
Looking for the first rung on the IC ladder
I was properly introduced to the world of internal communication in January and have since set my sights on it as my dream career.
Until recently, I had no idea what profession I wanted to enter after university. A strong academic since secondary school, and a fiercely competitive sibling, I succeeded in my short-term plan: achieving the AAB A-level requirements to pursue my interest in English Literature at university.
However, I had no career plan and on approaching the half-way mark of my three-year course, this not only generated mild panic for myself but for my parents!
How I got the IC ‘bug’
Whilst at home after Christmas, my dad generously invited me to meet a collection of people in different areas of internal and external communications at his workplace.
This is where I met Katie Hadgraft, who had previously worked with Rachel Miller (Katie and I were both at Tube Lines at the same time – Rachel). Katie’s passion for IC was completely infectious. The more Katie told me about her role, the more I realised IC had always been around me and central to my academic life.
I could not imagine my school or my university functioning, for example, without the intranet or even social media as a form of communication to students.
Katie introduced me to organisations like the Institute of Internal Communication (IoIC) and Melcrum, and perhaps most importantly All Things IC – the ultimate IC handbook for outsiders to the industry like myself. Katie helped to get my foot in the door at Sequel Group @sequel_group internal communication agency in London, securing a two-week internship this summer.
I am incredibly excited about this opportunity since the digital aspect of internal communication fascinates me, particularly new apps or interactive ways of engaging with people. However, I know that even when I graduate in 2015, I will be competing with graduates that hold a degree in IC.
This is why I am so keen to make more contacts in the industry, and gain as much experience as I can this summer in order to develop my knowledge and understanding of internal communication.
I intend to look into further qualifications after graduating, with hopes of any experts reading this to voice their opinions on those they believe to be the most relevant to employers.
(If you have any advice for Sarah do please feel free to comment below or contact her – Rachel).
The role of IC
Internal communication appeals to me because it combines my passion for communication in person and on all platforms of social media.
It challenges the tone and delivery of the written word, and the balance between formal and informal communication. Internal communication creates an essential harmony within a business that I believe is so often wrongly overlooked and taken for granted. I certainly took the intranet and newsletters for granted at school!
What do you want to do next Sarah?
I want to make the most of the communication skills I have learnt, and am still learning, from my degree and extra-curricular activities as a writer for Soton Tab (Southampton’s most popular student publication), in order to learn about internal communication in a business environment.
Never before have I been so certain about a career I want to pursue.
As a beginner in this industry, I would be incredibly grateful for any help or advice from experts in the field, whether in regards to future IC qualifications that I should research, or work placement opportunities this summer in order to gain a greater understanding of internal communication and its significance to the workplace.
Post author: Sarah Kyle.
Thank you Sarah. What advice and guidance do you have for her? Can you help? Are you able to offer Sarah a work placement opportunity in the UK over the next few months? If so, you can contact her via LinkedIn.
Further reading on my blog
- If you’re interested in reading more about starting out, see my Welcome to the world of internal communication article.
- Want to know the reality of working in IC? Read my article on The worst task in IC
- Baffled by the jargon and acronyms that exist in internal comms? I have the page for you – my Glossary of internal communication.
Thanks as ever for stopping by,
Update: Thank you to everyone who has got in touch and offered to have a chat with Sarah.
— Chuck Gose (@chuckgose) April 16, 2014
— Padraic (@padraic_knox) April 16, 2014
— Nada Enan (@NadaEnMo) April 16, 2014