WX Application Tips

The application process will give you the chance to show off your skills and motivation to gain experience in PR and communications. Keep in mind that you are not expected to have any prior experience of the PR industry - the drive to gain some is enough! 

Tip 1 - Consume the news 

The best way to prepare yourself for the application process is to consume as much news as possible. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to consume your news: whether it’s from newspapers, social media, podcasts or anything else, it’s super useful to be aware of key trends and happenings around the world. This is how you really build commercial awareness in both PR and the general communications industry. It will also help you develop your creativity and may inspire some ideas that you might have the chance to share during the application process. Alongside newspapers and social media there are a whole range of PR media outlets for you to access: some good outlets for PR campaign inspiration include PR Week, The Drum, Creative Review, Famous Campaigns and Ad Age among any others you may find yourself. 

Tip 2 - Research the role 

Even if you haven’t had professional experience it’s still important that you have a good idea of why you would like to gain exposure into the industry. There’s an abundance of information on the internet and social media from people working in PR, agencies and press that will give you an idea about what it’s like working in PR and some of the key skills needed. 

Tip 3 - Research W Communications 

When applying for any job, it is absolutely critical that you research your employer. This way, you’ll not only get a clearer understanding about whether the role is for you, but you will also find the interview process so much easier. You can learn more about W Communications from the website and by browsing through W’s social feeds on Instagram and Twitter. Keep an eye out for work, achievements, campaigns and aspects of W life that impress you. Remember to make a note of any questions you might have to ask in case you make it to interview. 

Tip 4 - Research the clients

Central to any PR agency’s work is their clients, so to really know an agency you need to have some idea about the range of clients W work with. You are not expected to have any in-depth knowledge of them or even be able to name each one. But it might be worth making a note of any clients and brands that interest you. 

Tip 5 - Think about what’s right for you

After researching the role, agency and nature of work you should be left with a good idea about whether WX is right for you. 9 months is a long time to be working for a company and it’s a significant next step in your personal development and direction in your professional career so it’s super important you have a clear idea about whether PR is a suitable step to take.

Tip 6 - Be thoughtful

Some of the most valuable contributions WX grads bring to W Communications are their ideas and creativity! You will find that the application process is keen to learn about your thoughts on a range of things from campaigns, brands and insights. Keep an eye out for campaigns and make a note of your reflections including what you liked and what you perhaps don’t like. Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts, even if you think they are unconventional or novel. 

Tip 7 - Make your skills relevant 

Though the application is not looking for any particular kind of experience, any extracurricular or work experience you may have is incredibly valuable. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never worked in the communications industry or even have had a job. You will find that current employees at W, be they WX grads or not, come from all walks of life and professional backgrounds which is part of why W are one of the best in the business! Think of ways you can link your experiences working with other people or on projects that may have helped you build transferable skills that are invaluable in PR. You may not expect it but your free time spent on the sports team or blogging; academic time spent on your dissertation and other university projects or professional history working in retail will have equipped you with invaluable PR skills. These might include teamwork, organisation and creativity among many others that you’ll have a chance to show off throughout the application process. 

Tip 8 - Show enthusiasm 

It should go without saying that the most important expectation any employer will have of you is that you want the job. One of the best ways of demonstrating this is by displaying enthusiasm, which is especially crucial if you make it to interview. Of course, it’s very easy to get swept up in the pressure of an application process; you might not enjoy them very much at all or have a tendency to come across as shy or anxious during interviews. Or, you might be conscious of displaying an aura of professionalism about yourself and be wary about coming across as too casual. These considerations do not necessarily mean that you have to sacrifice showing enthusiasm during your interview. Luckily, the WX application makes this easy by asking about your thoughts, interests and insights which will allow you to naturally display enthusiasm. 

Tip 9 - Ask questions

If at any point something is unclear do not hesitate to ask! The application should hopefully be easy to navigate but do drop the team an email if anything is unclear. If you make it further to the assessment day, remember to show up with questions in your back pocket. These might be questions about work W has done, including campaigns, launches and other projects. You will also have the opportunity to meet some of the W team for a casual chat; use this as an opportunity to ask questions about their work, PR life and their backgrounds. 

Tip 10 - Be yourself 

The application process more anything hopes to get to know you! As well as finding out more about your experiences and unique perspectives, it also seeks to discover what you’re like to work with and how well you would fit into the agency. The application process is also an opportunity for you to decide if the agency is right for you, and the only way you can decide this is by remaining yourself throughout the process. 

Tip 11 - Learn from the process

Regardless of the outcome, the application is an incredibly enlightening and enriching experience that will give you the chance to learn more about the industry and roles, the skills needed and the kind of projects that agencies like W work on. Importantly, it’s also an opportunity to learn more about yourself. Try to be as reflective as you can throughout the experience and make notes of any aspects of the application you find difficult or anything interesting you learn. Even if you get the role, you will undergo many more interviews and assessments in the future; potentially for a permanent role at W at the end of the training programme or for other roles after the traineeship or in the future. It is therefore important to have a clear idea of what your strengths and weaknesses are and work on them after the application process ends. 

We hope these tips help to demystify the application process and offer some guidance. Overall, it should be a fun experience and though every application process can cause stress do try your best to enjoy it and treat it ultimately as a learning experience. 

Best of luck from WX and W and we hope to meet you very soon!

Written By: Sara Dehvari