By Andree Latibeaudiere, Account Director, Hoffman Europe
We value our relationship with the University of Oregon.
More than hire U of O grads, we strive to do our part to give students a window into a PR career as well as working at a consultancy. This can take various forms. We participated in portfolio reviews for capstone course students this past Spring. As a second example, when Kelli Mathews put out the call for working professionals to attend a career-day event called “Futureville,” Quinn, Kimmy, Kyra, Emily and Sophia made the trek to Eugene.
And soon we’ll be hosting a contingent of U of O students traveling to London.
We are looking forward to it!
Every good PR agency starts with great people. Impactful results start with the right stories, but driven, creative, ambitious and thoughtful storytellers are key to bringing them to life. Finding — and keeping — these stars can be difficult. In some cases, they turn up in your inbox in a fortuitous twist of fate. Other times they’re the needle in a haystack of not-quite-right CVs or on the cusp of starting their careers but lacking guidance as to which way to go.
For me, the last pool of candidates is the most exciting as they allow me to indulge in the nostalgia of my final year at university. As a plucky graduate. I was just about to embark on my first job as an adult, but had no clue as to what to expect, how to act or how to make the best impression. Like many of us, there were definitely a few things that I wish I knew before accepting my first job offer.
When we received the news that Courtney Hunt Munther, Senior Instructor, Public Relations, and Autumn Shafer, Assistant Professor, at the University of Oregon were bringing a contingent of students to London, we knew we had to make their visit special. The Hoffman Agency has forged a long relationship with the University of Oregon with many graduates starting their careers with our U.S. colleagues.
This visit provides us with the opportunity to hear directly from the newest wave of storytellers entering the workforce — what they’re looking for, the type of support that will resonate and what we need to do as established professionals to meet their needs. These insights will enable us to create an environment that nurtures and supports talent during their first years of agency life and beyond.
After we locked in the session taking place on the 6th July, the next step was to design an agenda that would provide the right value. Feedback from the 22 advertising and PR students coming to Hoffman London HQ revealed that they’re keen to hear about how best to work with multiple European markets, key learnings from the last two years and advice for starting a new career or job.
The students will be hearing from different Hoffman team members, and we’ll all get involved in an interactive task to allow the students to flex their creative and critical thinking muscles. We thought it’d be important to include a range of perspectives, so we will be looking to arrange an external speaker. One of our London-based clients may pop in to share their experience of working with an agency and best practices, in case some of the students want to explore in-house roles.
Summers in London are the best in the world (in my unbiased opinion), so we’ll head to a local pub after the session for further networking, questions over pints and snacks and discussions about what it’s really like to work in a central London PR agency.
Here’s a sneak peek of the agenda:
• Meet and greet/introduction to the team
• Part 1: Who is Hoffman Europe?
— About us
— Multi-market work that we’re proud of
• Ice breaker
• Part 2: Task (TBC)
• Part 3: Presentation of task and discussion
• Part 4: Setting you up for success
— Tips for approaching your first role and best practice
— How to stand out in PR and advertising (with clients and colleagues) — Hammers vs. Swiss Army Knives
• Part 5: General Q&A — 20mins
• End of session/ final thoughts (before heading to the social)
Fortunately, this activity won’t be limited to the day, and we’ll be capturing the highlights on our social media channels and engaging with the students’ posts after the event. We’ll draft a blog detailing our experience for the Hoffman website, so stay tuned for that! The whole team is excited to welcome the University of Oregon into our offices for what will be a memorable event.
Oh, one more thing. The photo you see above captures my own graduation from the University of Glasgow with a BVMS in Veterinary Medicine — a story for another time.