|Language and Linguistic Science|
|German and Linguistics|
|Internal Communication Specialist|
|Browning York Ltd|
|Advertising, marketing and PR / Charity and voluntary sector / Education|
|Small business (0-49 employees)|
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A day in the life of a Internal Communication Specialist in the United Kingdom
What I do
Internal communication is about communicating with the staff (and volunteers) of an organisation, to ensure that everyone is working together as effectively as possible. My role involves working with these organisations to plan and deliver these communications. So, for example, one project involved working with a university that need their staff to deliver a particular type of module for their students. My role was about identifying the communication that was required to let staff know what was needed and motivate them to offer these modules. As well as planning, I also write a lot of the communications that appear online, in emails, in magazines and newsletters, as well as designing presentations and being involved in video productions. I regularly meet with a whole variety of colleagues to get to know them and their motivations, to understand their world and what they need from communications. I also regularly carry out internal communications audits, helping organisations to find out what is working and what isn't.
What inspired me
I love making a difference to organisations that make a difference in the world. Running my own business gives me the flexibility to do the job I love and spend time with my family and friends.
Skills I use and how I developed them
My job is all about language and communication, so having a Language and Linguistics degree definitely helped me develop key skills such as writing and communicating verbally with other people. I learnt technical skills on the job, such as how to use a content management system to maintain an intranet and how to produce a magazine.
What I like most
I enjoy the variety and getting to know so many different people. I also love writing.
What I like least
I struggle with diary management - fitting everyone and everything in can be a challenge!
My career goals when I graduated
I'm not sure that I had any really. I just wanted to do something interesting and that paid me some money (although not necessarily a huge amount). When I graduated I hadn't even heard about 'internal communication' so if I had had goals they wouldn't have got me to where I am now!
My career history
My first job after graduation was an admin role in a large financial company, Prudential. This gave me a chance to see the range of roles that exist in a large company and identify what I really wanted to do. I was able to transfer from an admin role to the internal communications team after a couple of years and stayed there for a few more years learning about all aspects of internal communications. I then moved to Cancer Research UK, as a more specialist IC advisor, and stayed there for 7 years until I was made redundant. I am now running my own business, working with charities, universities and other not for profits helping them plan and deliver their staff and volunteer communications.
Where I hope to be in 5 years
Who knows? As long as I am still loving what I do and working with interesting people and organisations, that's what is important to me.
My advice to students considering work
Look for ways to really demonstrate the skills you have gained at university, both whilst studying and in your free time. Content of your degree might be useful, but transferable skills are always needed, whatever you do. Being specific is helpful - just saying 'I have communication skills' doesn't tell an employer much, but if you can say 'I had to put together a presentation, identify what my audience needed to know and the best way to communicate it to them', that is much more powerful in demonstrating that you really understand what effective communication skills are.
If you like the look of Sarah’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Sarah a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Sarah to be your mentor.