The subject of this week’s volunteer focus is David Sheehan, our recently acquired Media and Communications Officer, and pedlar of bad puns.
Having worked in finance for over ten years, making the move to Camara was a big step. I studied business in college, mainly because I thought ‘well I’ll definitely be able to get a job when I finish’. Journalism was my first choice but unfortunately the points were just out of my reach, so business it was. Since leaving college I worked as a fund accountant for various companies in Dublin and London. While I couldn’t say I loved the job, I certainly didn’t hate it and made some really good friends along the way, but as time went on, I realised that it wasn’t for me and I needed to move on.
With that in mind, I started a post-graduate course in Public Relations 2 years ago. I finished that in February and started to think about leaving my job in finance to work in a more suitable role. Over the years I have done a lot of part-time and weekend work in the media – mainly on sport. I covered local GAA and League of Ireland games, contributed articles to blogs and also did a bit of radio producing and presenting with my local station LMFM Radio in Drogheda. All of this was with a view to adding to my CV.
I left my job in May, and took some time to look around for suitable opportunities in media/PR. It proved to be difficult to get into that area without any experience, and after some time looking around, a friend pointed me in the direction of Camara, who had a six-month Media and Communications officer internship coming up. While many internships in PR can revolve around doing very menial tasks, the role at Camara is very hands-on. From day one I was given projects to work on which were solely my responsibility. With such a small number of employees in the office, everyone really has to take ownership of their own jobs, so it is a great opportunity to prove myself in a new role and develop new skills.
The role covers a wide range of activities. Some of my duties include writing blogs, issuing press releases, planning social media campaigns, updating the various social media channels, planning the communications output for the week ahead as well as dealing with any ad-hoc requests. I’ve even tried my hand at photography, taking profile pictures for the new website which will launch soon. Though my airbrushing skills are non-existent, so some members of staff might not be happy with the results!
Things are always pretty hectic, but they will be even busier for the next couple of weeks, as Camara has been chosen to speak at the 2014 Web Summit. This represents a huge opportunity for us to engage with tech professionals and get the message of Camara out to a wider audience – an audience which is perfectly positioned to help us achieve our goals. Given the opportunity, it goes without saying that the media aspect of this will be crucial. So the next couple of weeks will be extremely busy with planning and executing the media strategy around the Web Summit, but it is a great chance to me to learn and be involved in something really exciting. I’m only about six weeks into my internship but have already had the opportunity to do so much, something that will only continue over the coming months.
Right, I better get back to work, slán!