I’ve had a fantastic six months interning with the Redwood team. From researching local authorities, to drafting press releases or attending conferences, no two days have been the same. One of the reasons the last six months have flown by is because every day I’ve learnt something new.

Narrowing down the top three things I’ve learnt was difficult, but I’ve given it my best shot!

  1. The importance of housing in politics

I’ve always had an interest in politics, but housing policy was an issue in my periphery. Redwood has taught me what an intrinsic political issue it is, both at the local and national level. Every parish, ward, district, or borough council has an individual set of concerns and opinions when it comes to housing and the Public Affairs team works hard to understand how each individual context may impact housing policy and planning decisions. Over the last six months, I have gone from having little knowledge on government housing policy to it being another issue for me to get on my soap box about (apologises to my friends who now have to listen to my rants)!

  1. Insight into public relations

The last six months have given me a real insight into the role the media plays in Public Relations. Without giving away too many industry secrets, it has been fascinating to see how my colleagues cultivate relationships with journalists (or “journos” as they say). From local papers to the big-name property publications, the PR team is constantly working to maintain positive relations with the “journos”. Slick strategic plans are written months in advance, which, when combined with an engaging press release, can help achieve the coverage clients desire as part of their overarching strategy. After writing my first press release, it was a huge thrill to see my work in a national publication for the first time.

  1. The world of work

Starting a new job is always nerve wracking but starting a new job in a sector where I had little experience – proud History grad here! – was particularly daunting. Once I’d practised my email etiquette and got to grips with the coffee machine, I began to feel a lot more relaxed. I’m lucky that the Redwood environment is so sociable. Thrifty Thursday lunches and the Friday quiz encouraged me to chat to my new colleagues about non-work-related issues (politics, showbiz, or everyone’s favourite play (I recently saw A Streetcar Named Desire and Wicked, which were both fantastic in their own way!)). Training sessions, where team members are given the opportunity to share knowledge and discuss the wider industry, educated me on issues in my new sector. It is great to learn that the team works hard, but time for fun is always made!

As I move on to pastures new, I know that the lessons I have learnt at Redwood are ones I will carry with me for the rest of my career.