Fenella: on her role as Academy Chief, collaborative learning, and what it has taught her

Published 20/12/2022 / THOUGHTS

How has your experience of running the academy been?  

It’s been fun – if a little stressful! Running the academy has been a real insight into what shapes the PR industry: not only the skills needed to be a great professional, but the openness and approachability of the people. All the presenters have been helpful and (unsurprisingly!) easy to communicate with, which has helped in ensuring the sessions run smoothly. I have learnt so much from their insights and knowledge. Any Excel sheet or Teams-invites related stress has been more than worthwhile. 

How have you found these collaborative sessions and the opportunity to learn on the job?  

I’ve found these collaborative sessions really useful. It’s been great to meet other people in the PR industry and learn from both presenters and other attendees. The sessions have also been crucial to my professional development. I’ve taken at least one applicable lesson from every session; whether it’s approaching Newsjacking in a different way, or pitching with a new focus on my mind, the sessions have been crucial in refining my approach to the everyday tasks that we do.  

Beyond the great opportunity that the Academy has provided regarding learning on the job, I’ve also found the sessions thought-provoking. I especially enjoyed a session on Data and AI in PR, which changed how I thought about the possibilities of AI: will I even have a job in ten years when robots can do it all? And the session on Spotting Crisis in the Dark Web was a fascinating glimpse into the potential PR problems of the futyre.  

On a professional level, one thing you have learnt so far that you think you will keep with you throughout your career? (i.e., this could be a people skill, or it could be a better understanding of business, or it could be that you have learnt something about yourself.)  

It is hard to pick just one thing – I have learnt so much in the few months I’ve worked at 3Thinkrs! One thing I have learnt about myself so far, that I hope to take with me throughout my career, is how much I enjoy the complex and varied range of work that we do every day. Whether I’m pitching, content writing or newsjacking, no day is ever the same or has the same challenges. I find that variety exciting. I also help to carry some of the learnings from our Managing Energy sessions, from the Academy session and our Bootcamp session at CenterParcs, with me throughout my career. Rethinking my approach to a healthy work-life balance in terms of energy and nutrition has been interesting and worthwhile – and it’s great to work for a company that understands the importance of doing so! 

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