Placement Year – Keyleigh Packer – Blackpool Council

My placement journey with Blackpool Council has been a real rollercoaster ride, and at times that has been quite literal too! It’s been an amazing year, with many unexpected twists and turns along the way, which have made my role as their Student Communications Assistant; enlightening, energising, engaging and to put it simply – so much fun.

Moving to Blackpool, far away from my family and friends, was at first quite daunting, and last summer as the start of my new job fast approached I was uber busy; tasked with finding accommodation, etc in preparation. But from day one at work with Blackpool Council, I instantly felt welcomed and quickly settled into my role. The team are all really supportive, friendly and enjoy a good laugh too, which aided my smooth integration into the team. The staff, at all levels, have a wide range of backgrounds, experience, and expertise in marketing and communications, and their guidance and assistance have offered me a fantastic learning and development opportunity.

From the outset, the amazing opportunities I have had with Blackpool Council began, and within three weeks of the start of my placement I attended the biggest event of the year for Blackpool; the Illuminations Switch On. I found myself assisting with the media and press backstage at this high-profile event for the region; putting me up close to the big-name stars Ella Eyre and HRVY! From that point onwards the opportunities just kept coming…

To be truly able to say “I have had so many amazing experiences that there’s too many to list” is the quickest way, to sum up, the impressive list of things I’ve been given the opportunity to do in my work role during my year’s placement. But here are just a few:

  • I have regularly written the content for the YourBlackpool – a paper newsletter that goes out to 70,000 residents and businesses in Blackpool and their eNewsletters
  • I ran the council’s social media channels; creating engaging content such as: photo competitions, community appreciation, and council campaigns
  • I’ve attended and written numerous show reviews on behalf of VisitBlackpool for a range of plays and musicals performed within the district
  • I assisted in compiling and writing the illuminations press pack and attending the press launch for the event
  • In my official capacity, I attended this season’s launch at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, supported the VisitBlackpool team and rode the latest thrill ride; The Icon

Now, at the end of my placement, I look back fondly on how much I have achieved this past year. Not only have I learned and developed a range of new skills which I will take forward into both my final year of university and future careers, but also how much I have developed personally.

This placement has given me a broader understanding of how my career path can develop and evolve after graduating, along with a true insight into the wide and diverse world of work. My inner and outer confidence has grown and my self-doubt waned, which is a massive personal development. I now deal with ease simple task, such as being able to answer phone calls and sending emails with quickly and efficiently – things that previously I would have hugely over thought.  On a deeper level, I am no longer constantly questioning myself and have faith in my own decisions, even if that is simply knowing that it’s ok to ask for help when you need it.

Blackpool Council has been a placement like no other; I feel I would be very lucky to end up in such a fun and diverse role as this again in the future. My time with the Council has helped me identify the importance of working with a good team who have a wide range skills and personalities, and that being able to relax and enjoy my role is of utmost importance.

Overall, my placement has been an unforgettable experience and one I will reflect back upon with praise and thanks in the future.