My name is Lerato Tsotetsi, I am a 23 year old confident young woman. I recently graduated from the University of Johannesburg (10 June 2016); I studied a BA Degree in Strategic Marketing Communications and completed my studies in 2015. I am passionate about branding, marketing, communications and all things health, fitness and nutrition. I love encountering new, challenging experiences and exceeding my own expectations. I am a self-motivated individual who is confident and takes pride in their work. I am very enthusiastic and optimistic towards life and always eager to learn. I understand and value the importance of being innovative and competent in order to grow within the industry. I have a rich background of morals, ethics and Christian beliefs that are rooted in my African culture. I am old fashioned and I love it!
In my spare time I love going to the gym; aerobic, cross training and spinning classes are amongst my favourites. I love the team effort that comes with being in the classes and being able to encourage others to keep going. I also love hiking and walking my dogs, it gives me a calming and therapeutic perspective of the world. I love nature and I’m generally a very easy- going person.
My journey at Meropa
First week (3 June 2016)
Thinking back on my first day…
There I was dressed in one of my best corporate outfits, super excited and slightly nervous about how my first day will go. At this point I am most worried about the kind of impression I am going to make on my colleagues, especially the middle management and my peers (totally not too worried about everyone else in between). I need to impress the authority and make them see my dedication and enthusiasm. I want nothing more than to look teachable and easy- going. Well with my peers, they need to see me as competent and hardworking. It is not necessary for them to perceive me as their competition but they definitely need to see me as their equal. As hard as it was to give away that impression but the outfit gave me the platform to represent myself as such.
I joined Meropa Communications on the 1st of June 2016 and oh my, it has been such a pleasant experience thus far! The people here are genuinely amazing and always eager to help. Being here has given me a totally fresh perspective of what it is to be an intern. I always thought (based on opinions I have gathered from other people’s experiences) that being an intern meant being treated with minimal respect (compared to other employees), or being given little to no acknowledgement. I have experienced the direct opposite so far.
Second Week (10 June 2016)
The recruitment and induction process is done and dusted and now I need to live up to all the promises I made all in the name of impressing the interviewees (the head of HR and the team director who heads the public sector division). I said I can deliver and now it is time to put all of that into practise. I did not have much work to do this week and last week, I spent both weeks going through saved documents and familiarising myself with the company and the corporate culture. The past 2 weeks have enabled me to adjust to being in the working environment without pressure to live up to any expectations.
Third Week (17 June 2016)
I now have been with Meropa for 3 weeks, I love it here and I am beginning to learn so much more than I thought I would in such a short space of time. I advanced from doing small portions of unchallenging admin work to looking at strategies and making contributions as to how they can be improved. I am beginning to feel like a part of the team though I still struggle with minor things here and there.
Fourth week (24 June 2016)
I have almost survived a full month of work and I am impressed with myself, although challenging, the working environment is not as awful as I was expecting it to be. However, being a Meropian comes with a heightened level of expectation. Seeing how dedicated everyone is to their work (from encounters we have in meetings and brainstorming sessions) has encouraged me to reach deep within myself and bring my A-game with every day. My level of competence has increased and my focus along with my goals and intentions have been shifted. I feel like a whole new person has been brought to life from my experience thus far and I love feeling like this.
When I joined Meropa my only focus was on being here for the term of my internship, acquiring the necessary experience and hopefully getting myself a stable job elsewhere soon after. But my reality is not the same anymore, my perspective is now nourished. I am now more focused on building myself as a brand. Being the best professional me I can be, I have come to realise that much as the industry seems vast and as big as a jungle, it is very narrow. There isn’t enough room for everyone (especially the lazy and incompetent) and one needs to work hard to stay top of the breed, there is more to being in a PR agency than meets the eye.
I now see the working environment as a field of sport, where one needs to put their best foot forward and play the game to the best of their abilities. There are so many opportunities for growth and this has led to me being a self- starter and being more self- motivated, you never know who is watching.
Being at a PR agency has exposed and introduced me to a varied field of work, allowing me to exercise a lot of the theory that I learned back in university. My administration, writing and communication skills have been sharpened, also, it feels good working with a team that trusts you to follow given briefs/ instructions to the best of your ability.
I truly love being here. I believe I have so much more to learn and I am excited about the future. Two months into my internship and counting…