Intern Role Profile - Public Relations (PR) and external communications

Name: Bethany Munns

Which university/course: Warwick University, studying English Literature

Job Title: Public Relations (PR) and external communications

Brief description of your job: I help to manage how Microsoft tells our story to the UK public. External communications encompasses all content to do with Microsoft which is shared with the world, whether it’s newspaper articles, influencer videos, events, launches or customer stories. As well as the exciting stuff, another key part of this role is managing issues which arise involving Microsoft, for example negative news cycles – in these cases, the PR team help to protect the company’s reputation.

Job on a day to day basis: It’s impossible say what my role is like day to day because every day is so different – a feature of PR which I love. Some days, I might help to lead briefs with media about new products we’re releasing, on others I might be researching where we can best land a certain story we’re working on – for example, an AI (artificial intelligence) development or research coming out – or spend the day working at our PR agency, helping to answer the media hotline. The only consistent aspect for me is the excitement of being involved in high-level events occurring across the business.

What is the highlight of your role: As mentioned previously, I think it’s both the variety of what I get to do, and the fast pace of change. Another highlight is getting to rotate between and experience all the different types of PRs at Microsoft, a rare opportunity in an internship.

Where are you based: Everywhere! Though I spend a lot of time at 2KS, I travel to Reading once a week on average and also spend days in our PR agencies all around London.

A top tip for being successful during the application process:
Stay calm! I get so nervous and thought I had completely messed up each stage which involved an interview – but Microsoft are great at judging character and understood I was a worthy applicant despite my nerves.

Highlight of being at Microsoft?
During Future Decoded, I was asked to help write summary articles of each day for the News Centre, our own online news site, as our resident journalist was occupied live-blogging. The articles are not only read by the public, but also by senior leaders within the business, so this was a big responsibility! I had to work extremely quickly to have each wrap-up ready by the time the event finished, meaning writing to summarise each keynote whilst listening to them! But I succeeded in writing interesting articles which were published and shared on the News Centre, and I am proud to have shown myself that I can thrive under such pressure.

Has your perception of technology changed since working at Microsoft? Was the technology industry what you expected?
I’ve never really been that into technology, and the main draw to this internship for me was the role itself and features of the scheme like 101 team involvement – so know that you don’t have to be a techie to apply! But after working at Microsoft, I’ve become far more interested in tech because I’ve seen the exciting, future-looking side of the industry like AI. I’ve also realised the huge amount of good which tech can do, an aspect of the industry I ever really bought before - seeing how it’s enabled charities to cut costs and individuals with disabilities to do more is really inspirational.

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