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BLOG: 5 Key Lessons I Learned from My Summer Internship at 11K Consulting

Posted by in Communications, Inspiration, Latest News, Public relations

The article is written by Frida Shui, our star intern who has spent a few fruitful weeks at 11K Consulting this summer.

My internship at 11K Consulting this summer has been a fascinating journey and a great learning curve. I am incredibly lucky to have Sally (Managing Director) and Fei (Account Manager) as my supervisors and mentors, who have really helped me get the most out of my time at the company. I am deeply grateful for their time and effort in sharing their invaluable experience and professional insight, as well as constantly providing me with constructive feedback for future improvements.

During the short internship, I have learned so much about the communications industry, the company and my working style.

Here are my top 5 takeaways:

1. It’s All About the People

My internship experience has reminded me of the relevance of good people skills in today’s business world. With the rise of big data and the increasing adoption of artificial intelligence, so much of what is around us has been changed and overtaken by modern technology. We live in an era of infosphere expansion, which has disrupted and reshaped the traditional marketing industry and others. Yet throughout my time at 11K Consulting, I have come to appreciate the critical role of people skills in managing expectations and establishing trust with partners and clients, as well as in building customer loyalty. Human connections—effective communication, network building, and most importantly, integrity—remain at the core of the PR industry.

2. Really Think Before Action

In terms of working style, one of the biggest lessons I have learned is that before diving deeply into any task, I should spend some focused time to think and brainstorm.

While collecting primary data and information on social media and advertising platforms, I was slightly carried away by the predominant ideas I had on the forefront of my mind, and made the mistake of creating an extensive Excel spreadsheet without having considered all possible factors thoroughly. When I eventually realised in the end, I had to spend quite a bit of time changing up the structure to correct the error.

Such a mistake could have been avoided had I spent 5 minutes planning and structuring the task thoughtfully in the first place.

While I should welcome new ideas to emerge in the process, spending some time visualising how the task will carry through and planning for potential inconsistencies could save me a lot of time and unnecessary panic.

3. Be Bold

One of my biggest takeaways from my internship experience is to simply be bold: be brave enough to connect with people at business networking events, be brave enough to reach out to potential suitable partners, be brave enough to ask for assistance and advice, and be brave enough to think outside the box and consider alternative paths that can lead to the same or even better end results. Sally once said to me, “most people are willing to give support when you provide them with a reason and an opportunity to do so, so be bold.”

4. Bring Value to Others First—Really Think on Behalf of Clients 

I have learned that the first step to create a solid relationship with clients and customers is to serve first. Always think about how you can bring value to others: whether it is to invite them to business events that might help to expand their network or promote their brand, or to provide them with information and strategic advice that can benefit their business goals.

For every task I was assigned, I was asked to really try and stand in the clients’ shoes. I was told to think about how their strengths and potential opportunities can be exploited to their best advantage, and what more 11K Consulting can bring to the table.

I now understand that the key to building a long-term reciprocally trusting relationship with clients and customers is letting them know that you make an active effort to support them and have their back.

5. Be Specific about Who You Are and What You Can Offer

Last but certainly not least, I have understood that as a business, it is critical to know exactly what you specialise in and who your targeted customers are, and avoid being ‘one-size-fits-all’.

As the founder of the company, Sally tells me that she is very careful when it comes to defining the positioning of the business, and wholeheartedly believes that 11K’s brand image should only speak for its expertise and not broadly appeal to everyone. Whether it’s digital marketing or pitching new clients, the team hopes that the messages communicated are clear, concise and specific.

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Overall, my internship at 11K Consulting has been immensely eye-opening.

I would like to express my most sincere gratitude for the team for hosting me and providing me with this tremendous growth opportunity.

 

My little way to say “Thank You” to 11K team on my last day.

 

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Sally Maier-Yip is a seasoned cross-cultural Public Relations Strategist with a mission to help companies build successful business with PR. She loves running her UK-Asia PR agency, 11K Consulting, which specialises in helping British clients unlock the Chinese consumer market and helping Chinese brands increase their presence in the UK. To get in touch with Sally, email her at sally@11kconsulting.com

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