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Black Heritage Scheme – Project Assistant, London

Black Heritage Scheme – Project Assistant, London

About APCO Worldwide

Founded in 1984, APCO Worldwide is an award-winning, independently owned global communication and business strategy firm with offices in major cities throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. APCO combines a global perspective with local expertise to help clients around the world manage challenges, opportunities, perceptions and reputations. APCO clients include corporations and governments; industry associations and nonprofit organizations; and many top Fortune 500 companies. The firm is a majority women-owned business.

About APCO in London

APCO’s award-winning UK team offers strategic advisory support, public affairs, media relations, crisis communications and integrated digital campaigns. Our approach is driven by insights, data analytics and deep stakeholder expertise. We devise bespoke, measurable strategies and tactical plans that create, influence, transform and protect our clients’ reputations, and help them to achieve their business goals. 

We work across all industries both in the UK and internationally, with deep expertise in healthcare, life sciences, technology & innovation, environment, sustainability & impact and food & consumer products. As one of the most influential capitals in the world, London is where APCO leads a large part of its geopolitical and international work.

APCO was awarded Best Agency to Work for: EMEA Network in 2017 and 2019 and EMEA Corporate Consultancy of the year, 2019 by PRovoke Media and a PRCA Workplace Champion in 2020 in the large agency category.

About APCO’s Black Heritage Scheme

We fully recognise that our offices in Europe are not representative of the communities in which we operate. In the UK, our industry body, The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA)’s most recent Census published in 2020 shows that our industry is only 3% Black (made up of 1% Black Caribbean, 1% Black British and 1% other Black background). This contrasts starkly with the 2011 UK Census in which 13.3% of London identified as having a Black Heritage background. Our UK office is based in London, and although we hire from across the UK, the city is the primary talent source for our hiring, although we do of course hire from across the UK. Given the rich diversity of London, we want to reflect the main community we work with, in and for and hence we use this as a comparator.

Our Black Heritage Scheme is designed to directly address the need for greater diversity in the PR and Communications industry and is primarily aimed at candidates who identify as having a Black Heritage background. We recognise Black Heritage as meaning those who may identify as Black, African, Caribbean, Black British or those from mixed multiple ethnic groups including White and Black Caribbean or White and Black African (as per the UK Census 2011).

The Scheme is a six-month placement in our London office for two new employees, commencing in June 2021. The Scheme is designed to offer exposure to the PR and Communications industry and will include robust opportunities for professional growth and will be supported by a learning & development curriculum, mentorship, and regular feedback & goal setting.

We regularly advertise other entry-level opportunities on our career site, including Internship and Project Assistant vacancies, and have at least two paid internships in our London office happening at the same time, throughout the year.

What kind of experience/interests might make this role interesting for you?

• Someone who shares our values of Curiosity, Empathy, Inclusivity and Boldness

• A passion for and interest in the communications space and someone who thrives on working across a variety of sectors/areas where no two days are the same

• Good time management skills and the ability to manage multiple competing priorities and deadlines at one time

• Good written and verbal communications skills and the ability to listen, convey and articulate complex information

• An enjoyment of working as part of a team

• Being creative and contributing your ideas

• An interest in current affairs and what is happening around the world

• Someone who loves to consume media in all forms, whether that’s on social media, online news outlets or traditional print press

What would a typical day look like?

• Supporting our client teams across a variety of accounts from a broad range of industries (including energy, technology, food and healthcare)

• Conducting research

• Creating written content including press releases, viewpoint articles, blogs, award entries and social media content

• Preparing first drafts of agendas, contact reports and activity reports

• Producing media monitoring reports and media lists for clients

• Supporting client work and new business opportunities

• Keeping up to date with current trends and news related to APCO’s clients

• In-person and online training sessions throughout your time

• A diverse mix of client accounts and the ability to voice an interest in accounts that might align with where you want to grow skills or that might fit your interests

What are the core working hours and will I need to be in an office?

Our core working hours in London are 9.00am-5.30pm Monday to Friday. We are very much hoping to be back in our office (central London location) from June 21st, if government guidelines allow, so that you can meet people face-to-face, and not over zoom!  

We are committed to a hybrid and flexible working environment, and there may be days that you wish to work from home which will be accommodated on a case-by-case basis.  We will not be introducing any kind of formal policy for this as we want to be driven by what works best for each individual at our company. You will be provided with a company laptop and the necessary equipment to be able to do this easily.

How do I apply?

Applications for our Black Heritage Scheme are now open and you can apply here

As part of our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, we are introducing blind recruiting processes for all entry-level roles in Europe, meaning that all applications are anonymous at screening stage. While you will be asked to upload your CV/Resume to the job posting, we will be keeping these separate from our initial recruiting process and ask you to answer the below STAR-method style interview questions in writing to apply for the scheme. We will be reviewing, and shortlisting candidates based on these answers, and not on CVs. CVs will be viewed only at first stage interview.

We advise you to write your answers in Word initially and to cut and paste them into our application form (which you can find by clicking apply to this posting).

1. What is your approach to working on several projects in parallel? How do you address competing priorities or deadlines? (250 words maximum)

2. Describe a time you were given a project and the assignment was completely new to you and something that you had never done before. How did you tackle it? (250 words maximum)

3. What has your biggest achievement been to date? What results that you produced are you most proud of? (achievements can cover projects you undertook during your education, your personal time or your career). (250 words maximum)

4. Please give an example of the best public relations or communications marketing campaign that you have seen recently. Why do you think it’s the best campaign? (500 words maximum)

When is the closing date for applications?

The closing date for applications is Monday 12th April at noon, after which time we can sadly accept no more applications.

When does the Scheme commence?

We would ideally like our new employees to begin with us on June 21st as we exit lockdown but are also flexible with this if you cannot begin then. Our is aim is to look at a start date that would work for both of our new colleagues.

What happens once I have applied?

We will review all applications once the closing date has arrived and will reach out to all candidates, whether successful or not. First stage interviews are likely to take place in the week commencing Monday April 19th and we will accommodate these over Zoom and will work around your availability as much as we can. We will confirm offers to successful candidates at the end of May.

What is the salary and benefits?

As with all Project Assistant roles in London, you will receive an annual salary of £24,000 (pro-rata for your six-month placement). In addition to this, we offer a range of benefits including 25 days holiday pro-rata (plus our office closes over Christmas and those days are in addition to your allowance), life assurance, company pension scheme and our Employee Assistance Programme.

Will I secure a job when the scheme ends?

While we cannot guarantee a permanent job at the end of the scheme, there is the possibility that there will be opportunities after the scheme, and we will ensure you are made aware of these as you progress through your time with us.

We have a strong track record of converting colleagues from part-time/short-term roles to permanent opportunities. Last year, 66% of our interns converted into permanent hires with us, but it’s important to note that we had a high volume of summer interns who also returned to studying.

We will ensure that we are keeping you abreast of upcoming permanent role opportunities and that you receive regular feedback.

 

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