Alaina Williams, recent ING Media and BSc Architecture graduate
Hi! I’m Alaina Williams and I'm 24 years old from Birmingham, UK. In 2020, I graduated with an architecture degree at the University of East London. Since primary school, I’ve always had a fascination with Architecture and Interiors. I remember, quite vividly, ripping pages from the Argos catalogue and collaging how I’d redesign my nans living room because there was something so fulfilling about design and I was sick of her typical Jamaican interior design style! (a cabinet filled with stones ginger wine and a fridge covered with a magnet from every country ever breathed on).
"This may sound quite cliché but honestly, I think that I was always supposed to be a ‘Girl Under Construction’."
Alaina Williams - Architecture Degree work
Studying Architecture was an unquestionable decision post sixth form and despite not getting the grades nor strategically choosing the correct A-levels I’d always known that I’d be heading in this direction.
Interning at ING
Starting an internship at 24 felt weird. Now, I couldn’t think of anything better. Following an amazing 8-weeks training programme in PR and Communications with the Taylor Bennett Foundation I learned the ins and outs of PR & Communications through the use of masterclasses and regular sessions with my mentor. Once over, I decided I’d look for internships that would allow me to use my academic expertise and work experience simultaneously.
In April of 2022, I started a 8-week internship with ING Media. ING is a PR Agency that specialises in the built environment. Their clients range from Architects, Developers to Arts and Culture organisations.
During my role as an intern, I was able to contribute to a number of client accounts. For instance, curating content for ING social media or a research task in preparation for an upcoming pitch. I also had the opportunity to attend events related to the built environment, and gather a real understanding of how companies within the industry position themselves in the media. A highlight being the opportunity to meet Architect Eric Parry; during his book launch event.
Though I don't know if this beats my newly profound love for Iggy - the office dog.
“You’re not just an intern, You’re The Intern”
I emphasise this because I was so comfortable downgrading my role as the company's intern. When asked what I do or introducing myself to someone new it became routine for me to brush it off as some irrelevant role in the business. Let me be the one to drill this in. As an intern, you are such an important asset to these companies, not only is it beneficial to your personal growth but there are also huge benefits for the host company!
Can I do PR in the Construction Industry?
Of course! Over the course of this year I’ve realised that pretty much anybody, whatever your interests, can enter the world of PR - mostly because it is so broad. If you’re someone who is interested in doing PR within the built environment then it's as simple as familiarising yourself with industry news. Discover what it is that interests you and begin following its stories in nationals and trade papers. Go to events, travel, increase your network amongst anybody in your chosen industry - all of which are valuable.
Alaina Williams - 204 Studio work.
Many of my undergrad friends can vouch that I suffered a series of unfortunate events as a result of my temperamental laptop (not an excuse, I promise). And, to cut a long story short I became very familiar with Adobe Illustrator. Fast forward to the pandemic, I decided that I’d put my love for illustration to use and start a small business selling greeting cards designed for architecture students - 204 Studio. If not for moments like that, I wouldn’t have tried half of the things that I have. 204 Studio became my creative outlet whereby I shared my love for graphic design, illustration, interior design and anything else that felt right at the time.
LinkedIn: Alaina Williams
Portfolio Link: Mini Portfolio - https://issuu.com/alainazannita/docs/cmgportfolio
Check out our website below to find out What construction is, the various roles involved and routes to get there!