Sarah Freytag-Traut

MSc Politics and Communication, 2011
Account Executive, Weber Shandwick France

Before LSE, I was already holding a as well as a Bachelors’ degree from the London Metropolitan University. Before my MSc studies at LSE, I had a bachelors’ degree from London Metropolitan and a Higher National Diploma in Corporate Communications. During my Master’s degree at the LSE, I applied for a Blue Book Internship at the European Commission and ended up being selected to work as a speech writer for the Head of Representation of the European Commission in France. While I was finishing my internship at the European Commission, I applied for a second internship at Weber Shandwick France – the Paris office of the international PR agency – I started a 6-month internship and was offered a permanent job approximately mid-way through my internship.

When I was interning at the European Commission, I did not have an exact idea of what I wanted to do, and that’s what internships are for – finding out where you want to go. In fact, when I started my internship at Weber Shandwick France, I certainly did not expect to be offered a job and stay as long as I have - I was looking for the agency experience that I did not have and it transformed into a full time job.

Weber Shandwick France is home to approximately 30 PR professionals. We have a corporate and public affairs practice including healthcare, crisis communications and tech expertise; a consumer practice and an international practice. We also have digital experts working across the practices. I’m a PR Consultant within International Client Services and we work on the agency’s global accounts with a focus on Olympic-related projects. I work with people from the Paris office on some of my clients but I mostly work with people from other offices – mainly London – but also Tokyo, New-York, Madrid, Milan, Munich just to name a few.

Over the past 2.5 years, I have been lucky enough to work for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Bid Committee to help them win the rights to host the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, the World Innovation Summit in Education (WISE) and the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Organising Committee. I was also part of the integrated Weber Shandwick team on the ground in Sochi during the 2014 Winter Olympics to support the Organising Committee communication efforts. At the moment, I work for clients such as Rolls-Royce and Nespresso while also helping out with our new business development activities.

I work as part of the central team to drive multi-market PR campaigns on behalf of global clients. Notably, I am in charge of managing and coordinating PR activities across key markets, assisting in providing PR counsel on strategic and tactical matters; serving as a key client contact; media monitoring and reporting; event planning and coordination. I have also had a great focus handling international and in-market (France) media relations, establishing and building relationships with key journalists, dealing with day-to-day media enquiries and securing feature pieces. Part of my job is also being in charge of developing and editing client-related documents and media materials such as developing news releases, media pitches, answers for written interviews; adapting content to secure market-specific opportunities; contributing to the development of PR plans, Q&As, strategic notes and case studies.

I think LSE definitely helped me opened some doors but what really helped me get through my studies and get where I am today is hard work and passion. I’ve taken on a lot of responsibilities throughout the past 2.5 years and it was not always easy - moving from being the intern to maintaining trustful client relationships and providing them with sound advice is a big and constant learning curve!

I chose LSE because of the School’s reputation, the content of my degree, which I thought would push my career in the right direction and the professors in the Media & Communications department; they are all very competent and experts in their fields.

LSE offered me a unique studying and human experience. I always felt intellectually stimulated, assisted to great lectures, talks and made great friends. In short, I’ve never regretted studying there (or maybe just during exam time!).

Sarah Freytag Traut