To begin on a slightly personal note, the thought of moving to university away from my family and friends was very daunting. Whilst part of me wanted to stay in a city close by and study near to home, the appeal of a course regarded as one of the best in Europe began to weigh heavily on my decision. In the spring of 2012 I attended an open day at Leeds Metropolitan and fell in love with the course and the campus. Particular emphasis on employment, placements and a professional portfolio made me sure of my decision – I was moving to Leeds.
The first term, for me, was a settling in period. We learned the basics of PR and the skills and characteristics we would need to perfect over the four coming years. Writing abilities were honed and an emphasis on making connections both with our peers and with working practitioners was on my mind. Our lecturer Richard Bailey taught us the importance of online resources in the digital age and supported us in creating professional links across the world.
Whilst I had always thought I was a visual learner the teaching of this degree cemented this fact in my own mind. The use of videos, mind maps and images appealed to me and I found I was more interested than ever in learning and developing academically.
Although I had completed work experience roles within Public Relations prior to university they had predominantly been to make sure I was choosing the right career path. The first placement I had after beginning this course was a completely different experience. I worked for a week in a Newcastle agency and used the skills I had so far learnt to write a blog, press release and assist with internal communications.
In my mind the most notable placement I have completed so far began during second year. I began working 1 day a week at Beattie Communications, a PR agency in Leeds. The improvement I have seen in my work and confidence in my own ability has been amazing. The team working at Beattie have taught be so much and been incredibly dedicated to teaching me. I have been trusted with important tasks and given a taste of almost everything an agency does.
I recently attended a regional CIPR event in Newcastle and heard Stephen Waddington discuss the CIPR’s intent to spread Public Relations more evenly across the UK. Growing up in the North East has given me a passion for the place and the people. I believe completing a year’s internship in a predominantly Northern environment would equip me with the skills I need for the future I envision.
I was offered a one year Internship last week at a Leeds based agency and couldn’t be more excited to start there in June! I aspire to own my own agency in the North of England or work at a senior level internally within the lifestyle sector.
Coming from an entrepreneurial family I feel I have the ambition to succeed in a business environment running through me. I am motivated by seeing the outcome of hard work and dedication and then enjoying the reward. Whilst university is often a world of delayed gratification I am already starting to see some of my hard work paying off and this is incredibly motivating.
Studying PR and Communications has proven to be an invaluable experience. I now have a very clear picture of what I want for my future I am so pleased I have the opportunity to continue to learn in this fun, engaging and challenging environment.
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