No, unfortunately I am not secretly a pop star like Hannah Montana. My life revolves around studying and working in PR. At the same time. Bold move, right? Just says ‘yes’, I like to think that I am very brave for doing both things.
When I was near the end of my placement year and few months until I go back to writing essays, I realised that I will miss working. Never thought I would say this at my age, but it was true. I loved working in PR: getting coverage for clients, talking to journalists and discussing everything new and juicy in the industry. Therefore, I decided to get a part-time job in PR whilst being a final year student. I didn’t want to miss the connection I had with the industry and have a gap on my CV for a year.
Now, 5 months into final year at university and my job, I can honestly say this is the best of both worlds. Yes, I admit it’s very challenging and difficult, especially in some weeks, full of deadlines, but all the pressure is worth it.
World 1: University
Few months until handing in my dissertation, I can say that I will miss university. Final year is definitely not easy, but I learnt so many new things. For example, statistics. Yes, I studied correlations and regressions on a PR unit. Even though I disliked it at 2-3am on some nights, now that’s over, I realise how valuable it was. Data insights are freaking important for campaigns and I would have never known that if it wasn’t for Data Driven Marketing (Thanks, Joyce!). For example, now I know how human values can influence climate change beliefs in Russia and Sweden. A bit random topic, but the analysis can be very useful for sustainability campaigns. And knowing how to analyse data can be very beneficial for me in the future. It’s certainly a skill that I am putting on my CV.
A university degree in PR is a great starting point for a career in the industry. I know that there are people arguing the importance of it, but I believe that at university, you push yourself to get high grades and you develop yourself. For example, you learn how to meet tight deadlines (who said you can’t write a 5000-word essay the night before the deadline!?), how to do a proper research and you might overcome your fear of public speaking during presentations. And you meet amazing people, who support you along the way.
World 2: Part of the Crowd
I work part-time as a PR & Marketing Executive at Crowd, a global creative agency. It’s not a PR agency, so I don’t have a mentor or someone to teach me new PR skills. Instead, I am putting everything I learnt on my placement into practice. I do PR for Crowd and being the sole PR person for an agency with 12 offices globally, it’s not easy. But it’s different from what I have done before and this keeps me excited and curious. I get first hand experience on how creative agencies work and at the same time, I work in PR. I write press releases; opinion pieces and I secure coverage in top-tier publications. Even though my job is mainly media relations, I gain an understanding of how digital marketing campaigns work.
I would be lying if I say it’s very easy to manage a job and university. It’s not, but it’s possible and worth it. Experience is everything when you enter the working world after graduation. People from your course or other universities are competing for the same jobs as you. So, you need to stand out from the crowd somehow. Moreover, I certainly improved my time management and organisation skills while juggling my assignments with working three days a week.
To all students out there, no matter what year at university you are in: get work experience. I can’t stress enough how important it is to show on an interview that you have at least a faint idea how an agency operates. Try and get a few weeks of experience during the spring or summer break. And if your timetable allows it, get a part-time job while studying. It’s possible to get high grades and work at the same time.
Hi there! Welcome to my blog about PR and things that I find fascinating.