As I’ve scrolled through my wordpress reader, I’ve seen this post pop up a few times. I initially put off doing my own How I Became a PR Girl post as I’m only in my first year of university and prior to that, did a PR internship, which doesn’t seem that much. However, I thought this type of post would be interesting for any girls (or guys!) who are wondering if PR is for them and just a bit about what I’ve done so far! 🙂
Where Did It All Begin?
I’ve written quite a detailed story about how I got introduced into PR, which you can find here, but to sum up, I was one of those 18 year olds who, like many of you out there right now, had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do ‘when I grew up’. At that time in my life, my main interest in life was partying, which, I won’t lie, still plays a big part in my life, but I’ve learned how to balance that with actually being pro-active and successful. I trawled through UCAS hoping something would just leap out at me or I’d develop a sudden interest in studying Latin…I was good at stuff like English and French, but I didn’t want to do something I’d already done for 7 years of my life, I wanted to try something new. So skip forward a bit, through pointless uni trips looking at courses like Journalism and Creative Writing, I finally did some research into this public relations malarkey my dad had repeatedly told me I’d be good at. The more research I did into, I realised it involved stuff I was good at, such as languages and writing. So I just went for it really!
Because I’d missed the UCAS deadline, I was sort of shoved into doing a Gap Year, which, similarly to applying for university, I didn’t sort out what I was going to be doing until the September it started. I didn’t want to go down the travelling route because 1) I’ve never been one to save money (or get a job…) and 2) I’m more of a sunbathing and swimming gal, not so much a walking around huge cities gal! So, I stayed put in England, got a job as a nanny to 2 children and started volunteering at Helen & Douglas House hospice in Oxford on the care team. At the christmas party, I mentioned I was going to be doing PR at uni and I was introduced to their PR team and skip forward a couple weeks, I had an internship on the PR team 1 day a week for 6 months!
What Did You Learn?
The experience at Helen & Douglas House was amazing; a lot more worthwhile, for me, than backpacking around Asia. I got the chance to regularly interview different members of staff about their roles, for the staff newsletter and help organise internal events – making posters and even a cook book! I’m still so grateful for this experience as I now have so much more confidence to interview people, which, as it turns out, I do a lot at university as I’m the Editor of the PR blog so need to attend university events and chat to people, getting quotes, etc.
So, You’ve Just Finished Your First Year As A PR Student…
Yes! As of this morning, I have officially finished my first year – woo! I was so happy to find I actually really enjoyed the majority of my units and assessments, so missing nights out to do work wasn’t too much of a drag. I had a couple of favourite units this year; one was creating a magazine article that could be used as a PR vehicle for the Southampton Christmas Market. We had to go to the market, take our own pictures and get our own quotes and then put it all together as a magazine spread, which I could use all my creative quirks for! However, I think the most I’ve got out of this year wasn’t the actual course but what I pursued in my extra time. I applied for the role as Editor of Solent PR and was so happy to get it. So far, I’ve been able to go to events across the uni I wouldn’t even know about had I not been editor and come up with ideas for posts and features within the blog. I’m also doing some PR work for a new media platform the uni are starting – Solent TV, so watch out for that! Winning The Best National PR Student Blog was also definitely a highlight 🙂
What Are You Most Excited For In Your PR Future?
Well, I am excited to see what the next 2 years bring, but I get really excited when I think about post-graduation. My current aim is to move over to the states and get a graduate job or carry on studying over there, which will involve a lot of saving up and planning (something we already know I’m not great at!). I’m not dead set on which PR sector I want to work in, at the moment I want to work in everything. One of my little dreams is being the PR manager of a cute hotel by the beach with dolphins jumping in the sunset…could happen! This summer, I have 4 months for summer (!!!) so I have a work placement lined up, which I’ll keep you all updated on!
How did you guys end up in PR? Or are you thinking about going into it? Let me know! 🙂
featured image photo credit: thecollegeprlife.wordpress.com