My second year as a PR student–a personal reflection

With my second year of university coming to a close, I have had to make a few big decisions. The first being my placement year, or lack thereof. I have decided not to do a placement year but to carry on into final year. I have learnt so much since first year and couldn’t be happier with the progression that I am making. I realise that a placement year provides students with incredible experience but I believe that through hard-work and a number of short-term placements I will be equipped to complete my final year.

I could not have been more thrilled with my semester one results, achieving firsts in all of my exams and assignments. A pesky presentation mark unfortunately pulled one first down to a high 2:1… not that I’m complaining! Presentations are still my weakest assessment form at university, having had the same issue for two years now, they always seem to lower my overall marks.

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The Public Relations and Communication course has covered all bases, from marketing through to social psychology – every aspect of PR. I have had the opportunity to learn from recognised professionals in the PR industry, making it no surprise that our course has a 97% employability rate. From crisis management taught by Robert Minton Taylor in first year and later by Chris Norton in second year to the basics of press release writing by Lucy Laville, the course has covered a broader range of areas than I initially expected to learn. Thanks to Lucy Laville, I even had the opportunity to be Trophy Barer at the 2015 Yorkshire and Lincolnshire PRide awards!

I have been lucky enough to intern for Chris Norton at Prohibition PR for a year now, managing Student Wire alongside this. As a student I couldn’t have asked for a better placement to participate in whilst at university. Not only have I gained valuable experience on the PR side of things but I have had the opportunity to delve into journalism, an area that I had never considered before.

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I have been the Editor of Student Wire for a year now, it is an online magazine written by students for students. I have had the opportunity to write to a readership of +50,000 readers, +50,000 Twitter followers and +4,000 Facebook users – an opportunity that I could never have dreamt of in my second year of university. During my time as Editor I have written articles, managed advertising, liaised with other companies, managed social media pages, rallied the writers and been lucky enough to have the perks of reviewing products… and a few festivals. I even managed to get Student Wire shortlisted as a finalist for the UK Blog Awards – the results of which are yet to be announced.My Blog

Through Prohibition I have had the opportunity to put together strategies, press releases, brainstorms, I have used Gorkana and dabbled in selling into journalists (an area that I am keen to improve on). Ultimately I have gained invaluable experience throughout the year working on clients such as Sealy, Manahatta, Interflora and Keepmoat, whilst learning from industry professionals. Throughout my first year I was also lucky enough to intern for a number of other businesses both in-house and agency including Sunmaster Holidays, Zeus PR, togetherfriends.com and Lucre – so far I have preferred agency PR immensely.

As I have decided to go straight into final year, I have started to think about where I would like to be once I have graduated. What kind of company I would like to work for and what kind of experience I need to gain in the mean time to get me there. I hope to head down to London after graduation to further my career in PR, maybe even journalism.

I have taken a keen interest in Boudoir PR, a beauty PR agency based in London. Their clients are all fashion/beauty based; this is an area that I have yet to gain experience in however I am interested in pursuing something of this sort to see if it is the kind of public relations that would suit me. I am a huge festival and music lover, having chosen to do Arts Marketing as my final year elective, I have also started to look into paths that I could pursue in this area. Listen Up is a music and entertainment PR agency also based in London, another agency that I have taken a huge interest in and would love the opportunity to develop my experience further in this area.

Word count: 755

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