Early Days

Sitting and taking a moment of reflection on a drizzly Saturday afternoon, a moment to allow all the hustle and bustle to settle down and possibly most importantly… There’s someone at the door.

Arriving home on a bright Autumn Tuesday after being submerged for the first time in PR theories and strategies, thoughts are zipping around my brain and I am trying to settle them. Coming back in to education from the prosaic world of cancer data collation, it’s been a while since I’ve had so many things to think about and to do at any given time. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had so many things to be thinking about:

  • Find strong references for critical writing assignment.
  • Choose a company from Times Top 100
  • Write a blog (In hand)
  • Think about what to put in my personal blog (currently two posts in 6 months)
  • Learn LinkedIn
  • Keep up with the reading
  • Stakeholders
  • Systems Theory
  • CIPR Membership
  • How to use up those potatoes (mash or roasted)
  • I could go on and on

It’s fair to say I was in a bit of a malaise career-wise earlier this year. Finally, at long last and after months of research, I was able to put my finger on something that looked like just the ticket – Public Relations – I’m a great communicator, I have creative ideas, I can write copy, I have digital skills. PR seems to be a great fit. So I gave it a go, and here I am with a massive smile on my face after only 4 weeks back in the classroom.

I had been caught floundering between the two ‘risks’ of being caught in a job which you suspect isn’t the one for you. Firstly there’s the risk of doing something: I might lose my job, I might not get a better job, I might have to do something I’m afraid of. Countered by the risk of not doing anything, of settling and slowly but surely deflating. Having chosen the former I am embracing the fear, craving it every day.

I’m absolutely rejuvenated with it all; meeting the crew on the course, meeting the tutors, opening my mind to the new ideas and focussing in on where this is all leading. The only negative strand to my thinking this afternoon is leading me to the question ‘why did I not do this 3 years ago?’ I guess there’s a reason for everything and I’m glad to be here right now.

So, that’s enough reflection for one day, time to crack on.

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First Week Back In The Uni Bubble…

Okay, as some of you may or may not know, I’ve recently started my MSc in Public Relations at MMU. I’m really excited because it’s such a great course, both academic and practical. I’m hoping the practical skills I will use and develop on the course will put me in good stead to start my career in the PR industry next year.

This last week was a bit of a culture shock as I’m in a completely different environment to that of theatre and travelling. I feel like I’ve had copious amounts of information thrown at me, however, that’s not to say it hasn’t been enjoyable!

I met my fellow PR students on Tuesday morning, the group is predominantly girls, with a few males thrown in for good measure and everyone is really friendly 🙂 so that put me at ease for the rest of the day. After the meet and greet, we collected our MMU cards and headed back up to our seminar room for some more information. After lunch (which we all had together…cute!) we had a ‘Vital Need to Know’ session where we were introduced to the Dean, some health and safety rules and the university internship scheme. Last but not least, we had a library tour and received our pin numbers which allow us to take the books out. I’m not going to lie, I had several flashbacks of late-night dissertation sessions and memories of me running around Lancaster library like a mad-woman searching for that ‘one’ book, but by the end of the day, I knew I had definitely made the right decision coming to MMU. The facilities are amazing, and a business school that cost £75 million is surely going to be a successful study space! 😀

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The next day began with a couple of guest speakers from the PR industry. They were really interesting to listen to as they were from different areas of the PR industry; crisis PR (something I’m looking into), B2B and the public sector. Their advice was invaluable and Alison from Smith & Smith PR offered us the opportunity to do work experience with her in the near future…I guess you could say she is my first PR contact in the North-West! Exciting! At lunch some of us wandered over to the Fresher’s Fair to see what was going on. After lunch (and some free pizza) we had a lecture on Research Methods (not as exciting but still very important) and were told we would be given our first assignment on Friday! Cue slight heart palpitations…This is going to be a drastic lifestyle change compared to that of sunbathing on the East Coast of Australia!

Thursday was my favourite day as we had the opportunity to be creative and plan our own campaign. I had a great group, we all got on well and had some really interesting ideas on how to target the Fresher’s and their binge drinking. It provided an insight into what working on a professional PR campaign would be like, so luckily I enjoyed it! 🙂 We presented our campaigns at the end of the day and I loved seeing what the other groups had produced. Afterwards, we had a social event that went on into the evening. I thought it was a really nice event to go to as we met other Masters students from the business school, we had some food and drink and finished with a quiz which was so funny….lets just say it probably highlighted my lack of business knowledge and proved that I know far too much about a-list and z-list celebrities!

On Friday, I managed to get a lie in which was dreamy as my body is definitely not used to the 7am wake-up call! We were given our first assignment which doesn’t seem too bad so fingers crossed once I settle myself in the library I’ll be absolutely fine!

All in all, my first week as a PR student was really enjoyable! The course is so well organised and provides so many opportunities for us to develop our careers. Everyone was lovely and I can’t wait to get involved in my modules this coming week! Roll on the next year…. 🙂