But what is really important to a PR degree?
It only feels like a few weeks ago that I was heading back to Leeds after my placement year in Manchester, were I was looking forward to living my last year as a student again. What people didn’t tell me, was how my final year wouldn’t be anything like my first two years of careless living, partying during the week and having the time to watch every episode of Sex in the City, One Tree Hill and 90120…
My memories of final year are mostly blurred visions of stressful long nights spent in the library, debating with group members, having the few early night drinks before collapsing into bed surrounded by dissertation notes at 10pm… a very different university experience but one that I have learnt so much from. This is the experience and advice I think should be shared. Here are a few tips for final year student.
1) Start final year prepared that big nights out will be dramatically lower (unless you don’t mind getting a lower degree mark – or work very well with a hangover!). I can’t – but maybe that’s something to do with getting old!?
2) Prepare for your dissertation early on and think about what contacts you already have. Don’t try to dive into writing a dissertation on PR and celebrities unless you have contact with celebrities you know will help. It’s all about using the contact you know, so think about this before you choose your topic. I wrote my dissertation based on the contacts I gained through my placement in tourism.
3) Get as much PR experience in the bag as possible. Free time will be short, but putting yourself out there and gaining work experience during your final year will ultimately help you gain that job after graduating.
4) Make as many contacts as possible. Go to the university CIPR lectures and social networking events and make sure you go with questions to ask and a voice ready to talk and network. You never know where contacts will lead you!
5) My final thought for today is to remember to enjoy it! If you don’t enjoy the pressure of final year, you won’t last in an agency or heavy PR environment. The final year prepares you for your future career – so make sure you like it, or you should maybe think about spreading your wings into a another area.
The hard work pays off in the end!