Tag Archives: PR Students

University experience and job hunting in a hard time…

My experience of studying at Leeds Met and how it helped me in the scary place of ‘full-time work’!

One of the biggest advantages of the PR course at Leeds Met was the practical elements. We were encourage to gain placements and work on live projects with real clients in order to build up our portfolio and experience. To me this was the best part of the course, as it allowed you to put all the work you learnt at university into practice – alongside giving you vital skills to equip you for interviews and employment.

I think it is important to use these elements of the course to expand CV experience! I have put forward a few tips below:

Tips for enhancing your CV whilst at University:

  • Make sure you have a selection of work placement positions on your CV – paid or unpaid, these will show you are willing to reach out and do extra work. You will find that placements will also help you with your university work, alongside giving you vital work-related skills.
  • Network! Attend events at university and any other CIPR related events. These are great places to meet people you wouldn’t normally be able to talk to – PR professionals, directors of companies etc. These events were great for me, as they helped with university work and dissertation contacts, but also with gaining contacts for future employment options.
  • Extra activities – Do something extra, something above and beyond which gives your CV that little extra. It can be sports related, a personal hobby in which you compete with, or a volunteer programme. I tried to pack as much as I coud into my second year summer and whilst working temporarily to gain a bit of money, I travelled to Thailand on two different volunteer projects. The first was volunteering on IIFA (Indian International Film Awards) which were held in Bangkok. I was selected to work backstage on the live event, helping out on the communications controls – the event was televised to millions of people. The second trip was a month-long volunteering project to Kaho Lak in Thailand. This was one of the worst hit areas of Thailand from the Tsunami, so I volunteered to teach at deprived schools in the local area.  Experiences such as these help to shape your personality and to give you something inspiring to talk about to future employers.
  • Building on your confidence – In doing the above, your confidence should grow dramatically enabling you to act more professional in interviews and in the work place.

The work place is a seriously competitive environment at the moment so the more you can do to enhance your CV alongside your university grades the better you will find your job prospects and the transition into work.

If anyone has any more tips or advice, please do let me know or post below! Thanks.

Advertisements

Advice to PR Students for a Dream Dissertation

It is coming to that time of year when PR students start thinking about what else they have to finish on their dissertations… or hat they have to start in some cases. With only a few months left and much research to be finished and analysed, notes to be typed out and checked, bibliography to be finalised, appendices to be organised – the end only seems a million years away. But I promise you not, the day you hand in the 3-inch thick bible will soon come!

I have pulled together a few top tips which I think helped me get through the endless amounts of paper and sleepless nights.

Don’t panic

It is important not to panic about how much time you don’t have, but think about what you have left to do and plan your time around this. Take a deep breathe and think happy thoughts about how good you will feel once you hand your final piece in.

Be organised

I believe that the most important element of getting through your dissertation is to keep organised. You can waste so much time if your papers are not organised or your documents aren’t saved correctly – so as it’s a new year, take a few hours to organise all the work and reflect on what you have done so far. Put it all into files which state what your research is; interviews, questionnaires, discussions, findings, journals etc… Before doing anything else, I assure you that this will help clear your head and put you in the right frame of mind to continue.

Timetable your work

You may find it useful to keep a calendar on your wall where you work, as this lets you see how much time you have left, and helps you section off different periods of work. Draw one up and try to stick to it!

Keep writing

Most of you will still be researching, whether it be primary or secondary, I found that the best way to keep your thoughts was to write it all down. As you read, discuss and interview make sure you are keeping a track of everything. This can be done in the style of a log book or just in your research file – which will help you when you come to writing out your findings.

Talk to professionals

Alongside conducting your dissertation methodology, it may also help if you chat with professionals on your topic. It is classed as part of your research and can still be counted. If you have a placement position, it would be recommended to talk to the team – gage their views, opinions and advice. They may let you in on something you never thought of.

When conducting my research, I used Linkedin to speak with professions around the country about my topic – I even gained a great contact in Spain who helped me find the information I needed. Therefore, use your professional social media tools and engage with people. The other advantage of this is it lets people know what you are doing and allows them to see you working… you never know where this may lead.

Time to check

The worst thing you can do is to not leave enough time to check your work efficiently at the end of writing your 15,000 words. Make sure you leave enough time for this, and ask friends or relatives to read your dissertation through for you – as they will see mistakes you won’t.

It is a difficult process but you will get to the end – Good luck!

Tips for managing your online footprint

How the world views you is through their own eyes but also through the eyes of Google… Everything you put online or have an association with will in some form or another affect the way people form opinions.

I know… you are thinking this shouldn’t be the case! Why should what you do online, reject or favour your own reputation and how others view you…

Well, take a look at the stats:

Social media is HUGE! It is a growing trend and something we all (from a very young age) need to consider our online footprint. It has been suggested by many professionals, that young people will need to change their name before having the chance to enter the professional work place due to their ignorance whilst experimenting online. For example, many young people are uploading drunken videos, photos, writing obscene comments on blogs, websites or chat sites. What they now need to realise, is it’s there forever. It may be lost out of sight for a while, but until someone wants to find something on you, it may become visual again!

From the current view on online footprints I have put together some advice to guide young professionals, especially university students to generate a positive online profile:

Online footprints…

1. Remember to set your Facebook privacy settings – Employers search Facebook to see what you are like outside the working environment and you should keep your private life as personal as possible.

2. Think who your actual friends are whilst on Facebook – Remember that if you add any random person into your Facebook profile as your friend, then this opens your settings to them, and also to their connections (depending on your FB settings).

3. Consider what you upload – When you upload anything to an online or social network site, you should remember that it will be there forever. Even if you remove your upload it can be copied or stored by someone else. Your name will be assigned to these uploads and therefore any future employer will be able to see it.

4. If you wouldn’t mind your mother seeing it – then it’s fine to do! Check everything you do online by asking yourself this questions – “Would I mind if my mother saw this?”… This will help filter out things which may not be beneficial to you in future years.

Personal profile online…

1. University students have the upper-hand, so use it! When you finish university and start looking for your career starting point, young graduates will have an advantage and a skill which employers are looking for. You understand social media! This is an important tool and skill to utilize in any interview, as many businesses are run by the generations which find it a lot harder to understand the changes made in social media.

2. Use university to gather those skills – Whilst you have more free time during studying, it is wise to build up your skills of using online mediums and tools. These will be most likely used in any future career role, and greatly appreciated by your future peers. (Believe me… it’s harder to gather these skills whilst working, as time is rather limited!)

3. Build up your profile – Build yourself a blog or a website and use it to show what skills you have gathered from university. Everyone is graduating with a degree these days, so the challenge is to show that you are different from the masses. Therefore, building an online profile is a crucial way of showing that you are unique, hard working and you understand the current environment. A blog can also be used for building your portfolio, which is a great way to showcase the projects and work you are involved in at university.

I hope these pointers help to understand the dangers and the positives that the current environment has brought. Good luck with developing your own online profile and watch your online footprint!

Please do get in touch if you need any advice or help – or comment if you have any more pointers which will help!