I didn’t really know what I wanted to do after 6th form. I ended up dropping out of another university after just four days, as I felt pressured into doing a particular course. So I took a year out and worked and figured out what I actually wanted to do with my life.
That led me to the University of Sunderland. After coming to the Open Day I was very impressed with the media building! The University was also close to home, but far enough that it wasn’t completely on my doorstep.
I always wanted to go to university, I just never really knew what I wanted to study! So I’d definitely recommend going to an Open Day – I found it really helpful as I’d never even heard of PR before. Research your course so you know it’s the right choice for you. My favourite aspects of Public Relations were the social media modules and the marketing modules.
I would 100% recommend the University of Sunderland. It's quite a small university, which I think gives you a really unique experience. I'd recommend Panns Bank as your halls because it’s really modern and you’ll get a huge bedroom. And take advantage of the two fantastic libraries!
In my first role since graduating, I discovered more about a website’s content management system. I’d very much recommend setting up a blog before graduating, as I already knew the basics of navigating the backend of a website, which really helped getting stuck in with my first role! I also learnt the basics of search engine optimisation (SEO), which would then lead me into my next role.
After completing work experience whilst studying for my degrees, I realised I ultimately wanted a role within a marketing agency setting. However, luckily this time, I found it easier to get a job while already having a job. In October 2017, I began working for a relatively new digital marketing agency. It was here I learnt more about SEO, PPC and social media marketing. I even gained a Google Adwords Certification!
Although as time passed in this role, I began to learn how outreach and digital PR are very much interlinked. As a blogger myself, I have a fairly good understanding of the industry and how it worked, which allowed me to gain ethical links relatively easily! And with this knowledge, I ultimately thought I could do better! My first few outreach campaigns proved to be a huge success and I loved how I had an input at every stage, from the pitching the campaign to the client, to creating a brief for the designer and interacting with the bloggers to gain the links. As I realised how quickly my career was heading in the digital PR direction, I knew I’d be happier developing my career back in my favourite city, Leeds.
In August 2018, I got my latest role as an Outreach SEO & PR Specialist at Hub MDP. Hub MDP is a full-service agency and provides SEO, copywriting, online PR, PPC, print and packaging. The agency also has it’s own studio, allowing photography and adverts to be produced on site. Hub MDP was founded 11 years ago and is based just outside of Leeds, in the scenic village of Calverley. The agency to date has around 40 staff.
My advice to anyone just starting out in their career is to be completely open to every new opportunity and experience. Your first few roles are often not your dream roles, but you’ll learn a lot. And learning as much as possible in your early career is really the best thing you can do.
Studying at the University of Sunderland was the craziest, funniest and most stressful three years of my life... but 100% worth it!"
Published 19 October 2018