PR, marketing and events management... it’s an industry I know I want to spend my working life in. I always loved the idea of being creative and taking a hands-on approach but come UCAS time I still wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do. Then, when I heard about the PR, Marketing and Events course at QMU, I knew it was for me because it allows you to experiment with all three of these creative professions in a very practical way.

Here is one real example of that: with the help of one of my lecturers, and having just completed my first year, I have just managed to get in touch with a leading professional who has offered me his practiced counsel and mentoring along with a week internship within his organisation. Being able to make contact with such an experienced professional is benefitting me hugely. By gaining his tips on what companies are looking for in a cv or where to start looking for work, I may just have an edge over others, which will put me one step closer to my dream job. Connections like these are far more achievable in a university like QMU where you don’t get lost in the crowd.

What else can I tell you about my experience at QMU so far? Well, I knew the university was a good fit for me from the get-go because everyone was so kind and welcoming - coming from a small Scottish seaside town to the capital city is a serious culture shock. It was stimulating to see how multi-cultured and diverse the campus population is, and it was certainly fun trying to explain northern terms such as “bosie” or “baffies” to my German flat mate Jess.

I’ve had the opportunity to share my first year experience with new students by volunteering with QMADVANCE, a week-long course aimed to ease the transition into higher education. This was a highly rewarding experience which opened communication channels with new members of the QMU community. This opportunity looks brilliant on a cv and has helped to grow my communication skills and experience. I’ve also worked at open days, which also give students great chances to gain skills for the workplace.

But, as well as signing up to work and volunteer opportunities on campus, I’d encourage new students to focus on getting on well on a one-on-one basis with the academics. This means they can truly support your studies and widen your opportunities. I’ve found they offer you many chances to get involved in things. For example, in addition to the contact that has resulted in me having a mentor, I’ve benefitted from opportunities to volunteer at different events including a VIP screening of Beauty and the Beast and many conferences.

Also make the most of the dynamic approach to course work at QMU, including group work and presentations, both of which are skills that are key to industry. I’ve seen my confidence with public speaking and presentation skills grow leaps and bounds to the point I don’t think twice about presenting in front of a group of people (a serious step up from telling the reflection in my bathroom mirror about the importance of maintaining mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics!).

Going into my second year at QMU will certainly bring new prospects and challenges. I recently moved into the centre of town, and with some more work experience on the horizon, I’m just excited to see where my degree shall take me.

 

Mel Fraser

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