"A degree is no longer enough. You need as much experience as you can get before you graduate."
Leah Jones graduated in 2016 and was proactive during her time at university, combining study with multiple part-time jobs. This experience meant that she was able to secure an internship with CommsCo, the company she works for now. After impressing her colleagues, Leah accepted a permanent role beginning the day after she left university.
Why did you choose to study English at Royal Holloway?
I was attracted to the wide range of courses offered by the department. In particular, I was attracted to the Modernist modules.
What have you been doing since you graduated?
I was interning at my current workplace from the February of my third year, so I started work as soon as I graduated. I was offered the full-time position in May and started working after finishing at Royal Holloway, in June 2016.
How would you describe your job, and what attracted you to it?
As a public relations agency, we manage the media relations for our clients. This includes liaising with journalists to get them into all forms of media (including TV, newspapers, radio, and online content).
I was attracted to PR because I would be using the skills directly from my degree. In addition, PR is a fast-paced industry, and I liked the possibility of doing something different every day. No two days are the same. We have numerous clients and are constantly writing new content, developing new campaigns and liaising with different journalists.
For a career in PR you need to confidence to talk to clients and journalists on a daily basis. Alongside this, you also need the ability to write well and be able to tailor your writing for different types of media.
Of your time at Royal Holloway, what did you find most valuable?
The extracurricular activities: there are sports, societies, and the ability to write for numerous student newspapers or publications. Employers take extracurricular activities seriously when it comes to hiring students, as proving you participated in more than your degree shows that you are more than just academic.
Do you have any final words of wisdom?
Use the careers service to discuss optimising your CV and gaining interview tips. The careers service is there to help and is often overlooked by students.
Work on your writing by writing for lots of different types of media (whether campus/student publications or otherwise), and apply for internships in your final year, if not before.