Claire Hodson - Southampton Solent University

Claire HodsonName: Claire Hodson

A-Levels studied: Psychology, Media and English Language.Course studied: BA Hons in Public Relations & Communciations at Southampton Solent University.

Find Claire on Twitter @clairehodson.

Why did I choose to do a degree in PR?

When looking at university courses, I was confused on what subject to take with my initial thoughts focusing on media with marketing. When I stumbled across Public Relations in one of the many university prospectuses I had accumulated, something seemed to click. Public Relations was a combination of writing and communicating with the ability to tailor my interests to all the assignments.

What do I do day-in-day-out at university?

Every day is different. I would normally have 12 hours of lectures/seminars per week, spread across five days. Although this doesn't sound like much, the free time in between university hours were used for studying and group work activities. It was possible to organise a part time job around studies and have a good social life, meeting new people and forming lifelong friendships.

What have I learned from my degree?

My degree provided me with background theory and a solid understanding of Public Relations which I feel has given me a strong foundation for entering the industry. During my work experience, I have been able to put the skills I've picked up e.g. press release writing, into action. Some of my course assignments were based on live client briefs so it was great to have real life case studies to practise on.

What have I gained from being a student member of the CIPR?

Becoming a student member of the CIPR is great for networking with industry professionals from across the country. The online resources are very useful and I especially found the free membership of PRWeek massively helpful for reading up case studies which I could use for examples in assignments.

What do I want to do next?

Work experience or a placement year is key when finding a job after university. I'm currently on the job hunt, looking for entry level positions in London.

What advice do I have for someone considering a career in PR?

Do it! Try it! Public Relations degrees are very broad and the skills picked up through assignments and work placements are invaluable and can lead you into whatever career you choose. Studying Public Relations at university was the best decision I ever made. Throw yourself into the course; take out what you can and network your heart out. Enjoy!