Name: Ryan Spence
Course studied: BA Hons in Public Relations & Media at Sheffield Hallam University
Qualifications: BTECH National Diploma Level 3 in E-media
Find JRyan on Twitter @ryanspencebcc.
Why did I choose to do a degree in PR?
I have always been a very creative person, and had expressed this in a variety of ways such as performing arts at school or by studying graphical design at college. However as I approached the time to choose a subject that would take me into a career I could have variety and success in equal measures, I came to learn the term "PR". This was an area that would allow me to be creative, and that called for innovation. It also allowed me to use other skills I prided myself on such as an eye for detail and planning, as well giving opportunity to still work within a selection of different sectors. For me it was the perfect fit.
What do I do day-in-day-out at university?
My day-to-day life at university is very varied depending on the day, I will usually have a selection of lectures and seminars to attend each looking its own insight into a new area of PR (Issues and Crisis Management , Public Relations Professional Skills or Investigation and Research Skills to name but a few). Depending on what assignments I have on I may need to attend a group presentation meeting, or pay a visit to the library. I am also now the vice president of the Sheffield Hallam Drama Society (I highly recommend taking some extra curricula activity, CV enhancements asides it does wonders for the social life!) which can be quite time consuming with all the rehearsals etc….and of course there is always time for a cheeky visit to the pub.
What have I learned from my degree?
I have learnt that Public Relations is about so much more than "glamour" and "spin" and that to be successful in this field you really need your wits about you and have the bravery required to be honest in the face of adversity. By studying PR I have gained a greater understanding for politics and business structure, I have become a better writer and have learned how to harness creativity into a strategic plan of action.
What have I gained from being a student member of the CIPR?
By joining the CIPR I have gained access to a wealth of knowledge and resources from professionals who are working in the industry now. I have found this invaluable when undertaking assignments, especially helpful and informative is the free magazine I receive as part of the membership "PR Weekly" which is full of great articles about current issues within the industry.
What do I want to do next?
I have one more year left at Hallam, with a PR placement at Breast Cancer Care running alongside that and I am determined to finish up with 1st class honours. I then have no doubt in my mind that I want to carry on into a career in PR. Ideally combining my love for the theatre with my talent for PR, I would love to end up working for an agency such as Mobius Industries LTD who specialise in the representation of live acts.
What advice do I have for someone considering a career in PR?
I would say if you are creative, driven and confident and are looking for variety and the chance to learn about and work in a selection of different sectors then go for it. Do not, however, go into it thinking it is a "fluff" course, as it requires a lot of dedication and work to do well.