Name: Rosie Sobieraj.
A-Levels studied: English Literature, Music, Sports Science.
Undergraduate course: Public Relations and Media.
Why did I choose to do a degree in Public Relations?
In the summer of 2010 I did a couple of work experience placements. I was interested in PR but wasn't sure what career I wanted after my A levels. I had done work in the communications department at NHS Sheffield previously and as I enjoyed this I pursued work experience at HR Media in Sheffield. After this placement and some research into public relations, I focused my energy on getting my A-Levels and joining the PR and media course at Sheffield Hallam. I also decided on doing a degree in PR because I enjoy working with people, writing and working with others to achieve something great.
What do I do day-in-day-out at university?
Usually my day consists of lectures and a seminar or two, in between which I would complete any work I need. This work is usually a group project/presentation. Typically we produce quite a lot of work alongside consuming unhealthy amounts of junk food. I also take time to go to the gym and give myself time to relax. I've joined the university's stunt cheerleading team – I've danced since I was little but I wanted to try something new. Joining the team has really boosted my confidence and I've met loads of great people! I'm also constantly looking for places to apply for work experience to support the skills I learn.
What am I learning from my degree?
I have just finished my first year at university, my grade at the end of the year was 2:1. I've learnt there's a lot to PR and it's very dynamic. I have not only learnt skills that will stand me in good stead for a future in PR, but I have also learnt the interesting history of public relations. I've learnt how to produce a successful presentation (even if it's a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation it doesn't have to be dreadfully boring!) I've also learnt about the different areas of public relations and the different routes you can take to get there.
What have I gained from being a student member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations?
The CIPR has allowed me to look into the world of public relations at my leisure. I follow the Twitter page as well as receiving PR Week and both give me important information about the recent goings-on in PR as well as interviews. The latter can give you a great insight into the real workings of public relations. CIPR representatives have also been involved in my course and the talk they gave helped me understand more about public relations, which has given me a broader perspective and ideas for career options. CIPR also gives me the chance to network and look at job offers as well as the option to go to interesting events to learn more.
What do I want to do next?
I have recently spent my summer doing work experience in a variety of places as well as an internship at Tata Specialty Steel communications department, but I am still intrigued by the other areas of public relations. Next on my agenda is to further explore public relations in other places, such as agencies rather than in-house, as I want a wide range of experience before I leave university.
What advice do I have for someone considering a career in Public Relations?
I would definitely say do work experience, it's the only way to know if you really like it or not. Do a couple of placements to get a good feel of public relations in varied places: in-house, agency etc. Ask around if people know anyone working in public relations that you might know, as it's also good to get advice and an opinion from someone with experience.