From a clumsy student’s perspective
If you are reading this as a perspective student, I want to let you into a secret. You may be paying an eye watering, stomach churning £9k a year to get yourself a degree but just paying all that money doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll come out in the next three to four years with a first, and every public relations consultancy within a 100-mile radius blowing up your phone. Sadly, you must do a little more than just attend your 9AMS these days. You must put yourself out there and do a little more, even if that means going out of your comfort zone.
As a Public Relations student at Leeds Beckett you’re given so many opportunities from the get-go to the get stuck in and involve yourself in “real world” situations, from working short term placement, working on trading floors to even ‘speed dating’ at an event with PR practitioners event (honestly, not as weird as it seems). And that’s even before the placement year gets started.
I am the first to say I can sometimes shy away from putting myself out there, the word ‘networking’ automatically sends a shiver down my spine. So, when Ioannis, our course leader, announced an opportunity to be the award presenter at the Yorkshire division PRide awards for the CIPR I was surprisingly intrigued and sent him over an email, completely not even expecting to be considered. The role is something us Leeds Beckett students get a chance to be a part of annually. It’s something I would one hundred percent recommend in getting stuck into, if you’re like me and a bit of a hermit when it comes to getting out of your comfort zone, or even if it’s just as an excuse to dress up for the evening.
I arrived at the event with little information on the proceedings for the night but very aware I was wearing too high heels not to fall on my face in-front of the 300 plus people attending. The nerves set in the second I walked into the Queens hotel lobby, walking straight into another PR event that was being held the floor below. Easy mistake to make, right? After navigating my way to the right event, I had a chance to meet the organisers of the event and have a run through of the event, where I was meant to walk, where to cheesily grin and where not to flash the wrong side of the card and show the whole room the winner before the announcer could (something in true me fashion I managed to do). Quite quickly after the run through ended, the event started. Admittedly I don’t remember much from the evening after the sit-down meal, not alcohol induced but because I was channelling all my concentration onto not plummeting to the ground over what was happening in the ceremony. But I must say every nominee was severely enthuastic of their nominations and/or wins which was lovely sight to see (which may of in fact been alcohol induced). Just some of the categories and winners included outstanding young communicator which was won by Laura Smith from MCIPR, outstanding public relations consultancy which was won by Aberfield Communications and Best event which was won by
Faith PR for their “Turtle Bay gets Huddersfield Jammin’”.
All in all, the event was a huge success not only for the CIPR but as a humbling experience that made me feel even more so driven that public relations is the avenue I want to be a part of.