You wear a gown, shake someone’s hand, collect a certificate and suddenly you’re an ‘adult’ with a degree. Leaving university is a daunting experience, but starting your first job out of education is even more unnerving. No longer in a sheltered environment, the working world is a completely different ball-game to university. Cue 7am wake-ups every day. Feeling super tired and fancy missing work that day? Forget it.
Gone are the days of flexibility.
I have always been asked: ‘So what are you planning to do with a History degree?’ What many don’t realise is that a History degree is more than facts and figures. I may have spent my days learning about Mao and the Industrial Revolution, but more importantly, I was able to develop the key transferrable skills needed to thrive in the workplace. Starting a job in PR has given me the opportunity to put these skills to good use, as I’m constantly having to communicate myself in a clear and persuasive manner.
Thrown in the deep end, my first big project at Plus 1 Communications has been working with the team on Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, the UK’s ultimate Christmas destination. Arranging the launch, generating coverage, handling broadcasters onsite and hosting celebrities were among the day-to-day tasks. Camped out in a cabin onsite with a generator for company, I cannot say PR is always glamorous, but it has its moments.
Launching the event was a particular highlight for me. I’d gone from reading 17th century newspaper transcripts to escorting Eva Longoria down the red carpet. Who’d have thought it!
Alongside this, we handled the PR campaign for Champions Tennis at the iconic Royal Albert Hall. Being amongst some of Tennis’ greatest players, such as John McEnroe and Jamie Murray, was an extremely exciting and surreal experience. I also featured, albeit accidentally, on CNN. No big deal.
Unlike some graduate entry-level jobs, I haven’t been subjected to fetching coffee. Instead, I have been given a great deal of responsibility from the get-go. Being apart of two huge events has meant my first few months of graduate life have been extremely intense, but it’s been a great learning curve. Four months in and I already feel like a PR pro in the making.
Of course I miss university, but working gives you a new found sense of purpose. So whilst I mourn the loss of lie ins, I can take comfort in the fact I’m learning a lot and making real contributions to the work that I do. Meeting celebs? That’s just a welcome bonus.