Interview with QMU undergraduate student and STARS Coordinator, Adrian Crighton
Adrian Crighton, 19, from Lauder in the Scottish Borders, is a BA (Hons) PR, Marketing and Events student at QMU.
Although he is in the second-year of his degree, Adrian has already spent the last four years at QMU through his time as an Academies student in high school. The Academies programme gives young people like Adrian the opportunity to study at college and university. The Programme also gives young people the chance to undertake work experience and learn about industry while still at school, highlighting career options and improving employability.
Adrian started in high school through the Creative Industries Academy, where he would study for two afternoons a week at QMU. This gave him an insight into the industry and honed his interest in public relations. This was perfect for Adrian as it was practical. At the time he felt he was not doing very well academically.
As a result of the Academies Programme, Adrian decided to stay on to do his degree at QMU. He really enjoys the community learning aspect of the University. He had always thought that he would rather go to a friendlier and more supportive university and make a bigger impact than go to a larger university and just be another face in the crowd.
For nearly a decade before coming to QMU, Adrian was a classical ballet dancer and was heavily involved with a lot of theatre work. His current favourite pass-time is mountain biking and he has a Golden Labrador named Holly.
What’s been the highlight of the course so far?
"What has stood out for me on the BA (Hons) PR, Marketing and Events programme at QMU so far was volunteering at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Scotland PRide Awards, which is a black tie event celebrating the top PR campaigns of the year. My favourite assessment (never thought I would say that) was the crisis news conference, where you need to sit on a panel representing a hypothetical organisation undergoing a crisis while your lecturers role play as journalists. I thought this was great because it gives you real experience in dealing with situations and not just a sit down exam.”
What’s your advice for making the most of being a student at QMU?
“I think there is something to be said for people who do actually sign up for the many personal development and work experience initiatives on offer at QMU. So many signup sheets, guest speakers and emails from lecturers go ignored. Maybe people don’t think it’s for them or they just don’t have the confidence, but your personal experience at QMU will be significantly improved if you take the initiative and explore what's available.
“Be prepared to throw yourself into absolutely every opportunity. In order for you to be a success studying PR, Marketing and Events at QMU, it’s really important that you take advantage of the many personal development schemes that QMU has to offer. Your whole experience here will be so much richer as a result.
“Probably the biggest highlight of my time at QMU so far has been my involvement with the STARS Programme, which I’m now coordinating. STARS stands for Student Tourism Ambassador Role Scotland.
“In this role I’m getting valuable work experience over and above the academic knowledge I’m learning on my degree, including looking after nearly 40 students across four work experience locations in Edinburgh over summer 2017. This available experience is improving my confidence and developing my leadership skills, so it’s a real boost for my CV.”
What are your plans after graduating from QMU?
“After I graduate I hope to pursue a career in corporate communications.”
More information about QMU
‘Step Up with QMU’ provides students with personal development and work experience opportunities.
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