Hometown: Belfast, Northern Ireland

Year of Course:

 

About You

Tell us a little about yourself such as your hobbies/interests that are related or not related to your course of study

My whole time at school I was heavily involved in hockey and athletics. They took up a large amount of my time but I loved the competitions and places they both took me. When I got to university, time was tight to keep these up so instead I joined the local gym and would constantly be setting myself goals to keep in shape. I also would describe myself as a people person; I love socialising. So any opportunity, whether that be going to the local pub to watch rugby matches or shopping and brunch with my flatmates, I am always pushing to organise the event..

How did you come to choose this course and why QMU?

Growing up I was never top of the class in terms of achieving high grades in subjects such as Maths, English or Science. However, when it came to being practical and creative in Art or Business studies I loved it! This made me realise I wanted to go into the business world without having to sit a computer all day. I had honestly never heard of QMU before speaking to a careers adviser but once I looked it up online I fell in love. I much preferred how modern it was compared to the other universities in Edinburgh - the unique style of the main building and the size of the campus. The gym, pitches, accommodation, lecture halls, and Students’ Union are all within a five minute walk from each other which was very appealing to me. When choosing the course I wasn’t very familiar with public relations but I loved marketing from watching the BBC’s ‘The Apprentice’.

Why did you choose to study in Edinburgh/Scotland?

As soon as it came to choosing university, I knew I wanted to study in Edinburgh. I had been over a few times on weekend trips with family and also on hockey tours and just loved the city. The old buildings have so much character and the shops on Princes Street and George street are the perfect place to ruin your student budgeting! Being here three years now, I have also noticed how no matter what time of year it is there is always a buzz about the city - so many events on and tourists wondering about: it just gives Edinburgh a special unique feel to it. Finally, Edinburgh was a perfect choice because it’s only a 35-minute plane journey home when you need mum's TLC!

Living Away from Home

If you are living in halls what’s the best part?

I lived in halls for my first year of university and the best part was definitely meeting everyone. I only knew several people from home in Edinburgh but living in halls gave me that chance to go out and talk to new people and make friends with people I’d be closest to today.

If you are NOT living at home (either in halls or independent flat), what are the top three items that you packed that you wouldn’t be without?

  1. Photographs of family! Mum, dad, sister, pets - all have their own frames just beside my bed which is very comforting when you’re having a bad day.
  2. Hot water bottle. For the majority of the year Edinburgh is very chilly so having my hot water bottle cuddled beside me when doing assignments is the perfect cure!
  3. First aid kit. My mum made me up this huge box of plasters, creams, tablets and I remember at the time thinking this is ridiculous, but it’s not until you overstretch a muscle and need Deep Heat rub that you appreciate this sort of thing. My flat mates are always coming to me looking for antibacterial wipes and plasters, cold and flu tablets etc. By far this has been one of the most useful items I packed before moving to university.

Life in Edinburgh

What’s the best experience you’ve had so far in Edinburgh? Are there any hidden ‘gems’ you’d like to share?

I have had so many it is hard to choose the best! Going to watch rugby matches at Murrayfield, hiking up Arthur’s Seat for a picnic, salsa dancing at El Barrio on Hanover Street. One of my favourite places to go is Stockbridge Market on a Sunday morning. You can get very tasty local food, fresh fruit, crafts, pieces of art, all of top quality, and before you know it’s late afternoon!

"I couldn’t begin listing what I have learnt since beginning my course or I’d be here for hours. I’d say I have a deeper understanding of what I want to go on and do after university from learning about what is involved in different sectors of PR, marketing and events."
Hilary Ferris

The Course

Did you attend an Open Day? If so was there any aspect of the University which made up your mind for you?

Yes, I came over with my mum and had a tour of the campus and this is what made me love QMU. It was the compatibility and how everything was so close which helped make my mind up. Also that I prefer that QMU has a modern building for classes rather than the old historical lecture halls at other universities in Edinburgh.

What’s been the highlight of the course so far? What have you learnt, or which particular activity has been the most interesting?

I love doing presentations and campaigns on my course. Interacting with clients and seeing their face when you do a good pitch is very awarding. I couldn’t begin listing what I have learnt since beginning my course or I’d be here for hours. I’d say I have a deeper understanding for what I want to go on and do after university from learning about what is involved in different sectors of PR, marketing and events.

Any advice for students who might be interested in this course?

Go for it! The lecturers are so friendly and helpful; they have made a huge impact on my experience being on this course. The passion they have for the subjects they teach really inspired me to have the same attitude when choosing a job later in life. One downside would be if you want more practical activities than theory this course only has four weeks of placement. However, when I say theory are classes are mostly student led and doing readings and then discussing them together. So I'll make it clear that it's not all exams and essays. The course is assessed on a wide range of things.

Any future plans after graduation?

I want to take a year to travel and explore before getting onto settled in a job. I hope to go to a hot, sunny country and do an internship to gain more experience in the field of marketing while also experiencing living in a different part of the world and being able to relax at a beach on my days off.

Life as a Student at QMU

What’s your ‘top tip’ for making the most of being a student?

Get involved in seminars and group projects! Being friends with others on my course has really helped my studies as we all help each other with assignments and then organise class nights out. I would also say get out of your comfort zone. Before I moved to Edinburgh I would have stuck in my little group of friends and not mixed with other people. Then since coming to QMU I have learnt so much from others opinions and it has helped me grow more and be open to new adventures and ideas.