About you

Hometown: Edinburgh

Year of graduation: 2019

Why did you choose to study at QMU and what attracted you to the course?
I loved that this course integrated three different aspects of the communications industry allowing me to figure out for myself where I wanted to specialise. QMU also has amazing relationships with foreign universities giving many students the opportunity to take part in student exchange, which is something I knew I had always wanted to do.

What did you enjoy most about your course?

I really like that the course sizes are on the smaller side at QMU, it makes it so easy to get to know all of your classmates as well as the staff. Your lecturers wouldn’t walk past you in the corridor without stopping and saying “hi!” which is something you definitely don’t find at larger scale universities.

Were there any particular course activities you found especially interesting?

I always really enjoyed being able to get my teeth stuck into a big, individual project. I loved the assignment I produced in the Fashion Marketing module in 3rd Year and my dissertation too - controversial opinion, I know!

How did your lecturers support your learning?

I found the staff at QMU extremely supportive at QMU, especially in my final year where I was working 3 days a week in an industry role. They worked hard to make sure I had everything I needed to get the right balance between my job and my studies.

Did you take part in a placement as part of your course and if so, can you tell me a little about that experience?

The summer before final year I applied for a 3-month placement working as a PR Assistant at Dobbies Garden Centres. The job had been advertised on the university job site QMploy and following my placement I landed a permanent role as part of their inhouse PR and Marketing Team. I worked part-time throughout my final year before being offered a full-time role as PR Executive the week I handed in my final uni assignment. My placement at Dobbies was a career springboard for me, leading to me working for a national leading brand before I had even graduated.

Do you have any advice for students who might be interested in this course?
There’s a great line up of modules included in this course taught by some seriously talented, experienced practitioners in the industry who genuinely want the very best for QMU alumni. For me, the course coordinators and lecturers were the biggest asset to this course. Soak up every piece of knowledge you can from them, ask questions and start building up your network as early as you can.

 

Enhancing student learning and personal development

Did you join any schemes/initiatives to enhance your learning and development?

In my 3rd year of studies, I spent the second semester on exchange at Central Connecticut State University, USA. It was an incredible experience and I’m still really good friends with the people I met during the 6 months I spent there. I would recommend any student at QMU to partake in the semester abroad programme if they can.

Did you win any awards/scholarship/internships, etc., that helped you develop skills and experience?

If so, please tell us about them. During my applications for the Semester Abroad programme, I applied for one of the Santander Schemes – I think they granted me with £1000 which covered my flights!

If applicable, what University services did you use to support you through your university journey and how did they help you? The ELS service is amazing and I used it quite a lot in my first couple of years at QMU. The team were always so helpful and would always make time for you.

 

Life as a Student at QMU
What’s your ‘top tip’ for making the most of being a student?
Always keep an eye out for those “extra” things outside of your course work whether it’s societies, volunteering, internships, or exchange programmes, they will seriously help your CV stand out. Although, student-life is definitely not just about hard work, the friends you make at university are friends for life so make the most of it – oh, and never say no to a night out!

What was the most valuable lesson that you learned at university?
You do a lot of growing up in your four years at university but some of the most valuable lessons are the ones you learn from your peers. What university gives you is the opportunity to meet so many interesting people from a multitude of different backgrounds, who can reshape your thinking and provide you with a greater cultural perspective. Something that stays with you long after graduation.

 

After Graduation
Can you tell us about your life post-graduation (your career path, notable achievements, etc.)?
I continued to work at Dobbies for 6 months after graduation working as their PR Executive before swapping my inhouse role to start working for a PR Agency, which had always been a goal of mine. In January 2020, I moved to London to begin working for an Award-Winning PR Agency where we work across some amazing brands such as Krispy Kreme, Philosophy, Zippo, PepsiCo and Huda Beauty.
It’s been a busy but exciting time in last year since graduating and I look forward to what’s next for me and my fellow course mates.

 

"I loved that this course integrated three different aspects of the communications industry allowing me to figure out for myself where I wanted to specialise. QMU also has amazing relationships with foreign universities giving many students the opportunity to take part in student exchange, which is something I knew I had always wanted to do."
Lucy Cairns

Public Relations, Marketing and Events

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