Post Graduate Study Monday, Jan 11 2010 

The final week of my Christmas break has been spent trolling through various college websites looking at and reviewing various post graduate courses. The process seems fairly similar to one which I have long forgotten the dreaded CAO form.

When I filled out the CAO form I really thought this is the last step in my education process however four years on I find myself back in a similar situation, which college or university would be best in terms of course offering and location, pulling together all results from my past three years in study, filling out first, second and third choices compiling personal statement forms and posting of postal orders to various application centers. The process above seems similar to that of the CAO.

When I began college I always figured study hard, get a good degree and at the end of it all get the dream job I’ve always wanted. However due to the current economic recession and lack of available jobs particularly at entry level I am forced to become realistic in my plans and prepare a ‘back up plan’ which I have decided to be more study in the form of a masters course.

This decision I have to admit didn’t come easy. So after a long process of researching courses and deadlines and taking to friends who have opted for post grad study I decided to undertake the application forms.

According to many reports the economic recession has resulted in a high rise of applications to post graduate courses. ‘Postgraduate course applications traditionally rise in an economic downturn as people look to increase their qualifications in a more competitive employment market, or put off applying for jobs and study as they sit out the recession.’ (guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 17 February 2009) These reports lead me to question if the post graduate courses are becoming as competitive as the current job market.

 However in the back of my mind I feel there is always a What If? What if I am lucky enough to secure a job following graduation?, What if the economy picks up and more study suddenly doesn’t seem so appealing? What if I can’t manage to fund the astronomical fees that are attached to these courses? What if I am lucky enough to secure a place in a highly competitive course and realize ‘ok I have already studied for four years do I really want to study some more?’

But then again one day all this study can only benefit my future career in the long run! I’ve always enjoyed the college structure and thoroughly enjoy the learning process and various modules which I would be lucky enough to explore in more detail if I am successful to obtain a place on these courses. As with any next stage in one’s life there are always doubts and I guess it’s important to go with the flow and stick to the saying ‘what’s for you won’t pass you!’

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Top Ten Tips for getting a PR Internship! Monday, Jan 4 2010 

 

Some of these tips may seem a bit obvious, but when applying it is sometimes very easy to forget the basic steps:

1. In the opening email ensure to clearly state your availability. PR companies receive hundreds of emails looking for internships and if your availability is clearly stated it will be easier for them to see if the time frame suits straight away.

2.Keep your email to the point. State what colleges course your doing, what type of experience you’re looking for and what type of industry experience you already have.

3.Personalize your emails don’t just send mass emails to loads of companies. It is vital to have researched the type of company you are applying and express an interest in their line of work.

4.On your CV outline your college results and achievements to date, also many PR companies are always intrigued to hear about your hobbies etc

5.Have at least two references, one professional and one academic (be ensured to inform these references beforehand as an act of courtesy)

6.Don’t be disheartened if you have little or no replies from initial emails the PR industry is very small in Ireland thus very competitive. Whilst looking for internships late summer is usually the best time to be available as most students also looking for internships are then on holidays etc and companies have less people applying.  

7.If you are very interested in a particular internship and have no response try a follow up call to make sure your email has been received

8.If you get to interview stage ensure to treat this experience professionally. Although you’re still a student do dress formal and research into the latest developments in the industry be up to date and informed.

9.During the interview know and express an interest in some the agencies clients or if ‘In house’ know some of the campaigns run and what you liked about them. Also bring along a portfolio made up of college work and work done during previous internships.

10.If you get the internship treat this like a real job turn up on time, be enthusiastic, offer opinions and ideas and be excited to learn. (Even if this is an unpaid position be grateful for the experience, dive right in and learn learn learn!)

 

Me My Blog and I Saturday, Jan 2 2010 

Hi,

Guess I should begin explaining the reasoning behind my blog, really what me and my blog are all about!!

I am preparing to enter my final semester and decided to jump on the blog bandwagon with the intention of tracking my journey of graduating and seeing what lies ahead following graduation.

Will I fulfill my dream of entering into the PR industry in Ireland, Will I emigrate? Or with the current looming recession will I be forced to ride it out with more study?

As all these questions and decisions for the future buzz around my head I have a feeling this new year of 2010 will be filled with tough choices and hopefully some fun and new experiences thrown in along the way!

I really love the Public Relations course that I am studying and have enjoyed every minute of the past four years but am excited to begin preparing for the next big journey in my career path.

This really is the first time in my life that I have absolutely no idea what lies ahead. I always knew the line of study I wanted to do (hmm well something to do with English or communications so at least that aim worked out) I have always been a big planner and always prepared but at this point I am admitting I have no plan following completing my finals In May!

I aim to work within the pr industry on graduating and I have decided to begin this blog in order to offer my experiences and journey on hopefully reaching my dreams and working within the pr industry.

This will involve past and future experiences such as previous internships and various modules taken what I have learnt during these experiences hopefully offering insight to others trying to succeed in this industry.

So blog world I am excited to have you all on this Journey with me and hopefully you will all share the highs and lows of my journey working toward and following graduation!

Hello world! Saturday, Jan 2 2010