- Course: MA Corporate Communications and Public Relations
- Year of graduation: 2013
- Nationality: Canadian
- Job title: Communications Manager, global sustainability
- Company: lulumelon
Why did you choose Leeds University Business School?
The modules and the way the programme was structured was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted more than just a degree in PR as I'm also interested in strategic communications and corporate reputation. I remember reading the module list when I first discovered Leeds University Business School and thinking to myself, wow, I'm excited about every single module!
What were your career aspirations when you arrived?
I love what I'm currently doing and the organization I work for, but I'm always thinking about what's next and which areas I'd like to explore. What I knew when I arrived at Leeds was that my heart was in communications. I didn't know what that looked like or how that would unfold in terms of career paths, but I was hoping the programme would allow me to explore different areas of communications and see what worked best for me. By the end of the programme I walked away with a much clearer understanding of where my interests and skills align.
I absolutely believe the experience and skills I gained at Leeds helped me attain my current job, and they will continue to help me in my future career plans. The Business School provided me with a well-rounded, diverse set of tools and skills. The course opens endless doors in all directions.
I plan on exploring as many doors as I can on my way to attaining a significant leadership role in communications. I want to have a breadth of experience in different areas, from PR agency to in-house communications, digital brand strategy, corporate reputation and internal communications and change management. The course has provided me with the tools and skills to explore all of these facets of communications.
How has your career progressed since leaving the Business School? Have there been any notable highlights?
I landed a dream job with an amazing organization that offers an incredible work life balance in one of the most beautiful resort municipalities in Canada. I'd say that's a notable highlight!
What is your current role and with which employer? What is your job remit?
I work for Whistler Blackcomb in the Public Relations department as Communications Coordinator. No two days are alike, which is what I love. I work on everything from writing press releases, creating digital brand strategies, performing radio interviews and on-mountain commercial film shoots. Dynamic is a understatement!
What are your ambitions for the future?
The sky's the limit. I am striving for a significant leadership role in communications within the next 5-10 years. I'm less fussed with specific industries and more focused on the type of organization. Working for a company whose values align with mine is extremely important to me.
If you are not from the UK, how was the transition to a foreign country?
It was challenging at first. My first piece of advice is don't underestimate the culture shock of transitioning to a foreign country. Even though it's English speaking and similar in many ways, the UK is also very different to Canada. Any transition to a foreign country is going to be a challenge at first. Everything is new and unknown and you're far away from home, family and friends. It will take a couple months to feel settled, but if you plan for that adjustment time, it's less of a big deal.
My second piece of advice is get busy from day one and stay busy! Yes the programme is demanding so you're going to be busy with school but you will have some free time. The University Union offers loads of clubs, events and activities to keep your schedule jam packed.
My third piece of advice is have fun. Go out and enjoy Leeds! The nightlife, the restaurants, the niche cafes, the art gallery - experience it all. There's enough pubs in town to keep you busy on all your free evenings and weekends!
What was your impression/experience of the facilities, the staff, your peers, the student union, the City of Leeds and the region itself?
I honestly have nothing but great things to say about my experience at Leeds. Get to know your teachers on a personal level - they won't bite!
What would you say is your defining memory of studying here?
The PR in Practice module where we simulated a PR agency and pitched to a mock-client. My group worked really hard on coming up with a strategy and we invested a lot in getting the presentation dialed. But nothing beats making that pitch and unanimously knowing that we nailed it! That's a good feeling!