I originally started my degree at London Metropolitan University but after the first year, I realised I didn't want to stay there as I felt I had already studied a lot of the course at A-level and I had worked really hard for my A-levels.
I did a lot of internet-based research and both Middlesex University and the Journalism course on offer really stood out. The Trent Park campus looked beautiful and I really enjoyed reading the comments made by Middlesex graduates who had enjoyed their time there. These made a big impression on the 18/19 year old me! For me it really stood out as the place I knew I wanted to study.
At Middlesex I studied a BA in Journalism.
Having done the media course at London Metropolitan University for a year, I knew which aspects I enjoyed and didn't enjoy. I didn't enjoy the TV or internet modules. I was such an old fashioned paper and pen girl and knew I really wanted to be in journalism and write.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the photography work we did –looking at picture stories, etc. This was actually probably the module I enjoyed the most which I found interesting as I had never really had an interest in photography before.
I think probably the social life in the student union on campus! I commuted in each day so wasn't in halls which is where a lot of people make friends. I think the student union really allows people to make friends – probably more so than lectures.
Be willing to step out of your comfort zone. Don't let shyness hold you back in any way and make sure you embrace every aspect of the university experience.
I think it enabled me to begin developing a lot of the skills I possess today. University provides a really good grounding and teaches you things like time management and is different to anything you have experienced before at that time in your life. You go in a kid and come out an adult, so for life skills and embracing your individuality – for the first time you are not being told what to do – it sets you up with good foundations.
In many ways the industry chose me! I had a love for writing, editorial and print journalism and PR was an industry that enabled me to embrace these passions. The main con would be that the salaries can often be quite low so you really have to love what you do.
After university, I started out working on a local magazine and then for a local PR firm. A job as an HR Assistant at Redwood Publishing in London then came up so I went for it. The role didn't marry up with what I wanted to do but it put me on the career ladder in London and also made me realise what I wanted to do. It really helped me to understand the world from a London Publisher's perspective.
I would say becoming a PR Manager. This was a defining moment as it meant I had reached some of the goals I wanted to reach.
I don't know but what I will say is it has a lot to live up to as I have high expectations of what I want to achieve!
Don't be afraid to go for a fixed term contract, soak up everything you can during the contract and then look for a new challenge. You will learn a lot.
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
Do what you feel is right and speak up if you think something is wrong. Don't be afraid to voice your opinion. You will end up winning respect.
The same advice I would give to my 18 year old sister who is about to go to University! Don't choose your favourite hobby as the focus for your degree. Try and do something that will stand you in good stead in the future. The job market is really hard so make sure the degree you choose gives you the best career prospects. Times have changed so choose your degree wisely!