Graduating is such a minefield and can be a really daunting time. I have experienced this intimidating unknown twice now. I finished my undergraduate degree in the summer of 2020, which was overwhelming for obvious reasons. And while I knew everyone else was in the same position, it was difficult to not compare myself to those (and only those) who seemed to have their whole life sorted.

Now, I am facing my second experience of graduating. I am at the end of my Broadcast Journalism MA at Nottingham Trent University, a course that I applied to after the pandemic panic took a firm hold of me the first time around.

I knew I wanted to go into media and I figured by gaining more skills and experience in the subject, I would be in a better position a year on. And I definitely am. I am so grateful and glad I took the opportunity to pursue a Masters because I have learnt so many transferrable skills. So, what is the next step for me?

This choice can be huge and frightening, which is why I endorse anyone who wants to do work experience.

Gaining valuable professional experience is a fantastic way to learn more about not only your chosen sector but also yourself and how you work best; your preferred ways to work, your favoured tasks, your passions and what excites you. A placement can be the step you need to make sure that the direction you’re going in is right for you. While academic experience is extremely valuable in so many ways, I think it misses the mark on the learning you can do in a professional setting.

For me, my time at JHPR has shown me how creative and exciting the industry can be and how creativity is something I definitely need in my future career.

For example, I love how social media is all about the users’ and customers’ experience, and how impactful this can be for a business. I spent a lot of time creating social media content during my work experience, contributing to clients’ overall business strategies, considering target audiences and tailoring my work according to each platform. It’s highly rewarding to see the process from start to finish – planning content, writing, creating artwork, scheduling and monitoring, and seeing how well our content performs.

Not only was my time at JHPR valuable in terms of learning about the industry, but I learned so much from being a part of the lovely JHPR team. My ideas and questions were always encouraged and welcomed, and I was trusted and supported in trying different tasks for a variety of sectors, from writing press releases and listicles, to writing and scheduling social media posts.

If I can pass any wisdom on to other students and graduates who are currently wading through the uncertainty is that you can only benefit from a placement.

You will learn and develop the skills you already have and it will give you the confidence you need for your next step. Do research into the sector beforehand so you have an idea of what the placement will bring but also to ensure it’s a sector you see yourself going into. And finally, make the most of your work experience, learn as much as you can, ask lots of questions, and enjoy!

Interested in applying for work experience at JHPR? We’d love to hear from you! Send us an email with a few details about yourself, what you’re studying and why would you like to join us to hello@jenniehollandpr.co.uk

By Lucy Hilton