Continuing our quest to know more about the world of PR & Comms, King’s Careers spoke with Jasmine Gray from Liberty Communications. Tune in to her case study below, all about working as an Account Executive, how she entered the tech industry with a degree in Politics and International Relations, and her experience of entering the world of work after graduation. Without further ado…
What are you doing now?
I’m currently an Account Executive at Liberty Comms – we’re a public relations firm specialising in technology. My job is to bridge the gap between our clients and the media, making sure that clients are getting the visibility they deserve and are having their message conveyed accurately! I’m also going to be a part-time student when term starts again in the autumn, as I’ll be going back to university to study an MSc alongside work.
How did you get there? What was your career journey like?
Whilst at university, I joined Liberty for an internship in the summer following my second year. This really acted as an introduction to the industry – having chosen to study a BA in Politics and International Relations, I must admit working in the tech industry was never something I had thought about! Once I did a little research into public relations though, it became clear that the job role required a lot of skills I had developed during my degree. I ended up being offered a full-time position once I graduated.
What barriers did you face or overcome in your career journey?
For me, the barrier was really only founded in indecision. Going into a job before even attending my graduation ceremony – was that really what I wanted to be doing?
After three years of having an irregular schedule, taking the leap into a 9-5 seemed a lot scarier than it needed to. With friends still at university and others going travelling, coming to the conclusion that I really was ready for work was an important one.
I count myself really lucky actually because the reason I sought out work experience at Liberty was to get some ‘proper’, ‘professional’ work experience on my CV – prior to entering my third year of study, this was the biggest barrier I saw to the development of my career. Lucky for me though, the team at Liberty made me feel so at home, I just had to come back!
What do you know now that you’d wish you knew when you were a student? What has surprised you about this position/industry?
This is a tricky one – hindsight is a beautiful thing!
I think for me the most important lesson I’ve learnt since leaving university is how to stop measuring your successes on grades or by comparison to others. When I started working full time, I think for the first time in a long time I really appreciated the value of having a team to work alongside.
I realised that when you’re a student, the difficulties of attributing success or failure only to yourself (and only measured up to your own standards) really is tough, and actually isn’t something that you need to encounter in the same way once you leave education. When you’re a student, it doesn’t always feel like hard work is rewarded, because the temptation to compare yourself to others is just too strong. At work it can be entirely different – it feels really refreshing to share your successes with others.
So really what I wish I had known is that your successes or failures as a student will not determine what you achieve when you’re in a full-time job.
King’s Careers take: Are you interested in discovering more about a career in PR & Comms sector? Why not check out our previous blog posts with Liberty Communications! Discover careers in PR & Comms & What’s Graduate Recruitment looking like at the moment?
Do you have any tips for people interested in working in your area?
If you’re interested in working in PR, internships/work experience are a definite must in my opinion! It was doing an internship that really helped me realise this is something I want to be doing.
I think it’s also important to look at where PR can take you – whilst working in the industry you work with a huge range of people from different professions, whether that’s marketing, journalism, advertising, or others. It might be that you think you aren’t interested in PR, but when you realise your experiences in the role might lead you a number of different ways, it becomes a lot more exciting.
On a more practical level, keeping up with the news and honing your writing skills will serve you really well in the industry – try writing for your uni newspaper!
King’s Careers Take: Whether you’re discovering what you’d like to do in the future, focusing your career options or taking actionable steps, King’s Careers have useful resources for you! Check out our PR & Comms sector guide, which is full of current, industry-specific information.
This blog was written in collaboration with Liberty Communications and King’s Careers & Employability.