Kerstin explains how her Postgraduate Taught Scholarship allowed her to kickstart her career in PR by studying Cardiff University’s MA International Public Relations and Global Communications Management. This practically-orientated course is completed in only 1 year and taught by PR professionals.
Can you tell us a little bit about the programme in your own words?
“Overall the course perfectly combines academic and theoretical knowledge and practical elements that will be beneficial for a future career in PR. The courses start by providing students with the necessary theoretical background knowledge before providing a hands-on experience by creating a PR campaign for instance. The staff at JOMEC is great, professional and very supportive. Guest lecturers from various backgrounds contribute to the diversity of the course. Also, there are students from 22 different countries in my class which makes this a great study environment.”
Have you been able to secure funding from other places, how else are you supporting your studies?
“I had a look at the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding but unfortunately I wasn’t eligible for other options. I have made use of the Student’s Union JobShop but haven’t found a matching job yet.”
What were your motivations for undertaking a postgraduate degree?
“I am positive that a postgraduate degree will enhance my employability as the Master’s degree which I’m taking is accredited by the CIPR, teaching staff comes from the PR profession and the course is highly practical orientated. Additionally, as I have some professional background in Marketing, PR seemed a great add-on since I’m really passionate about working closely will customers and like the journalistic aspect of PR (writing press releases and other content).”
Why did you decide to do your postgraduate degree at Cardiff?
“I was applying at 5 universities throughout the UK and in Canada. I chose Cardiff over the other universities because of Cardiff’s international reputation, the accredited course (CIPR), the combination of theoretical and practical modules, the possibility of finishing the MA in only 1 year rather than the usual 2 years, the geographic location of Cardiff (it’s really nice to have Cardiff Bay close by) and the international campus climate that I heard about.”
Is there anything about your postgraduate course that has stood out in your experience?
“The international flair at Cardiff University is just great. I made friends with people from all over the world. I really appreciate this experience. Moreover the academic support by the teaching staff but also by administrative staff from the department is incredible. I feel supported and taken care of. Guest lectures provide you with the possibility of networking which might be helpful in getting a placement after studies. Overall the MA at Cardiff provides you with all necessary skills and networking opportunities to successfully start a career after studies.”
What do you think of Cardiff as a place to live as a postgraduate?
“Cardiff offers a lot for students. It’s the ideal location no matter if you like to do spots, go on trips, participate in activities offered by the university, go shopping in the city centre, or have a nice afternoon on the waterfront at Cardiff Bay. Cardiff also offers a vibrant nightlife with pubs, clubs, restaurants and bars. Also there are a lot of cultural events and concerts taking place in the Welsh capital.”
How do you think your postgraduate course will contribute to your future career plans?
“The University provides a number of certificates that I’m currently working on to achieve. The Continuing Professional Development programme is great in order to develop professional skills in communication (matching with my MA), leadership and personal effectiveness. These classes will enhance my profile and are extremely useful to develop a number of ‘soft skills’ that will hopefully be beneficial for my future work. Additionally, I think it is mainly the cultural diversity which makes you assess tasks in different ways which might be beneficial when working for an international organisation/company.”
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