Marjon News

Interview with media graduate says confidence is key to success

Released: 08.09.15

Anais Hancock

Anais Hancock, 22 from Penryn graduated in Media Studies in 2014. She now works at DCA Public Relations in Cornwall

Why the University of St Mark & St John (Marjon)?

Because it had a great reputation for media and it was in a great location to be away from home, but not too far. It opened up so many different topics to me through varied modules, including Public Relations.

I was lucky to be at the university when the Journalism and Media centre was completely refurnished, which made a big impact on our lessons and the facilities available to me.

I loved living on campus in my first year and met two girls that I’m still really close to now.

In my final year, I spent a lot of time in the library and the JAM centre working long days to get my work completed for deadlines, which looking back on really helped me prepare for working life.

How did you land your first job?

I was in the middle of writing my dissertation when a good friend telephoned and told me I should apply for a job at DCA.

The timing was perfect. It was initially for a year’s maternity cover as an admin assistant starting in June. I worked really hard to get involved with the PR for our clients and by October, I was working full-time on PR.

We work with loads of exciting companies around Cornwall and Devon such as Hub Box, a burger chain in Exeter, Truro, St Ives and soon Plymouth and St Austell Brewery, a Cornish brewery. I work closely with them and a number of clients on lots of exciting projects with plenty in the pipeline.

Over the summer I started working on my own client account, a holiday park in Cornwall.

How has the University helped to get you where you are today?

My job was a graduate position so I had to have a relevant degree.

I learnt lots of news skills, most of which I now use day-to-day at work including journalistic PR and design skills.

I learned to use InDesign in my second and third year, which my employers were really impressed with. As a result of this, we’ve been able to offer more design work to our clients.

I’ve been really lucky that my employer has put a lot of trust in me. I’ve been given so many opportunities since being here and I feel as though I am learning and improving all the time.

What advice can you give to media students?

Get as much work experience as possible and be proactive.  Be aware of what’s going on in the industry and keep up-to-date with news and events, as you never know when companies might be looking to recruit someone new.

Don’t leave things to the last minute, especially your dissertation, where you should choose a subject you are really passionate about. I focussed on fashion blogging and produced a fashion magazine.

Our student magazine was shortlisted for an award where we met lots of students and contacts in the magazine industry.  I was really grateful to our lecturer for nominating us and it was a great experience to be recognised on a national level.

What personal qualities do you need to work in PR?

Confidence. University helps to build confidence in many ways. You need to be confident to meet new people, make your ideas heard and speak to journalists about what you are working on.  

Why should people study at the University of St Mark & St John?

It’s got amazing facilities! The main benefit is that as it is a small University, your lecturers know you as a person rather than a number. You really get that one-to-one relationship with the lecturers that you wouldn’t get in a much bigger University.

I got on really well with my magazine publishing lecturer, Liz Miller, and I felt as though I could go to her for anything. 

Want to find out more about studying Media and Journalism at the University of St Mark & St John?

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