Wednesday January 18, 2012
Having carried out a series of interviews with our course leaders, we thought it might be nice to hear from our students about their careers and experiences of studying for a professional qualification.
To kick things off, we spoke with recent CIPR Diploma graduate Elizabeth Maclean. Elizabeth joined Barclays in October 2009 and she manages corporate communications for the UAE. She studied the Diploma online with a cohort that included PR practitioners from Ghana, Bosnia And Herzegovina, Qatar and Barbados (and quite a lot from the UK too!)
Here’s what she had to say…
Ann: What was your route into the PR profession?
Elizabeth: About twenty years ago I worked for the Liberal Democrats – the political landscape was very different then. After spending four years helping to organise the party conferences there were really only three avenues open to me: to stay in politics, become a journalist or move into PR. I chose the latter and have never regretted the choice I made.
Ann: What does a typical working day – if there is such a thing - involve for you?
Elizabeth: Whether it is a typical day or not, my first task has to be to check what the news headlines are and what is going on in the world.
Ann: What do you most love about your job?
Elizabeth: Picking up a newspaper to read an article that I have been involved in.
Ann: Why did you choose to undertake a professional qualification?
Elizabeth: To ensure that I kept up to date with developments in the UK profession while working overseas, which I have been for the past seven years. The UK PR profession remains at the forefront of innovation.
Ann: How has studying for a professional qualification impacted on your work or career?
Elizabeth: I hope that it will demonstrate to employers that I possess a combination of professional experience and current academic theory.
Ann: What one piece of advice would you give to anyone wishing to study for a professional qualification?
Elizabeth: Firstly, get the support of your family. Despite being good at managing my time, I needed to develop even tighter time management skills. The ability to prioritise tasks was also critical!