So, what are you going to do now?

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Written by Holly Ellis

“So what are you going to do now?” is the question that most graduates get tired of answering. But as a journalism and creative writing graduate, no question will take you beyond snoredom as much as: “So which newspaper are you going to become the editor of?” or “Ooooh, fancy yourself as the next J.K. Rowling then?”

The beauty of a degree like mine is that it develops core skills that can open up a whole range of possible career paths. The key for me has always been to look for a role that will make me happy and where I can make a difference. Bowing to the pressure of what others’ might expect me to do next would feel like a cop out.

So, let me take you on a little journey of how I fell in love with PR…

Imagine the scene, a (very) busy coffee house full of Christmas shoppers, including me, exhausted after a strenuous morning of present buying.

Forced to take the only table available, despite the remnants from the previous occupants, but at least it was in a prime position for people watching.

Contentedly sipping on my orange-spiced hot chocolate (seriously, it’s Christmas in a cup), I happened to overhear the conversation from the next table. It was when words like blogs, press releases, and contacting journalists started flying that my ears pricked up.

After employing a silent but urgent form of hybrid sign language to confer with my mum and finessing a makeshift script on my phone, I took the plunge:

“Excuse me, sorry to interrupt but I wondered if you could tell me where you work? I’ve recently graduated from uni and the things you’re talking about sound like exactly what I’d love to do.”

I’ve since come to realise why my coffee shop ‘pitch’ went down so well. After all, a good PR appreciates a bit of bravery and initiative.

After a week’s work experience in January, I was offered a position as part of Stand’s paid internship scheme.

Everyone has made me feel so welcome and I’ve had the opportunity to get stuck in with some amazing projects like the Kidney Research UK #couldntlivewithout social media campaign.

So, I might not quite be JK Rowling (yet), but I’m putting the skills I honed at university to good use, whether that’s writing creative copy, convincing a celeb to support a good cause, or pitching ideas to a blogger.

I’m doing a job that makes a difference and that I enjoy. And it just goes to show, you should never underestimate the power of a bit of initiative (and a mug of hot chocolate).

Holly Ellis is a graduate of journalism and creative writing and is currently enjoying learning the ropes as part of Stand Agency’s paid internship scheme. To find out more about opportunities at Stand drop us a line at nikki@standagency.com  

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