What Graduate plus means to me
Most people go to university for the experience; Graduate plus is the university experience award. I started my Graduate plus journey in my first year with the Bronze award. It was a piece of cake. However, my Silver and Gold awards pushed me to get my three placements in different media industry sectors. Each industry had its challenges, but they have all helped me become a little more work ready.
The Key Skills
I realised that most of the skills flowed into each other throughout my placements. The essential skills I have highlighted throughout fit into either writing, researching or media skills. By reflecting and writing them down on Graduate plus, I saw the pattern. This was vital for my progression in the placements as I could home in on core skills and develop them.
Barford Tigers Publicity Placement
I picked up the first placement with a local field hockey team- Barford Tigers. This was a club I initially played for the season before, and I was attending their AGM. They needed a publicity officer; originally, I was not confident stepping forward until one of the team members said, "Dont you do a media degree?" So, I put myself forward. I set to work creating templates on Canva for social media and updating the website. I applied the knowledge from my course and set up a social media campaign. One of my primary campaigns was to increase the presence of the Ladies section. I created Instagram posts highlighting the individuals and their skills. To do this, I had to use my interviewing skills, photography skills and Writing skills. Furthermore, I had to understand the best time to post, what tags to use, and add alt text to the images. The Ladies loved featuring on Instagram and shared their posts with friends and family.
Spottydog Communications Placement
My second placement was in the lifestyle industry. I joined Spottydog Communications in Birmingham as an intern. Here I developed media and research skills. I spent a part of my time searching and calling stakeholders to invite them to Pub re-openings in their local area. I did this whilst practicing good CMS (Content Management System). Resilience and clear communication are needed as I called upwards of six hundred people in a week. When I was not calling people, I was researching influencers- Pets, hair and beauty gurus, electricians, plumbers, Electric Car enthusiasts, etc. There was never a dull moment during this internship, and I loved it. To read more about my experience, you can check out the blog I wrote.
Safer. Dance Placement
My third placement is in a vastly different industry – Risk and Music. Safer. Dance is an organisation whose aim is to make a difference for consumers, operators and performers alike. Making the nightlife experience inclusive, safe and fun for everyone. This was an opportunity created in my course, but it was built on earlier experience. During the interview, I used the STAR technique to talk about my experience and how I could help them. I spoke a lot about the modules I was doing and earlier placements. I got the job, and I set to work putting together research on the cause of Sexual Harassment and displayed the information via PowerPoint. I presented this work via teams; they liked the research and asked if I could convert the research into blog posts and stories. Each Blog post needed links and images related to the blog posts to increase SEO- Search Engine Optimisation. I had to self-manage and regularly reported back.
Why Graduate plus
Given the circumstances, the skills I developed were pushed by the Graduate plus program. This program has allowed me to think about my skills and how I could apply them to placements. All the skills I have spoken about are skills I didn't have at the start of my university experience. I hope I have been able to highlight the core skills I have used in my placements. Placements are an opportunity to practice applying your skills. At the end of the day, yes, it looks good on a CV, but if you think you do not have the right skills or lack confidence, this is the program for you- it's never too late to start!
Christine Kobrin, 3rd year Media and Communications