In today’s blog, final year PR student Lindelani Moyo speaks about her university experience at BCU.
Reflecting back to the first year of my course, I feel that although you hear that your first year results don’t count towards the final overall grade, I did take my first year quite seriously.
I took a mix of modules varying from Media theory to PR production. Some of the modules were actually quite challenging when it came to applying certain concepts in assignments but I really enjoyed the PR modules, they were lots of fun, which made the assignments a lot easier to complete!
I was able to meet all of my lecturers who would be teaching me for the three years of the course and remain to this day always willing to help!
I took up all of the work opportunities that were offered on JobBook within the Media Moodle page and landed myself a day of work with CLUSE Amsterdam for their London event in October 2018. I had to learn how to use a canon camera in two days! So I reached out to a photography lecturer who (luckily for me) was more than happy to teach me that basics! I completed around nine work placements and managed to score myself a paid internship with a luxury events company in London that first summer. I really enjoyed my first year!
First-year was also great socially as course leaders planned a lot of group work and we were encouraged to mix and get to know our course peers through numerous activities.
Welcome week let me meet with everyone that was taking ‘BA (Hons) Media and Communications’ and not just my specialism (Public Relations). Because of this, I was able to meet people who I’d now consider to be my close friends and although we aren’t in the same seminars, we’d always bump into each other on campus.
Outside of university, I was living in the ‘University Locks’ student accommodation. It proved to be a popular choice for first-year students completing Media, Business and Fashion so there was a great diverse and creative crowd of people to socialise with.
Birmingham has a vibrant social scene; it is home to many well-known nightclubs and restaurants. There were a lot of flat parties/meetups so I was able to meet a lot of people who were living within other blocks of the accommodation.
Although I didn’t really go out ‘into town’ (just my personal choice) by working in the study rooms downstairs I was still able to meet new people so I didn’t feel that I missed much.
The second-year went by so quickly! We completed the largest amount of modules we would ever take. I remember it being quite a lot to juggle and we were introduced to more new concepts and theories, as I was completing the PR specialist course the majority of my modules were chosen for me but they all contributed to my knowledge on becoming a PR professional.
I began to contribute to extra academic responsibilities such as contributing to the PR blog, which I was able to add to my CV. I also gained a work placement at a local PR agency but unfortunately a couple of weeks in, it had to be cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic had begun towards the end of the first semester and we had to go back home to prepare for a nationwide lockdown.
During this time everyone was just trying to get their heads around what had happened.
Nightclubs and all kinds of social/hospitality industries had shut down so we resorted to group Facetime’s and synced online streaming dates. It was really all about making the good out of a bad time.
I joined Twitter and was able to socialise through virtual conversations which suited my kind-of introverted personality.
Final Year has been completely different in terms of academic experience. Everything is online, from the lessons to the work tasks. This obviously comes from the result of the COVID-pandemic.
Towards the first half of the semester, we thought that there would be a slight chance that we would be able to have lessons on campus again but unfortunately, that hasn’t been able to happen.
As we begin semester two we will continue working virtually, however, I feel glad that I am in my final year as I only have PAD and my major project for remaining modules.
Now we are focusing on what we want to do with our professional careers once we graduate, so I have begun exploring other options than the original path I had planned for myself in my first year.
I know that I want to go into technology and web, which luckily I have had some experience with during my work placements. My main focuses now are completing my assignments and then upskilling so I can enter the technology industry later this year.
The COVID-19 pandemic has obviously changed the social experience within the university. Although we can’t socialise physically we are encouraged to connect via Microsoft teams and the university has hosted a lot of virtual social activities so students can socialise with one another.
This is great if you are stuck in your student accommodation like I am, as it’s nice to speak with other people and see how they are coping with the lockdown.
A lot of these activities have brought along new virtual friendships which tend to arise just from sharing our similar experiences.