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Maddy McCrann-Smith

Maddy McCrann-Smith media graduate sitting at laptop

Course studied at BCU: Media and Communications (PR)

Company you work for: Spottydog Communications

Job title: PR, Communications and Social Media Consultant

Did you always want to study your chosen subject at university or did you change your mind when you were researching/applying?

Yes, I always had an interest in media studies especially in the practical rather than theory.

After doing work experience at local newspapers in 6th form, they recommended I looked into PR as a career option as there were more jobs. I listened and looked for a course where I could study media as PR as well.

Being able to combine media & PR studies at BCU was the ideal course for me!

What challenges did you face while studying here, and what support did BCU/your Faculty provide you during your degree?

Written skills – I realised too late the support available for writing skills (about a week before dissertation deadline). I wish I had known this earlier in my degree.

Appreciate the amount of support and encouragement to develop practical skills and find work experience.

Before university, I was afraid of pubic speaking but doing my course gave me the confidence to do this successfully.

In what way do you think BCU developed you as a person for you to flourish in your chosen career path?

Pushed me to find relevant work experience, which was invaluable. The experience working in an office, meeting people that work in PR not only helped with a job after uni, but also helped with my university work i.e. my final project.

BCU also helped my confidence, working around people from different backgrounds (I’m from a small town in the countryside) made me more confident and pushed me to want to do well. The opportunities presented to us from the skills gained on my course were great, I really appreciate the work our tutors did to push us and give us any opportunity to thrive after university.

Did you gain any relevant experience whilst studying at BCU that allowed you to easily adapt to your job role?

Work experience was mandatory as part of our studies, so in all my years at university I felt compelled to find and complete relevant work experience.

My tutor Kelly encouraged me to take part in a Pitch competition, which I won and received several week’s work experience at PR agencies in Birmingham. While at one of these placements I asked if I could have more experience which they agreed to and eventually led to getting a job.

I doubt I would have this job if I hadn’t been encouraged to do work experience. I was work-ready as soon as I graduated.

Not only work experience, but our tutors encouraging us to work on live briefs and giving us the confidence to work with real clients in my final year was incredibly useful.

What key skills have you been able to take into your job role and how have these helped you excel?

  • Core skills in PR – knowing how to write a press release, influencer and media relations.
  • PR theory
  • PR campaigns, what makes a great PR campaign
  • Collaboration and presenting

All of these have helped me in my day to day working life.

If you have any advice for anyone who is studying the course you studied, what would you say?

Make the most of every opportunity, don’t be afraid to push yourself and ask questions.

Can you tell us some exciting things you have been involved in since starting your new job role?

Working across a range of B2B and B2C clients, event management, working with influencers and media titles. Fun team days out too!

What does BCU mean to you?

BCU is where I found the confidence to push myself, I’ll always be grateful to BCU for the skills I gained while studying there. The importance they place on practical skills, I feel is invaluable.