Rachel Hickey

Rachel Hickey - SoM Alumni Profile - Primary Image

Rachel Hickey graduated from our BA Media and Communications course in 2019. She spoke to us about her role as a Graduate Account Executive at WPR.

What is your name?

Rachel Hickey.

What degree did you study and when did you graduate?

I studied Media and Communication (Public Relations) at Birmingham City University and graduated in 2019.

What is your current job title?

I am currently a Graduate Account Executive at WPR Agency, based in Edgbaston, Birmingham.

How did you get your job?

Following a week of work experience in my final year at university with WPR, I received a job offer from the agency.

How relevant is your degree?

My degree has proven to be extremely relevant to my current role, the context and skills I learned during the course helped develop my understanding of PR and formed a strong foundation for the position I'm in now.

What's a typical working day like?

A typical working day involves drafting copy such as press releases, case studies and features. I also liaise with both clients and editors to place this content in the press. Off the back of arranging this coverage, I'm also responsible for documenting it and providing reports to the client on the results gained. Alongside the usual monthly activity, I also support campaigns that are going on for various clients.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy the variety of each day; no day is ever the same. It's great being able to share coverage with clients and talking to the editors of publications. The campaigns we run can also be really fun, especially the ones which involve letting people know they've won an experience or prize.

What are the challenges?

Dealing with last minute requests and working to tight deadlines to ensure content gets to editors or clients in time can be tricky, however the team is extremely supportive and good time management skills help take the pressure off.

Where do you hope to be in five years?

In five years' time, I hope to be running accounts myself and playing a leading role in the development of campaigns and wider communication strategies.

What advice can you give to others?

  • Do as many placements as possible to better understand where you enjoy working the most
  • Network wherever you can, keep contact with people you have worked alongside via LinkedIn
  • Choose what you enjoy as this will be how you spend the majority of your time in the future

What advice would you give current students about preparing for work?

When on placements take the opportunity to work across different sectors if possible to better understand which suits you best as you won't know until you try.

Attitude goes a long way, when on placements this is just as crucial as how you handle the work tasks given to you.

Be proactive about making connections, those who get jobs lined up early on are those who have already developed a network of professionals they can get in touch with. A well developed professional Twitter or LinkedIn account can be useful when it comes to engaging with those working in the industry and ensuring people remember you even a year or so after you've met.