People come to study public relations and comms at postgraduate level from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. While economics graduates are not unknown, accountants are rare. Malina Istatkova explains her journey to Leeds from Bulgaria:
‘I gained an economics degree from Sofia University and had been working for several years as an accountant in my aunt’s public relations consultancy, D & D Research and Public Relations.
‘This made me curious to learn more about client handling and the business of public relations, so I started researching courses.
‘I chose the UK because I wanted to study in English and admired Britain’s culture and history. I shortlisted three possible Master’s courses and chose Leeds because the course is CIPR-approved and because I wanted to study in a large city.
‘There have been many highlights for me: I’ve learnt about the power of social media – which isn’t quite as apparent yet in Bulgaria.
‘I’ve realised the importance of developing a strategy (from Communication Planning and Management), have developed my creativity (in PR Skills) and have practised client handling (Communication Audit).
‘Most of all, I have welcomed the self-induced learning where lecturers set the guidelines and students learn by taking risks within these boundaries.
‘And so much has happened outside the classroom: my boyfriend is English and I’ve won a prize for contributing an idea to Ketchum’s Mindfire community.
‘My aunt keeps asking me when I’m coming back to work for her but still have more to learn. I’m now applying for PR graduate schemes in the UK.’