Friday, 4 December 2020

The 101 Guide to surviving Christmas Break in a pandemic: PR Student Edition

Hello to my fellow PR students, I hope you are all well. I think we can all agree that this year has been, unique, to say the least. It’s the last week of online learning and Christmas is in three weeks. I cannot believe how fast this semester has gone and we’ve barely been able to go outside. We all deserve a good relaxing break filled with cups of hot chocolate and tubs of sweet-treats!


Now, as tempting as Netflix and Amazon Prime may be appearing to us before we all fall into weeks of TV-binging I have gone ahead and written this (very brief) 101 Guide on how to stay on top (academically speaking) of this Christmas Break, especially as this is during a pandemic. We have waaay more temptations around us than ever before and the majority of us still have assignments deadlines looming upon us and one thing we don’t want to do is fail to utilise our productive time, holiday or not!


So here are my tips below:


First-Year Students


Take additional courses

Once you submit your assignments you are going to have some free time on your hands. Looking back from a third-year perspective this is a great time to take on some additional courses! Check out LinkedIn Learning and Hootsuite for some free online pr and social media courses, to build on those all-important PR skills and knowledge you have been gaining over the past weeks. Some of these courses will be so beneficial in getting you ready for your second-year modules, like PR creating compelling content, and will also look great when the time comes to make your professional online profiles!


Connect with friends back home

Your first year of university has been completely different from what the majority of us have experienced. Your lessons were primarily online, so some of you might have decided to work from home instead of moving away. You have completed your first semester (in a pandemic) and you should be so proud of yourselves! You might have made a ton of new friends/course buddies virtually, so use this time to unplug a little bit and connect with your family and friends from home. If you start to get this personal-life balance right now, by the time you get to your third year the distance you currently feel will seem like nothing and you’ll be able to conversate with your friends as if you were still seeing them like during sixth-form/college.

Second-Year Students


Build your personal brand

This is honestly the best time for you to start building your personal brand. I can imagine that your placements requirement for your module assignments this semester has been cancelled but, slowly and surely the world is opening back up and it will soon be time for you to start sending out those shiny CV’s and cover letters to the PR agencies you are looking to intern at. By building your personal brand now it will help you get your foot in the door when application time comes around and, also get your name in the mouths of the right people.


Complete projects

Continuing on, although work placements have paused for the moment, completing projects (outside of the ones set at university) is another great way to show your future employers that you are actively looking to improve your skillset and is a chance delve deeper into your PR interests than what is typically required of you (which every employer loves to hear about!). If you don’t know what project to start, look for a problem and create a solution, document how you did it and creatively present it as either a portfolio piece or online through a blog post. Why not join me and email it to Kelly to upload on to the #BCUWeArePR website?


Third/Final-Year Students

As final year students, we have so much on our minds and so many tasks to complete, and it can honestly get a bit overwhelming so my main advice to you is: to try to do a little bit, every day.

Timetable your days

If you’re applying for graduate jobs, masters courses or even internships I can imagine that the deadlines for your applications are approaching in. A way to help organise this is by creating multiple to-do lists, either written pen-to-paper on simply create them digitally on Trello. You could also create a timetable specifically for Monday-Friday. You want to avoid burn-out at all costs so leave your weekends free to do whatever you want or participate in some self-care activities. 


Plan for your future

In our second semester, we will only have two modules left, that being Professional and Academic Development (PAD) and Major Project. PAD is always about planning ahead so over the Christmas break take some time out to think about what you want to do in the future in terms of careers. Do you want to stay at home or are you looking to move in with a friend? Has a specific role caught your eye that you need to upskill in? Connect with current employees on LinkedIn, or find some online courses and gain a certificate so that when the time comes you can show your employer that you have taken that extra step to show how much you want this role.


Whether you’re travelling home for Christmas or staying at your accommodation, stay safe and I hope you have a lovely, productive break :)


The post was written by ​Lindelani, final year PR specialist student at BCU School of Media


You can follow her PR and university journey on:


Twitter: @PR_Lindelani & @girlsinmedia





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