I’m Abi Kitcher and I am a first year studying Public Relations and Communication at Southampton Solent. I thought I knew from a young age what career area I roughly wanted to be in. I loved writing, I loved social media and I certainly enjoyed communicating with as many people as possible. I initially thought I would go into a Journalism degree, so after getting my GCSE’s, I went onto study A-Levels in English, Media and Communication and Culture at college.
I applied to do Journalism at a few different universities and settled on one, but after arriving there in September 2013, excited and ready to start what I thought was my dream degree, I soon realised after 3 months of being there that Journalism was far from what I wanted to do. I am completely the wrong type of person to be what you are expected to be, I wanted to talk to the people and have a good relationship with the public. Being a journalist to me personally, was not going to build a relationship with the public that I wanted.
So I started from scratch, re-evaluated what I wanted to be and where I wanted to be in a few years time. I started looking into universities again but this time going for a more Marketing/Advertising/PR approach as reading the course outlines of these degrees, these were more what I felt suited me. I was instantly drawn to taking PR at Solent because they were accredited by CIPR, the opening line of the course outline described everything I loved (communicating, writing and social media!) I looked at the course content and it looked like exactly the kind of thing I was interested in. I was also attracted by the fact employability is such a strong key part of what makes this course so brilliant to me. There are plenty of opportunities given to you throughout the years of being at Solent.
I attended a taster day and got a feel of what it would be like to study here, and by the end of the day I was so excited to start in September. We got to present our ideas to the rest of the potential students and it gave us a chance to be creative with the tasks they set (this task was to advertise sugar free donuts!)
When I started in September, I found that it was similar to what I expected but also that I was learning more skills than I thought I would. Such as understanding how to work the equipment and record in a radio studio, and also applying Adobe InDesign to assignments. I initially assumed it would mostly be pitches and presentations along with a lot of writing! But I am extremely glad it is even more creative than I thought and I’ve learnt so much already only being halfway through my first year.
I am also a course rep for PR and Comms and spend time writing my own blog in my spare time, to build up skills and give a little bit extra of my time to something I am passionate about. This is something I’m happy to do for the next 3 years and beyond.