- Buy the textbooks recommended by your tutor. If they are recommending certain books then it’s most likely that their lectures and seminars will use content from it. No, your books probably won’t be very cheap, but they are definitely worth it in the long run. Check Amazon for prices against high street retailers such as Waterstones, as Amazon does tend to be cheaper.
- Spend wisely in fresher’s week (or fortnight) as you still have the rest of your first semester to budget for! Yes you do need that carnage t-shirt but do you really want to live off pot noodles?
- Make friends with your PR tutors, or any tutors that you have. I don’t mean “Fancy a pint later” friends. But talk to them, get to know them and their PR knowledge and connections will become invaluable to you during your time at university.
- Sign up for Twitter and every other social media going. Before university I didn’t see the point in Twitter but now I can see exactly what is going on in the big wide world of PR.
- Joining the CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations) gives you complete access to PR industry news and information. Student membership is £35 for the year (starting in September) and every week you get PR Week which tells you that week’s industry news. I found this really useful to read alongside my PR module, and it really helped me in my assignment. Join now!
- Get to know the people on your course. Meeting new people can always be daunting, but do strike up a conversation with someone and you’ll feel all the better for it.
- Follow PR companies. Find one that you really like and see who their clients are and what they are doing. This will increase your depth of knowledge about PR and you’ll have something to talk about in your seminars.
- Hungover or not, make sure you go to that 9am lecture (this applies to every subject). Yes you may have got in a 4am and can’t remember what happened to all your money but every PR lecture counts and are vitally important to your own success.
- Try to get some work experience at a PR firm, either at home or at university. It looks good on your CV and you’ll learn so much.
- Have fun, lots of it! You’re only a fresher once so enjoy every moment, every fancy dress party and every headache in the morning!
A bonus tip: as well as subscribing to Behind the Spin, you can follow us on Facebook.
Jennifer Kitch studies PR and marketing at Lincoln University. She is Behind the Spin’s new PR coordinator.