Press Officer: Friends & Co
Eleanor graduated with an MA in Media and Creative Industries in 2017 from Loughborough University London, having also completed her BA in English at Loughborough. In her alumni profile, Eleanor talks about why she chose to study at Loughborough University London, and what the future holds for her.
After studying for my undergraduate degree in English at Loughborough’s main campus, it seemed like a pretty natural choice. I had loved my time in Loughborough and knew that the quality of the experience is second to none. I was also ready for a change, but not quite ready for the real world, so it was a nice middle ground.
Living close to the Loughborough London campus was also a big draw, particularly as I could live at home and save on rent, and the scholarships and bursary I was eligible to receive from the University as an alumna were another important factor in my decision. I had loved English, but wasn’t sure where I wanted to take my career afterwards career-wise, so doing Media and Creative Industries was broad enough to let me develop my interests and see what I would be interested in pursuing.
Loughborough in general has undoubtedly shaped who I am now – it would be impossible to spend four years anywhere and that not to happen. I think being constantly surrounded by people achieving incredible things inevitably rubs off on you and you begin to almost see that as the norm, something that you can also do, and that in itself is quite inspiring.
My actual course definitely helped me to decipher between things I am and am not interested in. I was able to develop my interest in writing and literature, feminism and the relationship between the media and women, as well as social movements.
I also realised that I was probably never going to enjoy putting numbers into a spreadsheet and a more creative avenue was a better one for me to take. On a practical level, I was able to develop my writing and research skills, which is helpful now.
There was lots of diversity within topics that we studied, which I enjoyed and I was usually able to choose my own questions for end of term assessments, which also meant that I could tailor my studies to areas of my own interests. Most modules were also taught in three hour lecture blocks, so that meant that each lecture went in to detail on a topic and the next lecture we would move onto something else. That really helped to keep the course interesting.
I particularly enjoyed modules such as Social Identities and Digital Media, Media and Social Movements and Media Audiences. It was interesting to learn how the media is so wrapped up in mirroring and shaping our identities.
I chose to do one assignment on the impact of Instagram on my peers’ self-esteem, and then I was able to do another on the impact of the media on women’s rights movements in Saudi Arabia. Being able to explore different interests was something I really enjoyed. Being able to apply what you are learning to relevant and current issues was also really interesting.
I also enjoyed seeing how the media has been used, both by groups with power and those fighting against it, to further their social movements.
Would there be one piece of advice that you would give to current or prospective students looking to study the same course that you did?
I would tell current students to actually do the reading, as it makes what you are learning so much more interesting as you are actually able to have intelligent discussion on topics rather than pretending you know what’s going on. I would also say if you are unsure whether or not to do a postgraduate course or go straight into work, stay in education for as long as possible because a job will come soon enough!
I definitely took my postgraduate course more seriously, aided by not having the lure of Echoes nightclub on a Saturday night, and spent a lot more time working. I had a lot more control over my own work in my postgraduate experience, I could choose topics I found interesting and then spend time researching that. There is definitely a greater level of independence within a postgraduate course.
After graduating, I began a three month internship which then developed into a job with a PR company, Friends & Co. Joining quite a small company, I was able to be quite involved from the get-go and have now been working here for just over six months.
I knew when I was looking for a job that whatever I ended up doing, I wanted to be writing. I think when I get to write, it is my favourite, although most challenging, aspect of my work.
I try not to think about this too much as you can never really know, and for now I am happy doing what I’m doing. However, I definitely want to spend time in the future travelling and hopefully one day end up working within a charity in some way.