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Public relations: An Unexpected Journey

Public relations is like nothing I’ve ever been involved with before.

Since joining Babel a month ago, I’ve had very few moments where I haven’t been learning something new. While hectic at times, my experience thus far has been exhilarating – a new environment where every day is different and the working pace is always changing.

Having completed my undergraduate degree in biology, and my master’s degree in animal behaviour and conservation, I’d mentally and academically set myself up for a career in science. It was not long after I left university, however, that I decided to step away from the conservation field and try my hand at something new – public relations.

There’s so much more to PR than I imagined, and it seems that in a small, tight-knit agency like Babel, we get to learn so quickly. Just four weeks in, and I already have a dedicated portfolio of clients and have been exposed to many different tasks. It’s certainly been a baptism of fire, mainly because I joined the team at an important point in the technology PR calendar – the run up to Mobile World Congress, the industry’s biggest trade show. Despite the timing, it has been fantastic training, and I’ve really enjoyed the juxtaposition of my previous life filled with snail-paced, meticulous days in the lab and the whirlwind of MWC preparation and having to think on my feet.

I’ve had a number of jobs prior to my first foray into PR. During my teenage years and whilst at university, I worked as a lifeguard, dog carer at a dog hotel, barista, pole vault coach, and shop assistant. For a good two years, I also founded and wrote a blog about environmental sustainability and conservation, which was when I first dipped my toe into media relations.

Had this not been the case – previously being a jack of many different trades, taking on many different guises – I think I would have been significantly less prepared for this recent career move. The transferable skills have been crucial to my transition into the sector. I’ve also come to realise that PR is a nuanced art that requires preparation, street smarts, strategy and most importantly, experience. Knowing this, I’m prepared to continue learning long after my current title of Junior Account Executive trails behind me.

There is always so much to do day-to-day, and I’m still adjusting to the nine-to-five (or longer) schedule, finding time for my hobbies after hours, and getting around to buying an anorak for the rainy cycle into work! I’m appreciating the high-speed lifestyle I’ve experienced so far, and I’m excited to dig deeper into the field, especially with the welcoming and hilarious team here at Babel.

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