Careers in Communications and PR

Helen Rudd, Account Director, PR Agency (graduated 2004)

On leaving Lancaster, I started my career in the Public Relations (PR) industry in March 2005 after moving down South with my now husband. The transferable skills I took from my history degree lent themselves perfectly to PR, and within just 4 years I had worked my way up from the most junior position at my company to my current role as Account Director at East Anglia's leading PR agency. In December 2009 I was also awarded the title of the Chartered Institute of PR's young communicator of the year. PR involves managing the reputation of clients, whether that's in the media, with influencers, employees or in the local community. It's incredibly varied, and a typical day can involve writing press releases or magazine copy, responding to journalist enquiries, setting up sponsorship opportunities, visiting local schools or briefing staff. Studying history gave me the skills I need including writing, researching, evaluating and presenting.

Martin O'Boyle, Communications Officer, FIFA New Media (graduated 2002)

After leaving Lancaster I became the Communications Officer for Everton FC and have since moved to FIFA where I am responsible for the English section of their website - FIFA.com. As well as travelling to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, I have also interviewed footballing stars such as David Beckham, Sven-Goran Eriksson and Steven Gerrard. Although this may seem fairly removed from a degree in History, my three years at Lancaster has undoubtedly contributed greatly to my career. It helped me to improve my ability to research, to write creatively and interact with people from all walks of life. Going to Lancaster is not just about academic education but personal and spiritual development. The support system is excellent. The History department helped me through a very tough period in my life. I will always be grateful to them and look upon my time in Furness College with fond memories. Many of my finest friendships were formed at Lancaster.

Helen Johnson, Marketing Communications Manager (graduated 2000)

Ah Lancaster! - I have such fond memories of this place and it surprises me to think that it has been over 10 years since I spent many a happy day on campus. Of course it was tough, as it should be, but it was also interesting and fun. I had some great lecturers - I still recall Dr Alan Warburton doing his impression of Melchard from Blackadder Goes Forth in our First World War lecture - hilarious! I had always enjoyed History at school, but I can honestly say that the lecturers and staff at Lancaster really brought my passion for the subject to a new level and helped me to excel. I do recall many people asking what I wanted to do after University, and automatically thinking, because I studied History, it had to be a teacher (the furthest from my mind). Many people do not realise the broad range of skills that are acquired from a degree in History: research, analysis, the ability to critique and argue a point of view as well as excellent communication skills. My degree took me into the world of communications - maybe it was my course on Second World War propaganda that provided me with a fascination on how we communicate and influence decisions. Through my career I have experienced many facets of communication from Public Relations to Advertising to Marketing Communications. I currently work as a Marketing Communications Manager for a high-tech company in San Francisco, California and the skills I learnt from my degree in History still serve me well.