Tell us a little bit about your background...
I’m an American student born in Norfolk, Virginia. I’m a military kid, so I moved many times during my childhood and lived in six different states. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations and Strategic Communication with a minor in Graphic Design.
What inspired you to study your subject?
I always considered myself a strong communicator. I struggled to find what career I would enjoy doing long-term in the future, and I chose the field of communications because of its diversity: diversity in subjects, peers, and future career opportunities. Working in non-profits, media relations, higher education, brand management, and corporate public relations showed me that media and communication was the perfect subject to further my education.
Why did you choose to continue studying for your Masters at the University of Strathclyde?
During my third year of undergrad, I studied abroad at the University of Glasgow and fell in love with the city. After I graduated, I knew I wanted to return to Glasgow for my studies. Thankfully, Strathclyde had a relevant and exciting major for me to explore.
What has been the highlight of your time at Strathclyde, so far?
The professors are a great support system, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s hard to find highlights as I haven’t travelled to campus, but the professors have been an excellent and open resource to make the academic year feel as normal as possible.
How have you found studying online, in the current situation?
It's not easy, but I use an in-depth planner, so I know when my assignments are due. I've never been in an online class until 2020, so it was a learning experience. However, knowing all my peers may be in the same place as I was helpful. We are all trying to get through this together.
What specialist knowledge or professional skills have you developed whilst studying the course?
A final assessment for one of my classes required blog posts and an introductory video to our blog. This assessment was helpful, as many communications professionals have to know how to work with various media. I was also able to hone my design skills and build upon my academic research abilities.
What would be your advice for people considering taking this course?
Ask a lot of questions! This answer pertains explicitly to international students, precisely as I think we sometimes try and stay quiet during class. However, at the graduate level professors treat you as their peers, and it's much easier to speak up because they are interested in what you have to say and want to listen.
What have been the main challenges studying at postgraduate level?
I struggled with the standard of writing at first, as I haven’t written an academic paper since my third year of my undergraduate career. However, I started my essays earlier than I usually would have and looked to friends and classmates for critique, which helped my writing and theirs in the end. I still have a long way to go, but my grades improved with my efforts.
How has your scholarship supported your studies?
My scholarship was beneficial to my studies as I didn't have to worry about finances while doing my work. This also pushed me to work harder to live up to my scholarship, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to prove myself and be a successful student.
What do you think of the support available?
The school provides a lot of support! It's been challenging to find some information as everything is online, like student mental health support. I was able to contact someone, which was extremely helpful.
What are your ambitions for the future?
With the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s been hard to make real plans for the future. However, I hope to continue growing as a media and communication professional and help people in the non-profit world in some way. My family runs a non-profit called Dorm Fairies, and much of my internship work in the past has been with non-profit companies. I hope to continue working with this type of organization while also working in corporate PR. I know I would prefer not to stick with just one job, and I hope to have the opportunity in the future to try different positions and workplaces to build my portfolio and become well-rounded in all forms of communication.