I Got Hired - Communications Graduate

Posted on: 22 September 2022 by Samantha Riella in Graduate stories

Lauryn Beagan, a Communications and Media graduate is now in her graduate role at Redrow Group Services. Find out more about how she gained experience during the pandemic and found her current role.

What was your best experience while studying at the University of Liverpool and why?

Unfortunately completing my degree throughout the pandemic altered my experience quite dramatically, as I’m sure it did for lots of students, so as simple as it sounds returning to classes on campus in September 2021 was definitely a stand out moment from my time in Liverpool! I lived at home in North Wales during my second and third year so returning to campus as a final year student felt special but bittersweet and more than likely something I will never forget. 

What activities whilst studying have been most beneficial to your career development?

During my second year, on a whim, I chose a module that dealt with professional development and careers in the hopes of gaining a year in industry placement to complete within my third year. Factors such as the pandemic sadly meant that I did not go on to complete the year in industry but the information, insight and tips I received through the content of this module, ensured that I started to think professionally and was a beneficial step within my career development journey.

The module highlighted the importance of a strong digital identity therefore I began to develop my professional online presence, which is definitely a key player within the professional field I wanted to/am currently working in. I created a LinkedIn account and started to connect with lots of people, both in professional and academic fields. During university I wasn’t 100% certain on the exact role I was aiming for upon finishing my degree so completing this module alongside other modules surrounding principles like public relations and social media, helped to switch my mind-set and allowed me to explore the options available out there without any real pressure as I still had a year and a half of university left to complete.

What did you do during your degree to prepare for the transition into the workplace?

I worked for New Look as a Sales Advisor during my time at university and became a senior member of staff with responsibilities such as assisting in the opening and closing of our store and cashing up at the end of the day. This experience helped improve my time management skills and confidence levels as I was dealing with members of the public and colleagues on a regular basis, all whilst completing my studies. During my second year of university New Look switched their advertising focus to incorporate a level of local marketing and introduced local store Instagram and Facebook accounts. I saw this as an opportunity to gain some real life content coordination/creation experience and I was able to utilise my passion for photography and content creation whilst learning to follow content briefs and timelines. Although taking on an extra layer of responsibility within my part time job role was tough as I would often spend days off or late nights working on the platforms, the work I did paid off and became especially valuable to me when looking for graduate roles as I had some real industry experience to discuss with employers. 

Can you please share insight into your graduate role? 

I actually found my graduate role on LinkedIn as I had set up numerous job alerts for my local area. Originally I applied for the Digital Marketing position but once I completed my initial Zoom interview with a member of the HR team I soon realised that the Communications role was far more suited to my experience and luckily Redrow were really enthusiastic about considering me for the role.

My role entails a wide range of things including internal communications: staff intranets, working closely and building relationships with media agencies and our partners alongside external communications. I am primarily based within the campaigns side of our communications team where we work on our national advertising projects alongside prepping smaller localised campaigns. Another aspect to my role is that I get to work on our social channels and deal with PR pieces. So far I have helped create TikTok content in order to support the launch of this new channel for the company and have uploaded news and inspiration articles to our website. I’m really looking forward to attending video and photography shoots in the future and seeing the work process through each section of the team/work timeline.

How has the Career Studio helped you?

Handshake was a great tool during my time at university and allowed me to register for careers fairs and events. 

What are your top tips for students currently looking for graduate roles?

Looking for graduate roles can be a really stressful time with lots of pressure so I think it’s really important to reflect on the fact that you have finished university and are entering a new chapter which can be exciting but daunting. Regardless of your job role/industry I think it’s always a great tool to have an up to date LinkedIn profile or even a digital CV. LinkedIn lists hundreds of jobs daily so setting up job alerts in the area and location you want to work in will help you learn what roles are out there.