Starting out in PR

So, who are you and how did you start off?

I started off at Winton Boys School, and from there I went onto Brockenhurst College. I dropped out because an opportunity came up to work abroad in ski and snowboard resorts. I couldn’t pass up on that, and I believed that I would go back to education when I was ready.

After working in the ski resorts, I visited new places around Europe and worked in various places whilst travelling - which was amazing!

I came back to Bournemouth and started working various jobs but I didn’t find them very fulfilling, and I knew I was capable of more. I decided then that I wanted to go to Bournemouth University to further my education and pursue a degree. Because I didn’t have A-levels I had to do an ‘Access to HE’ course, I chose Humanities (Focussing on Law & Economics) at Bournemouth and Poole College - this was the quickest way of me getting to university.  It was challenging, but rewarding once I had secured my university place.

Why did you decide to do a degree in PR and why did you choose Bournemouth?

5D5C7161.jpg

"I was torn between studying economics and public relations as a degree."

I was torn between studying economics and public relations as a degree, because I am interested in business, communications, and marketing. I chose economics, but soon realised that it wasn’t the course for me. I couldn’t express my creativity and charisma and I decided halfway through the year to start on the PR course the next September. Since then I haven’t looked back, it’s the degree I should’ve chosen first!

I chose Bournemouth University because their PR degree is one of the best in the country. I’ve lived in many places in the UK, and Bournemouth has to be one of the most beautiful. I love the beach, I love the people, and I have made many great memories here.

What have you enjoyed most about the degree?

My placement year was been amazing. I did mine as a Press and PR Assistant at Subaru and Isuzu.  It was a brilliant year and I learnt so much, the experience I gained is invaluable.

The highlight of my summer was the PR day with Western Group of Motor Writers. I felt like a kid in a sweetshop! I had the opportunity to drive some of my favourite cars, and after a taste in the Audi RS8 Spyder, an Aston Martin and McLaren I didn’t want to leave!

Darren in car  copy.jpg
Audi Saloon.jpg

What do you hope to do next? Anyone you’d like to work with after graduation?

There are many areas that interest me, such as PR lobbying, digital and social PR, corporate PR, working with strategic consultancies and now, after working with Subaru and Isuzu, the automotive industry.

I’d love to work for international companies, because I love to travel and work abroad. I love gaining experience and knowledge in all different areas.

I’m not sure exactly which area of PR I will go into once I’ve graduated - I’d like to keep my options open.

What advice would you give for anyone wanting to do similar?

Do it! Use education to further yourself - it will be one of the best things you’ll do.

The opportunities that have opened to me are priceless. I’ve met people in the PR industry through Bournemouth University, and the job fairs that they hold - which are great to expand your network and meet new people. 

The university has invited different businesses in to give lectures and seminars that have been great in helping me gain an insight into how the industry works at different levels. They have helped introduce students to businesses, and taught us the skills for how to find and apply for jobs. It has also taught specialist skills that integrate into many workplaces and can help you personally, such as Photoshop, InDesign and SEO.

I also took the chance to study in the USA for 6 months. This was one of the best things I have ever done and Bournemouth University gave me the chance to study at Montclair State University in New Jersey, which was about 30 minutes away from New York. This gave me the chance to see how the industry works across the pond, and showed me the different work ethics to those in Europe.

I would say that if you want to pursue something similar then you need to just take the plunge and do it. It’s been amazing for me and I can’t recommend it enough. 

Connect with Darren via social media:
Twitter https://twitter.com/dleenew | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/darren.newman123 | LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darrennewmanpr/