#ThursdayThought : Student profile with Marcel Klebba

#ThursdayThought : Student profile with Marcel Klebba
It has been a bit of a reflective week again. In my last post, I spoke about ‘the art of making it’ and what I’ve learnt so far on my journey. But what I was most interested in this week was other people’s journeys. My PR degree has a wide variety of people from a variety of backgrounds so I was interested in how students found PR and their top tips…..
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I was delighted when my fellow #PRStudent blogger, Marcel Klebba agreed to be interviewed this week. Marcel is a final year undergraduate student on the BA (Hons) Public Relations and Advertising programme at the University of Westminster. Alongside his degree, Marcel runs the amazing MK blog which has been listed in Vuelio’s top 10 UK PR blog list. During his degree, he has spent time at Blue Rubicon, Freuds, Golin, Grayling and One Green Bean. Marcel will be graduating in May so I was intrigued to hear his journey into PR so far…..
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LE: What made you go into PR / How did you find out about the industry?
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Marcel: My story is a bit different. I’m originally from Poland and after visiting London as a tourist, I was always really eager to live here. When I was about to make a decision on what to do after I graduate from high school, I started considering studying in the British capital. Unbeknownst of PR, I came across the course teaching this profession, ranked as the top course in the UK. I applied, got in, and I got really into it, never regretting my decision.
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LE: What do you enjoy most or find most interesting about the industry?
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Marcel: The fact that PR is very diverse. Agency work especially makes you work on very different projects all the time and expose you to so many different things.
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The other thing is that PR is a people industry. Building relationships with your clients, journalists, and eventually publics is something I believe I’d be good at and I would find it enjoyable.
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LE: Is there a particular part of the industry you would most like to go into? Why?
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Marcel: After the various of the placements, I discovered my big passion for both B2B technology PR and corporate communications. Tech is our future and I find it fascinating. AI, machine learning, algorithms, but also less geeky material such as wearables — this is all captivating and campaigning around it is a pure joy.
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I’d love to work in corporate comms because I do love news and current affairs. I wake up every day to the sound of Sarah Montague, Nick Robinson, or John Humphrys on R4’s Today programme. I follow news and think how developments in politics, business, and regulation could change the comms strategies for certain brands and corporations.
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LE: Have you had any PR experience? If so, what did you do?
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Marcel: I was really eager to start gaining some experience as early as I could. Hence I reached out to the social media agency once I finished the first year of my course. I’ve landed my first internship at Truffle Social. Then I managed to secure a work experience with Blue Rubicon (now Teneo Blue Rubicon). I enjoyed it so much that I asked to come back for another week of insights after the second year of uni. I’ve then lined up a few more placements — at Freuds, Golin, Grayling, and then One Green Bean. What I loved about all those above was the fact that I managed to explore so many areas of the industry so early on in my career. I’ve been exposed to consumer work, reputation management, a lot of social media projects, as well as third sector and healthcare comms. During my placements, I was supporting teams with many tasks, including building extensive media lists, helping out with the new business pitches (all the pitches I helped with were won!), as well as pitching stories to media and securing coverage.
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The biggest piece of experience found on my CV is currently a freelance work that I’ve done for the Comms Crowd — a brilliant, agile tech PR agency that nurtures startups. This gave me an incredible amount of insights into cyber security issues, cryptocurrencies, and topics so obscure like compliance. Even though I was mainly dealing with social media, I was often involved with some junior work, including compiling in-depth research and creating media lists. Work at the Comms Crowd helped me a lot with my time management, as I worked with them while juggling university work, as well as blogging and making delicious espresso-based coffees at a weekend barista job.
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I’m currently writing my dissertation and slowly getting ready to starting the new PR adventure when I graduate in May.
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LE: If you could give someone thinking of studying PR one piece of advice, what would it be?
Marcel: Be like a sponge. Read widely. Read blogs, magazines (even those that you wouldn’t normally pick up), newspapers. Follow the news, listen to Radio 4 (well you can listen to any station, but R4 is my big love). Meet new people, talk to them. Seek new experiences. And I’m not just talking about work experience, but any experience that will expose you to something new will be beneficial.
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“Be like a sponge. Read widely. Read blogs, magazines (even those that you wouldn’t normally pick up), newspapers. Follow the news…”
“Meet new people, talk to them. Seek new experiences. And I’m not just talking about work experience, but any experience that will expose you to something new will be beneficial”
Marcel Klebba, BA (Hons) Public Relations and Advertising student, University of Westminster, Author of MK

 

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The industry is competitive but I still love hearing other student’s journeys. What we have learnt and are learning about ourselves and our journeys. I loved what Marcel said about seeking new experiences and being like a sponge. I agree with him and think that these are really important to bear in mind if you are a PR student. Thank you to Marcel for taking part in #ThursdayThought this week.

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Be sure to follow Marcel on Twitter. You can also find him on LinkedIn. And definitely check out his amazing blog!

P.S – Apologies for the formatting error, my blog has a mind of its own today!

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