Lessons from London

BY: GILLIAN ZUCKER

It’s been four months today since I initially boarded the plane and left the comfort of my New Jersey and University of Delaware homes for the great unknown of my study abroad trip to London. As corny as it sounds, it’s also been four months of personal growth, global education, collecting knowledge from the five other countries I’ve been lucky enough to visit, and the best times of my life as I experience every aspect of entirely new cultures firsthand. As all of these opportunities fuse together and I reflect on the lessons I’ve learned, I now realize that I have a clearer vision of my career aspirations in the future, especially in the context of my work in the increasingly global and ever-changing world of public relations.

Last semester, when anyone would ask me about my major (“Interpersonal Communication with minors in Advertising and Writing”) and what I intended to pursue with it, I’d vaguely respond: “Definitely something in public relations, but I’m not exactly sure what aspect of it yet.” Since I’ve finished my general Communication Interest studies, I’ve been able to take classes in London that tackle the more in-depth concepts of the industry. Recently, in my Advertising and Marketing in Britain course, we practiced with one of the most common scenarios in the agency world – the creative pitch. Having never presented a pitch, whether to a class or to a working agency in one of my internships, the project seemed entirely daunting and a bit frightening at first.

However, my time in London has taught me to step out of my comfort zone so that I can accomplish the many items on my list of goals. By accepting challenges and taking risks, whether getting involved in a controversial class discussion or embarking on an independent adventure to another country, I feel that I am becoming more comfortable with myself and my abilities. In taking on the difficult task as the “Creative Director” of the pitch project, I realized how much my public relations passions lie in brainstorming and actually executing creative content, such as humorous videos, social media posts, and stunning graphic designs, that will preserve a human factor in relating the right brands to the interested consumers. Furthermore, with more experiences under my belt that have greatly broadened my perspective of the world, I actually feel that I can make an impact in the world around me. As a result, I’ve begun the process of networking and applying to internships with large agencies anywhere in the world that make a difference with the causes I’m passionate about.

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