Masters graduate Louisa on her new role working with Keele to celebrate Staffordshire
After graduating with a MA in Creative Writing in 2011, Louisa pursued a career in PR in Birmingham, and is now back in her home town helping to build a brand for Staffordshire.
I started my career in PR consultancies in and around Birmingham and have represented large corporate businesses and small clients alike, most notably on destination, placemaking and regeneration projects and developments.
My latest role was as a Marketing and Communications Manager for one of the Catapult centres, set up by the government to drive UK innovation and growth. In this role I developed communications programmes for some of our key Net Zero and energy transformation projects and initiatives.
I have recently joined Staffordshire County Council as the new Place Brand Manager – a completely new initiative run with both the council and private sector businesses in the county to celebrate its treasures and support continued inward investment, business, attractions and economic growth to Staffordshire. The role will involve close partnership working with Keele University, who sit on the new ‘Place Board’, so it will be great to come ‘back to my roots’ as it were!
Some of my greatest career achievements so far have been developing mentoring programmes for young professionals and university students in Birmingham, securing BBC Breakfast coverage from one of the key redevelopment schemes in Birmingham – the BBC reported from our site all morning and I felt such a sense of achievement! - as well as delivering my first full day conference looking at energy transformation, with over 170 delegates
My career path since leaving Keele University has been very different to the course I studied, but on reflection the course has supported the development of my writing style, creativity and probably developing my personal ‘voice’ and confidence, too.
As a Postgrad and living locally I didn’t live on campus or form a close-knit social group but I did meet a real variety of people of all ages and walks of life – some of whom were changing careers or whose children had ‘flown the nest’ and wanted to learn something new. I also met a couple of musicians, which I suppose tied in nicely with the poetry aspect of the course! At least two of my peers have gone on to be published by renowned poetry publishers – it’s been so fantastic to see where the course has taken people! I think back on the time very fondly.
My advice to students would be: make the most of your time at university – don’t say no to those impromptu social events as they’ll be the things you remember! Use your time wisely – focus on the activities that will support your assignment and exams rather than trying to read and research around everything, you’ll never manage it! Use your downtime and summers to good effect – I wish I had done ‘camp America’ or Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and that is perhaps one of my only regrets. Experiences that take you out of your comfort zone are what help you grow and develop as a person, so grab opportunities with both hands!