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Wednesday 2 December 2015

Alumni return for Converging Careers Conference

Public relations graduate Rebecca Henderson recently returned to Solent, appearing as a guest speaker at the Converging Careers Conference 2015. Rebecca swapped lecture notes for keynotes, talking to the soon-to-be graduates about her career at Lee Peck Media.

Rebecca Henderson, MA PR graduate.

Talking about her time spent in the industry since graduating in 2013, Rebecca spoke confidently about the increasing number of ways that advertising and marketing are starting to become one, and the necessity of having a broad set of skills.

Everything she discussed was set against the context of her own work, helping attendees to see how these changes affect the day-to-day operations of the industry.

Steven Woodgate MA graduate.

Steven Woodgate, Solent MA graduate and marketing manager at Microsoft UK, also spoke at the conference. He advised the attendees to “be a squirrel – gather nuts of knowledge” before stating the importance of having a robust understanding of core skills to succeed within the marketing industry.

Steven also went on to emphasise the importance of online marketing, stating that“digital is more significant than the industrial revolution. We just don’t know it yet.”

Emma Wray in the audience, head of PR and Communications at Solent.

Following Steven and Rebecca’s talk, Dr Emma Wray, head of PR and communications for Southampton Solent University, took centre stage.

She spoke about her incredible experiences working at the BBC during the Olympics, the current changes happening to the PR and communications industry and how current and future practitioners can adapt to survive them.

Caroline Barfoot, academic leader for Solent Creatives.

Concluding the conference was Caroline Barfoot, academic leader for Solent Creatives, with a focus on the importance of work experience and freelancing for both students and professionals. She drew attention to this year’s John Lewis Christmas campaign and its all-round nature.

The rest of the afternoon was spent in two debates about the changing face of the creative industries and what kind of media is most valued and effective.

Conference lecture hall.

Rebecca wrapped up the event with some thanks and reflection:

“It was a great day and I was honoured to be invited to take part, to be able to give something back and to represent the company I now work for.

“Thanks Southampton Solent University for the invitation. I am also extremely thankful to Lee Peck Media for offering me a job almost a year ago, for giving me the opportunity to work doing something I love and experience a converging career.”

To find out more about public relations and communications here at Southampton Solent, please visit our marketing and public relations homepage.