When BU Public Relations graduate Lily Fleming started thinking about university courses, she confesses she hadn’t really heard of PR. But following the advice of her teachers – and spurred on by an online skills quiz – she soon discovered it offered her the opportunity pursue a rewarding and creative career. Having graduated in 2018, Lily has since worked agency side for some of the best-known beauty brands and earlier this year joined L’Oreal as an Advocacy Brand Manager.

Looking back on her university experience, Lily said: “Quite early on in my studies I realised that I wanted to specialise in beauty PR, but I also appreciated the breadth of topics that the degree offered; I enjoyed studying politics and learning about the financial aspects of the industry. My placement year was really beneficial. It taught me about the realities of working full-time and juggling priorities, made me more focused in my final year and bumped me up the first rung of the career ladder when it came to my first graduate role. I would definitely recommend taking a placement to others.”

After graduating, Lily joined ‘b. the communications agency’ where she worked on brands including Morphe and BYBI. Having joined as an Account Executive she progressed to become a Junior Account Manager, before leaving to take on a new role with beauty PR agency PuRe PR. The move to PuRe PR enabled Lily to gain experience as an Account Director, leading a team to deliver campaigns for brands including e.l.f. Cosmetics and Hello Sunday. In January 2024, Lily went from agency to in-house as Advocacy Brand Manager for NYX Professional Makeup at L’Oreal. In this varied role she works to retain and attract new influencers, develops, and executes campaign strategies and supports brand activations at major events.

Lily said: “The move from a boutique PR agency to a big, global corporate company has been an exciting shift culturally. It’s a cliché to say that no two days are the same, but it’s true. I feel lucky to be part of such an incredible brand team and be able to be creative and innovative in the day to day work we do”.

When asked for her advice to other students and recent graduates wanting to forge a career in beauty PR, Lily said: “It’s a small but very friendly and supportive professional network so get out there, gain experience and build a network of contacts. I would also say that, even if you know this is the area you want to specialise in, don’t shut down other opportunities as they can give you valuable skills, network connections, and create opportunities you don’t expect.”