From providing mentoring to delivering masterclasses, Caroline Hopkins has maintained strong links with BU since graduating with a degree in public relations in the mid-90s.
Today Caroline is co-founder of Munro Studios, which creates CGI and animations for architects, developers and marketers wanting to showcase their new projects and products around the world.
Caroline says: “My degree from Bournemouth provided me with such a strong foundation for my future career that I am pleased to be able to give back and support current students in whatever way I can. I was attracted to the university in the first place because of its industry connections and focus on real-world learning. It is satisfying to be able to be a part of that now, as someone who can share industry insights and the realities of the commercial world.”
One of the highlights of Caroline’s time at BU was a year-long placement in the press office at Harrods. This included hosting royal visits, managing the media around celebrity shopping events and overseeing charitable partnerships. Caroline said: “It was a brilliant 12 months. That kind of experience teaches you how to think on your feet, and how to hold your own alongside people with a high public profile. You need to be respectful of them and their needs, while being confident enough to generate what is required from the opportunity.”
Having completed her degree, Caroline quickly built a career providing public relations for major lifestyle brands – from hotel and travel PR, to working on the famous ‘Hello Boys’ Wonderbra campaign and managing the launch of the inaugural London Men’s Fashion Week. Along the way she has worked with celebrities including Heidi Klum, the cast of Harry Potter and the Black Eyed Peas for Electronic Arts, and experimented with new approaches including some of the first examples of behind the scenes reality TV for Channel 4, for the launch of London Men’s Fashion Week. Her move into the world of CGI and animation came via a stint as Head of Mainstream PR for video game publisher EA.
Caroline said: “When you work in PR and communications you are sharing stories to build brands, generate interest and attract attention. In my business we use visual mediums to do the same thing. I had already developed an appreciation of animation through my work with EA, and this has extended into working with the studio team at Munrostudios.”
For the last four years Munrostudios has partnered with BU’s National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) to run an Architectural Visualisation Masterclass. This involves setting students a brief, based on a real assignment, and providing technical and commercial support as they develop their ideas. Caroline said: “For the students, the masterclasses act as a springboard to collaborate and work within their preferred industry. From our perspective it provides an opportunity to discover new talent and test out interesting ideas. It is great to come full circle and to be partnering with BU in this way. Having benefited so much from my experience at the university, it feels very apt.”
Photo shows CGI produced by Munro Studios