BU is known for producing some of the best communicators in the business and my time on the course was invaluable not only to my career but also in teaching me the skills to help me promote my writing.
Natalie Page has had a varied career in Public Relations, the subject of her degree, since graduating in 2004. She recalls her time at BU fondly highlighting the “outstanding lecturers and Summerballs,” and, by her own admission, “far too much time spent in the Old Fire Station”.
In addition to the memories, Natalie speaks very highly of her course, and how it helped her in the career that was to follow.
“The PR course at Bournemouth has a fantastic reputation throughout the industry, as do many of the media courses," said Natalie.
"Bournemouth is known for producing some of the best communicators in the business and my time on the course was invaluable not only to my career, but also in teaching me the skills to help me promote my writing.”
From the moment she finished her degree, Natalie has been working across the PR sector at some of the largest agencies and companies.
“I started my career by securing a spot on the Edelman PR graduate scheme, there were only a handful of spots available and the interview process was intense, so I was thrilled when I made it through!
“It was at Edelman I got to try a number of different types of PR, by rotating around their various departments. I eventually settled on Healthcare and have been working in healthcare communications ever since.”
After leaving Edelman, Natalie secured a role at Ketchum - before moving to Tonic Life following a meeting with Oli Parsons and Scott Clark. She speaks highly of the pair, saying: ‘My advice to PR graduates is if you get the chance to work with either Scott or Oli, grab it with both hands.’
On looking for a role closer to home, Natalie took a job at Quintiles (now QuintilesIMS), one of the largest Clinical Research Organisations in the world.
“I have spent the last six years working in both their clinical and commercial divisions developing communications plans for healthcare professionals and patients," Natalie said.
"My clients are mainly pharmaceutical which makes it a very exciting field to work in.”
Alongside her PR career, Natalie has also had the chance to publish a children’s book, something she is very modest about but which won a Wishing Shelf 2016 Silver winner accolade.
Natalie explains: “The book came about as a result of my friendship with an artist called Chris - he was often painting pictures of these two child-like characters and I asked him if he wouldn't mind me writing a story around them. He was extremely keen, so I promised to send him something to review.
“This was all happening at a time when my daughter refused to sleep so I was frequently up in the early hours of the morning trying to settle her. One night whilst I was up the story just came to me, I grabbed my phone and typed it down and before I knew it, I had my first draft. The following day I sent it to Chris who loved it and a partnership was born. Once the book was finished we had some amazing friends who helped support us with promotion."
It seems that the first Zak and Jen’s Astronomical Adventures book gave Natalie the writing bug too.
“Chris and I are working on a third book in the Zak and Jen Series which we hope will be ready by the end of the year," she explained.
"We also have a couple of other Zak and Jen projects in the pipeline which we hope to be able to share soon. It's been very busy since the first book was published in May 2016; we then put out a special Christmas story in November and followed that up with partnerships with Books on the Underground and Virgin Atlantic!”
For those wanting to follow in Natalie’s footsteps, she has plenty of advice for students currently studying at BU: “My main advice is find something you love and pursue it 150%. Life is too short to settle for something that you are only half interested in. Don't just look for the obvious jobs or be put off by the fact that you think an industry might be 'too tough' to get into.
"Get as many internships as you can before you graduate. Before I left BU I had worked for IBM, Channel 5 and the Ministry of Defence doing Communications - having the extra experience on your CV helps to set you apart from everyone else. Network and find mentors that you can really look up to, these people can help and guide you throughout your career and you never know when you might be able to help each other one day.”
Whether it is her PR career or her book writing, you can tell Natalie is passionate about what she does, and that she lives the advice she offers. She is equally passionate about the BU degree that helped her along the way: “I am proud that I came from a university with such a fantastic reputation, not only for communications, but digital media, TV and Radio, and so many other courses. It is great to know that our university was at the cutting edge of these fields even over 10 years ago when I was there.”