2017 alumna Erin Bertram shares her post-graduation adventures and reveals how studying literature has helped her succeed in a PR and digital communications role.
|Degree||MA (Hons) English Literature|
|Year of graduation||2017|
Your time at the University
I loved my time in Edinburgh, and I knew it was always going to be my number one choice when it came to applying for university. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, but I knew I wanted to do something with words and, being a book fiend, the natural choice was a literature course.
Weirdly, some of my favourite memories from university are sitting with my friends in the library café during our study breaks in fourth year while we were knee-deep in our dissertations – I think it must be something about the camaraderie and enjoying small moments of laughter and relaxation in the middle of a very stressful time.
I was also on the committee of the Equestrian Club, which was a brilliant experience. I only joined in third year and regret not getting involved sooner – there’s nothing better than a gallop along the beach to blow away the essay-anxiety cobwebs!
One of my most memorable jobs while at university was working in a hostel over the festival period. Never have I had such a varied and, frankly, crazy job – we had performers rehearsing in the courtyard, people from all over the world staying and there were some incidents that don’t bear repeating in polite company!
Your experiences since leaving the University
I left university much the same as I began it – not quite knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I worked in a hotel in my home town for the best part of a year saving up before finally taking the plunge and booking a flight to Australia.
I spent about seven months there on a working holiday visa, working a couple of jobs to fund my adventures. For my last month there, we hired a campervan and took an epic trip up the east coast – it was one of the best things I’ve ever done.
After leaving Australia, I spent some time with family friends in New Zealand (which was similarly epic) before travelling home via a brief sojourn in Budapest. Once I was home, I was faced with a familiar problem – what now?
Luckily, while scrolling through various job sites, an ad for a role at Represent, an Edinburgh-based PR and digital comms agency, caught my eye. I was offered the job and quickly decided this was the place for me.
I love the emphasis on creativity that is placed on every aspect of what we do, and it turned out all those essays and presentations have honed my writing, communication and analytical skills; all of which are essential in this role.
I love the emphasis on creativity that is placed on every aspect of what we do...
I would recommend joining at least one society – it opens you up to so many new experiences and people and I only wish I’d done it sooner in my degree! I’d also say to make sure to carve time out for your friends and hobbies, they are just as important as your studies.
Lastly, do not panic if you still have no idea what you want to do in fourth year; just go with the flow and remember the old Scots phrase, “what’s for you won’t go by you!”
Represent (external link)