Selena is in the fourth year of her Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising and Public Relations and is well aware of how important it is to stay on top of the latest trends for a career in communication. She also knows that it’s a competitive and ever more demanding industry. But none of that puts her off as she prepares to take the first steps in her career.
Why did you choose Advertising and Public Relations?
I’ve always known that I wanted to work in communication. I chose Advertising and Public Relations because I saw it as a degree which comprises different areas of communication and so I knew this would open doors for me and help me to choose my career path.
What’s day-to-day life like as an Advertising and PR student?
A lot of fun! We work on a lot of practical cases in lectures, the real nuts and bolts of this kind of work. We’re also in contact with advertising agencies and professionals who come to the University to tell us about their experience in the industry. For example, there’s a competition every year in which all Advertising students can take part called Naranja Below. A real company comes to the University and proposes the creation of an advertising campaign based on a particular set of communication requirements. Another example of the practical approach is the End-of-Degree Project we have to carry out, which on the Advertising degree is known as the Winner Decide competition. This involves a real brand and their staff come to brief us. All these situations challenge and train us for the future, because these are the same situations that we’ll be faced with in our careers.
“IN ADVERTISING YOU HAVE TO CONSTANTLY TRY TO KEEP UP WITH THE TRENDS OUT THERE IN THE STREET.”
Apart from the people in the industry who come to visit, what’s your relationship like with your lecturers?
All the lecturers are really involved in our education and I get on with them really well. I think that if you show real interest, they respond to that and go out of their way to help you. No lecturer has ever turned me away or stopped listening to me whenever I’ve needed help or advice.
There’s a lot of people I could name, but here are a few examples. Santiago Maestro made an impact on me when he spoke to us about cinema because he taught us how to analyse imagery. I also liked Anun and Miguel Herráez. And for me, José Amiguet’s lectures on Brand Value are compelling.
“IN LECTURES WE WORK ON A LOT OF PRACTICAL CASES, THE REAL NUTS AND BOLTS OF THIS KIND OF WORK. WE’RE IN CONTACT WITH ADVERTISING AGENCIES AND PROFESSIONAL WHO COME TO TELL US ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES IN THE INDUSTRY.”
Have you had an opportunity to gain work experience?
Yes, this is my second year as a student assistant at CEU’s University Admission Service. I help the new students who are coming to the University, I greet them, go with them to talks, show them some of the University’s facilities, and answer their questions. The work is focused on marketing and public relations more than creative advertising, but I’m really happy because interacting with people is what I like doing.
What challenges do you think the advertising industry is currently facing?
I think the situation can be summed up in the phrase “change or die”. In advertising and communication in general, you have to constantly try to keep up with the trends out there on the street, to find out what’s cool and what’s in fashion, and how to tailor what you say to the audience you want to reach. Consumers are ever more demanding and communication professionals have to respond to what they want, in the way that they want and when they want. And the competition is getting fiercer and fiercer.
“TEAMS ARE MULTICULTURAL AND TO HAVE A COLLEAGUE WHO’S FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY ENABLES YOU TO GAIN A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE THAT REALLY ENRICHES YOUR DAY-TO-DAY WORK.”
The international atmosphere at CEU is obvious in every corner of the University. What’s your experience of it?
I like it because you get the chance to meet people from different countries. And I think that really reflects what happens in today’s companies. Teams are multidisciplinary and multicultural and having a colleague who’s from another country or culture enable you to gain a different perspective on things, really enriching your day-to-day work.
You’ll soon be starting your career. What do you think will stay with you from your time at CEU?
I’ve learnt so much, and not just in the academic sense. I’ve proved to myself that I can achieve whatever I set out to. I’ve been lucky enough to study alongside some great people, people with so much potential who are already doing fantastic work. They make me think, “if they can do that now, what will they be able to do in a few years? They’re going right to the top.” And I’ve got great memories of many of my lecturers over the last four years and I know that they’ll always be there to guide me.
“I’VE PROVED TO MYSELF THAT I CAN ACHIEVE WHATEVER I SET OUT TO.”