A chance to meet the past members of Trident Media, across print, radio and TV at Hertfordshire Students’ Union. First up: Elli!
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I’m just going to do a quick five facts about me because the question of “Tell us a bit about yourself” just makes me all nervous and feel like I’m back being a graduate desperately trying to find a job. So:
- My name is Elisabeth but everyone calls me Elli.
- I’m originally from Germany but I came over to England to study at Herts in 2010.
- I absolutely love cooking but I’m not the best baker.
- I have a love-hate relationship with running and I’m currently training for my first half marathon in October.
- I’m part of a charity softball team called CANtelopes. Go CANtelopes!!! (for more info check out London charity softball league)
When were you involved with student media?
I first got involved with student media at the very end of my first year of university in 2011. Somehow I found out that print needed help with packing the end of year UniVerse bumper issues which included lots of freebies and I went to help out. That’s when I met some of the print team and where my love story with student media started.
After that I first started regularly contributing to UniVerse and then in my last year of university was Print Editor meaning I was responsible for UniVerse and BlueMoon.
Why did you decide to join?
I enjoy writing, as simple as that. At that point I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write fiction, as I was also taking courses in creative writing, or if I wanted to go more into the journalistic direction, so UniVerse seemed like the right student activity to join. I also knew a few of the other print media members as they were on the same course and they definitely made it sound like fun, so I joined.
Where are you now?
I’m currently working as a Communications Assistant at a charity called Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust which is the only UK charity dedicated to women with cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities. It’s a relatively small charity; we’re about 12 full-time members of staff which is great as I get to be involved in many different things that you might not normally get to be involved in as a junior member of staff. For example, I get to be involved in planning the long-term communications strategy alongside the Comms Manager and Chief Exec.
How has student media helped you develop your career?
My answer will sound strange at first but student media helped my career so far that I realised I did not want to be a journalist. I enjoyed writing, designing the paper, but journalism? It was a no from me. But it opened my eyes to the fact that I generally love dealing with media which led me to my dream career now, PR.
It also helped me in so far that when in my final year of university I took on the position of Print Editor. I was not sure how I was going to manage with all the uni work while also juggling this pretty full on position. To my surprise I managed though and I learnt a lot about myself and my abilities.
I work well under stress which is definitely a plus in PR during campaign time when the phone doesn’t stop ringing. It gave me more self confidence in my abilities, something I needed when going for endless interviews.
On a more technical skill level, in print I worked with Adobe InDesign and Photoshop which is still of great use to me in my job; I’ve designed a special Valentine’s Menu for a restaurant client at the PR agency I used to work at and only recently I designed the media pack for the charity I currently work for, something that hadn’t existed previously.
It also connects you with a lot of talented people who might be able to help you in the future. I needed a photographer at one of our fundraising events and I got in touch with Sarah, who used to be the Photography Editor of Print, and she was great and offered her time and expertise, taking pictures of the entire event for free. And I also got in touch with Kealie who was News Editor and then became Print Editor herself in 2014/15 and told her about an awareness raising campaign I was working on, and again she was great and wrote an article about the campaign for the various media outlets she works for.
There are about another five million things I could list about the ways student media helped me in my career but I’ll spare everyone the “101 things I love about student media” Buzzfeed-like list.
What advice would you give to current students?
Get involved! Do it! C’mon, sign up now!
In all honesty, the answers to these questions might have sounded boring to some and a bit like everything is super serious and has to do with your career end goal. But despite student media definitely being great for gaining skills to put on your CV it’s also a lot of fun and craziness; I mean somewhere there is a Crush video with me lip syncing to “Call Me Maybe” with the Crush committee dressed in elf costumes following a boozy media Christmas party.
So, sign up and have the best time of your life making friends that will last well beyond your time at university.
If you’re a past member of Trident Media (formerly UHSU Media) please join our LinkedIn group, Trident Media Alumni Association. If you’re a current student and would like to get involved, head to Hertfordshire.su/TridentMedia.