For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to live in London. I've always been the kind of person to do things at 100 miles an hour, full speed ahead, all or nothing, and to me, that’s what London encompasses. I love being busy, being surrounded by opportunities, new people, culture and excitement, so it was always somewhere I knew I needed to experience.
The first career that I was properly interested in pursuing (apart from the obvious - global pop domination) was journalism. Even from a young age, I knew that to be successful in that field meant moving to the heart of it all, so I guess I've just been waiting for the right moment.
When the time came around to apply for University I was desperate to go to London College of Fashion and study Fashion Journalism, adamant in fact. I’d done some work experience for Bradford Council, writing news stories and features and loved having an insight into the industry. So, it seemed natural to combine my two biggest interests of writing and fashion, and become a fashion journalist.
I headed down to London for my interview (I can remember it so well – it was my mum’s birthday so we had a family weekend away) and of course, our hotel was a million miles from Sheperd’s Bush. I shimmied into the entrance exam, late and flustered, trying to act calm and collected whilst all the other well prepared applicants stared, full of judgement, and I knew from that moment, it wasn't the right place for me.
Maybe I had pre-empted the fact I wouldn't like it, as I also applied for a couple of courses with a much broader spectrum, including Fashion Communication at Northumbria. I loved Newcastle from the second we drove over the Tyne Bridge on open day and every time I went back, I loved it a little bit more. The course had so many options, a whole module on journalism every year, plus the opportunity to learn about PR, digital and photography as well as a number of creative modules.
I got my place on the course and moved to Newcastle just after my 18th birthday for three years of fun, hard work and a few life lessons. I'm lucky to be able to say that I loved my university experience. My course was interesting and taught me so many new skills, I met most of my current best friends and I (unknowingly) picked to live in a city that sold three treble vodkas for £5.
During second and third year, after realising which modules I enjoyed the most and performed the best in, I decided to start looking for work experience in PR. I did a few stints in different agencies, including a month in London and that's what really set off my love affair with the city.
In third year, I contacted a PR company in Leeds that I then visited during my time at home for half term. It was a big change from fashion, with a variety of clients, but I liked the challenge and returned for a few weeks at Easter. I went straight back to Newcastle for my final semester and was busy working through my final projects, as well as two part time jobs. At that point, I hadn't had chance to think about what would happen at the end of uni.
After two days of catching up on months of missed sleep and celebratory partying following my final hand in, I got an email that took me by surprise... did I want to interview for a role that had become available back in Leeds? It was the same place I'd been for work experience and though I knew lots of my friends were about to start the job hunt in London, I was so excited at the prospect of a full time job at a great company.
In a matter of days, my job was confirmed and I was on the road again, back to Yorkshire, to begin a career in PR. I hadn't imagined I would move back home after university but I didn't want to dwell on it as I know how difficult it can be to find a job, especially before actually graduating. Coincidentally, just after I moved, one of my best friends was offered a graduate role in Leeds so almost immediately I started the flat hunt.
Fast forward to today, I've just completed my last day at work and it's almost the end of a year in our lovely flat. I've had an amazing time in Leeds and couldn't of asked for a better place to start my first job. I'll admit that working full time hours, sat at a desk, was a slap in the face after my evening shifts of waitressing and chatting. That being said, I've learnt so much and been able to work on really fun campaigns, doing things I never imagined I would like paddle boarding on the Thames.
A big part of my job role was liaising with bloggers and vloggers and helping organise blogger events. For obvious reasons, I loved being involved in that area and meeting bloggers at the events. As I've mentioned before, blogs and YouTube have been a big part of my life for sometime. I found the whole internet world so intriguing from being a young teenager, even when my friends thought it was totally weird.
For my final research project (our version of a dissertation), I chose to focus on whether YouTubers are the new generation of celebrities and if they're a better influence to young people than traditional celebrities. I know some people hated writing about their topic but I found mine so fascinating, I knew that somehow I'd like to be involved in it all.
About two months ago, we were told the landlord was selling our flat and we couldn't renew the contact. Obviously, it threw a spanner in the works and both of us started to think about new opportunities. London was always in the back of my mind and I knew that if I moved there, there was one place I would love to work. I applied for a vacancy on the website and crossed my fingers and toes.
And... I got the job! I'm moving away from PR to work more directly with bloggers and vloggers and that's all I'll say for now. I'm setting off on my new adventure tomorrow, to move into a cute little flat with another one of my university buddies and to start my new job next week. It's crazy how plans change in a matter of months but I'm so excited to start another chapter in London.
Somehow, this post has accidentally turned into the longest post ever of me reminiscing university and my working life. Hopefully, especially if you're about to start uni in September, it might of been interesting to read. I love reading personal posts but maybe that's because I'm an admittedly nosey person.
It would be great to know some cool places to eat, shop and see in London so don't forget to comment and let me know where to visit. Plus, if you have any questions about university, work experience or getting a job I'd be happy to answer them.