Megan Hallinan

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Other Industries
Job title: Head of PR & Social
Subject of study: Creative Writing with French and Film
Year of graduation: 2009
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

MBAstack

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

I started out for a short time in TV production before moving into the world of PR. I worked for a couple of agencies before going ‘in-house’ at a big videogames company working in the International PR team. After that I worked for a couple of start-ups including food delivery company HelloFresh, before joining my current agency where I’m Head of PR & Social and also on the Board. Clients in this agency include Sage by Heston Blumenthal, Comt√© Cheese, Royal Mail and Hofmeister Beer.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

I chose to go into PR because I knew I wanted to work with the media in some way, but I also really liked selling and the challenge of having to constantly think on your feet. I like that every single day of my career over the past 12 years has been completely different. I’ve also been able to travel a lot in my career which I’ve really enjoyed, getting to use my foreign language skills from Exeter when I’m in France.

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

I was a Producer, Presenter and Head of Publicity at XTV, the University’s student television network.

Were you part of the Exeter Student Ambassador Scheme at any point during your studies?

Yes.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

I most enjoyed my creative writing modules where we got to read our work to our seminar groups and give constructive feedback. It really helped to build confidence! I also loved that for part of our final year, we got together a team of actors from the drama department to act out our film scripts. It felt really creative and collaborative.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

I loved that it felt small but still big enough to be exciting with lots of things to do. I really enjoyed my course but for me it was also everything that went around this that made the whole experience so amazing – extra curricular activities, friends/housemates, things to do in Exeter and nearby. It was just brilliant!

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

I chose to study at Exeter because it had an excellent reputation for both English and French and when I went to visit, I totally fell in love with the campus. I was moving there from Cyprus so I didn’t want to go anywhere too big that would be too much of a change. A campus close to both the countryside and the seaside was perfect for me! I also had a couple of friends in the year above, so that helped with the transition to a new country.

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

Presentation skills have become hugely important for me – all of our work to existing and prospective clients is shown in the form of presentations, especially new business pitches, so our presentation skills have to be excellent. I’ve also been able to use my French language skills throughout my career when working with French clients and businesses.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

I would suggest making direct contact with businesses/brands/agencies that really interest you and tell them why. Perhaps send them something interesting in the post? Anything that will make you stand out in a very competitively creative world and show that you’re really passionate about both the industry and their business.

What are your plans for the future?

I now have a two year old (with my husband who also went to Exeter with me!) and so I decided to reduce my work to part-time and do some freelance work alongside. It has been a good balance to keep my career going while getting to spend more time with him. My plan is to go back up to full-time when he gets a bit older and to potentially run my own social/PR business in the long term.

 

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