(C) LSE Careers
By Anna Leigh
Today the media is an inescapable and ingrained force in our society. Whether it’s on your cell phone, advertisements in the tube, or even LSE’s own branding, you are consuming content nonstop throughout your day. As an industry, media and communications is constantly evolving, blurring the lines between broadcast, film, and interactive media, and careers in the field are becoming correspondingly diverse.
One could work for a more traditional media producer, such as a newspaper, news channel, or publication, or for an agency that provides marketing services to clients. Or you may find yourself as a part of an organisation’s ‘in-house’ communications team. Though all these positions may be classified as ‘media and communications’, their roles and functions are very different. While it is helpful to note that because of this diversity a career path in the industry is rarely structured, what these roles have in common is a drive to be storytellers, to entertain, educate, and to bring about change.
I worked as the social media/web intern at the International Peace Institute (IPI), a peace and security think tank in New York for several months. For someone who only really had a summer of working in broadcast journalism behind them, it was a great chance to explore different sides of the field. A typical day included managing the social media accounts for the institution, and curating content to promote our various programmes and publications (courtesy of the editorial team). I also worked closely with the events and external relations teams to promote our many in-house events to the UN community, providing live social media coverage for the numerous (generally over 100 each year) panels and discussions hosted in-house. I made graphics, dabbled in coding for our website, and even contributed to bigger external relations projects (lots of hashtag brainstorming). If anything, my internship with IPI revealed just how big the media and communications community is, and the plethora of different roles one could find themselves in.
When conducting your job search, be open minded to more informal opportunities that can give you more general media and communications experience, especially since there are few formal graduate recruitment schemes. A general communications or social media internship at a smaller organization like IPI may let you try your hand at many different roles and give you diverse experience that could take you down another avenue – like journalism or publishing. My experience at IPI is ultimately what led me to working as a marketing and communications assistant at LSE Careers.
In the meantime, consider engaging not only as an active consumer of media but also as a producer. Get involved in The Beaver or PuLSE FM, a great place to make contacts with alumni already established in the industry and other similarly interested students. Careers in Creative Industries Week (taking place from 12 to 20 February) is a great time to start building your toolbox of media and comms skills, and a chance to hear more from employers as you start planning career moves. As always, you can also consult LSE Careers for media and communications specific job boards or guidance.
Find out more about Careers in Creative Industries Week at: lse.ac.uk/creative-industries-week.