Working life in London – Shannon McCaul

Hello, I’m Shannon McCaul a BA Advertising and Marketing placement student working for Communications International Group in London. This is my second blog on working life in London. This time I am going to talk about being away from university and the contrast between working and student life.

In my last blog, I mentioned how difficult I have found living so far away from home and missing out on all of the fun my friends are having back in Lancaster. This hasn’t got much easier, and maybe a little bit harder. Seeing all of the people I start Uni with handing in their dissertations, getting ready for graduation and preparing for life after Uni is so amazing to see and I am so incredibly proud of each and every one of them! However, it is bittersweet, not being able to do all of those things alongside them. It’s upsetting to know I will be heading back to our Uni life, in September, without most of them there.

I have travelled back to Uni quite a lot over the last three months, and I even took some annual leave to have extended time with my friends, join in with extra-curricular events and even run for an exec position. Again, in my previous blog, I mentioned how important it is to stay busy after work and on weekends. Spending time with the people I miss in Lancs has been an instrumental part of keeping a good working/social life balance, even if the train tickets have hurt my already damaged back account.

Writing this out makes it sound like I am trying to escape London and my placement, which really isn’t the case at all! I have settled in so much more than I thought possible over the last 3 months and can really start to see where I fit in within the company, and above all how my personality has come out! I feel comfortable around my work colleagues, my friends and I know I will be upset to leave these people behind when my contract ends.

During the first 3 months of my time at CIG I was the Event’s Assistant and worked administratively on a few events, both high and low profile, which took place in various different locations, including the House of Commons. I then moved departments and job roles (to Digital Marketing Executive) in the new year. Since then I have been working closely with the digital department content team, and external clients to create marketing content for numerous online learning modules. I have recently taken over from one of my colleagues, in the management of the advertorial production in three of our monthly magazines. I am so lucky to not only have the chance to get hands-on practical experience to enhance my degree, but to also get an insight into the working world. It is crazy to look back on the last six months and see how much not only I have developed as a member of the staff team, but how much my colleagues trust me with larger and more important tasks. I didn’t think I would see this kind of progression in my entire placement, never mind the first half!

Working life is streets away from student life, which makes sense when you say it out loud. But it really never crossed my mind, before moving away and living this life, while everyone I know is living as a student. I do miss uni and my friends, as well as days that only consist of a 2-hour lecture, sitting around playing darts and an evening of dance rehearsals!

I am so excited to get back to Uni, I’m itching to throw myself into lectures and get working with LUDanS exec, but I am also excited to see what the next couple of months look like for me here in London, with CIG. I’m interested to see what other life lessons I can learn to take with me into my fourth year!