My PR Journey Part One | Rana Rahman

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I wasn’t really ever that good in school. I rarely shined, except for maybe some science subjects. The only printed matter which I truly loved were video games magazines, like Crash!, Your Sinclair, and Computer & Video Games. My brothers both excelled academically much like my physician parents. School didn’t diagnose my style of learning back in the 80s, so I was kinda left to drift a bit to my own devices…which were literally PCs and 80s tech to tinker around with. 

All I really cared about were video games and tech. After trying to pursue a career in medicine (yes, there was only one career path programmed into me from birth by my folks…), failing dismally to get medical school A-level grades, I studied one year of biochemistry at Cardiff in a hope of being a doctor after three years, but I dropped out because I found my uni mates’ books on media studies much more fascinating than pipetting DNA fragments into gels in a lab. Yawn. That just wasn’t me, and I was living someone else’s dream. 

After some discussions with my eldest brother, we kinda came to the conclusion that marketing would be suitable for my inherent character traits and creativity. So I wrote to the CIPR (by snail mail) and the Advertising Association, and they sent me a load of bumf in the mail. So off I headed to the big smoke to study the CAM course, and whilst I was studying part-time, I bagged a Junior Account Administrator job in a top healthcare PR agency based in Soho Square, via a job ad in the weekly Evening Standard media job ads page. 

I do recall I got the interview because I converted my CV into PowerPoint, which at the time was a super-cutting edge presentation tool. They said I showed initiative and could be useful for their agency. I didn’t even bother finishing my CAM exams, because I had landed in the wonderful world of comms, without a degree. I learned my craft by being in industry, and soaking it in by osmosis. I don’t doubt the usefulness of a degree, but they’re certainly not a prerequisite for a career in communications.

To be continued…..

 

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