Taking the first steps towards a career in communications

Taking the First Steps Towards a Career in Communications

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Taking the First Steps Towards a Career in Communications

Last week, our Executive Director, Lucy Cairncross, was invited by the IABC UK & Ireland to deliver a Masterclass to students from the London College of Communication at UAL University of the Arts on the MA Communications course. 

Taking the first steps in your career is always daunting, but given the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the work experience opportunities for students, these future communicators are in an even more challenging situation than some of their predecessors. 

Lucy talked to the students about the importance of marketing themselves in the best way possible, building meaningful networks, and taking the time to prepare a covering letter that tells their story and demonstrates their research and understanding. 

She also discussed how work experience remains an excellent way of building experience, developing communication skills, making connections and learning from others. 

Fortunately, the days of working for free are behind us, as paid internships are becoming more popular, consequently increasing the diversity in communications. 

Lucy encouraged the students to be open to opportunities in sectors or organisations they may have never heard of before. Many young communications professionals enter the world of work with big dreams of working for high-profile consumer brands, but there are many fascinating possibilities within the B2B sectors. 

Some of the most interesting roles VMA GROUP have supported have been with organisations without a public face. They often face challenges across sustainability, social impact and the environment, which are the key drivers for young minds coming into the communications industry. 

Lucy also highlighted the benefits of gaining experience within an agency and how it can aid in developing skills in managing multiple projects, stakeholders and timelines. Communications professionals from an agency background tend to have excellent networking skills, which is incredibly beneficial for the rest of their careers. 

Many of those who joined the session were international students, concerned that they would not be seen as desirable candidates, compared to their UK counterparts. On the contrary, Lucy suggested that their understanding of the wider international market makes them attractive candidates for companies with a global reach. They can contribute to developing communications campaigns, both internally and externally, that take a broader view of the world today, rather than an entirely UK-centric approach. 

The importance of trust and transparency in internal and external communications which has emerged during the pandemic has solidified the role of communications within organisations of all shapes and sizes.  The future of communications is bright, with many opportunities to make an impact. 

Given the enthusiasm and engaged opinions seen at the IABC UK & Ireland chapter webinar, it will be exciting to see where these communicators find themselves in the future. 


VMA GROUP is a leading international interim, contract, temporary and permanent recruitment and executive search specialist. We are specifically focused on providing support to the communications, digital and marketing communities.

Our specialist practice areas cover: communications, corporate communications, internal communications, change communications, PR, media relations, financial communications, CSR, public affairs, investor relations, marketing, digital marketing and agency services.

We have a reputation for providing expert consultancy services and advice, supported by in-depth knowledge of the professions we recruit for. Our thought leadership and benchmarking studies have become go-to resources for the communications and marketing industry, supporting planning and decision-making for organisations of all shapes and sizes.

In the UK, VMA GROUP has offices in London and Manchester and in Europe, VMA GROUP has offices in Amsterdam and Brussels, but we work with organisations and individuals on a global basis.

VMA GROUP is committed to equal opportunities and is a Diversity Pledged Recruiter.