Q&A | Mel Lynch, PR Intern at MTV

Where did you attend University and what course did you study?

I attended Cardiff University from 2016-2019 and studied Media, Culture and Journalism

What were your initial career plans for life after University?

During my third year I knew I wanted to work in TV or film in some capacity. I completed an internship with a children’s production company over second year summer and loved it, so knew it was an industry I wanted to explore further. I didn’t have any set in stone plans for most of third year and honestly just applied for anything and everything TV/Media related. Cardiff actually has a lot to offer in terms of entry level TV/advertising/PR work experience opportunities. 

After bombarding every Cardiff media production office with my CV, I ended up getting some experience at a casting office, PR agency and some TV runner work. Those experiences shaped my interest inTV PR.

How did you find the experience of graduating?

I was already working in London at the time so had to take the day off to travel down to Cardiff. It felt bizarre staying in a hotel in a city that i’d felt at home in for the last three years, so that part of it was a bit unsettling I suppose. The day in general was lovely as my parents had never had the chance to visit me while at uni as my home home is in the North West. I introduced my parents to my friends and showed them the city which was super wholesome. Whilst being a student I never actually pictured my graduation so when the day came it was quite surreal, it’s so unfortunate that this year’s grads don’t have the chance to celebrate it in their university city but should definitely mark the occasion in some way!

What did you end up doing in your first year after graduation?

I moved cities and started an internship with ViacomCBS as MTV’s PR intern where I’m still working today. My first year post uni has definitely been full on as I moved a few weeks after I handed in my final bits of coursework. The internship has been varied, I’ve assisted on some really interesting campaigns, helped plan and execute press stills shoots, written press releases/PR strategies and worked at award shows. 

Were there any hurdles you had to overcome in the process of getting to the point you’re at now?

When I first moved to London I moved from a house of five close friends to living with just one other person, so found the transition difficult and quite lonely at times. My sister lived close by so she was a huge support this year and offered up her lovely flat as my bi-monthly breakdown spot. I definitely found starting full time work and London commutes a source of stress too. I’d say overcoming issues like these are about being kind to yourself where you can by taking regular breaks and asking the people you love for help when you need it.

What aspects of your experience at University have helped you reach the point you’re at today?

My friends were a huge help to my university experience and a massive support to me throughout the three years.  I don’t think I would have had the confidence to go out and apply for bigger opportunities without their advice and pep talks.

If you could go back and tell yourself one thing after graduation knowing what you know now, what would you say?

Stop getting so worked up and stressed over things that won’t matter in a week/months time.

Do you have any advice for recent graduates who want to go down a similar pathway after University?

Tailor your CV to every job you apply for to show you’re genuinely interested, if it’s an option write a cover letter too and pick out key examples of the company’s past campaigns. Check your university careers pages regularly and go to careers days if possible. Make a spreadsheet of everywhere you apply to and their response , good or bad and if you get feedback. I’d say just keep applying too and try not to get too disheartened by no’s.

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