Case Study Event Management: JulieAnn Relihan talks studying part-time

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Like many others, JulieAnn Relihan decided her career needed a boost. She decided to enrol in a Postgraduate Diploma in PR with Event Management.

JulieAnn did her undergraduate degree in International Marketing with French and Spanish at DCU. After that, she worked as a Marketing Executive for a sun lotion company. After three years, she learnt that her employer would be moving its Irish operation to London in six months.

JulieAnn had developed a keen interest in public relations from dealing with the firm’s outsourced PR agencies. This new newfound passion was to inspire her decision to return to education.

More ammunition to find a great job

“One of the reasons I did the course was because I knew for six months that I was going to be made redundant. I needed more ammunition looking for a new job. The marketing and PR sphere here is not big and is very, very competitive,” she explains.

JulieAnn did some research. She decided to enrol in the European Institute of Communication’s (EIC) Postgraduate Diploma in PR with Event Management. This is a professional qualification accredited by the Public Relations Institute of Ireland. Postgraduate courses accredited by professional bodies are generally orientated toward work-based skills. This was a major attraction for JulieAnn.

“All the staff in the Institute have their own PR jobs outside of lecturing. It’s a very practical education that you’re receiving,” she enthuses.

“Obviously there is theory and exams but the backbone of the course is how you would apply what you’re doing in the classroom out in the real world.”

New qualification, new job

The course certainly paid off in terms of JulieAnn’s career ambitions. She started a new job in the Marketing & PR department of a Dublin-based cosmetics company within two weeks of leaving her job.

“I do think having the diploma on my CV and being able to say how I put in two nights’ a week from 6:30 to 9:00pm doing the course shows motivation, energy, and that you’re willing to put the time and effort into your career.”

In addition, the diploma was a valuable source of potential future contacts. Fellow students on JulieAnn’s course included a Fine Gael worker as well as an RTE reporter and several journalists.


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