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Karlien Dekens

College
London College of Communication
Person Type
Alumni
Karlien  Dekens

Biography

Why did you decide to pursue a postgraduate degree in public relations?

I wanted to learn more about public relations, but also communications and media. Public relations is a good combination of these, besides this it is important if you want to pursue a political career to have some public relations knowledge.

Public relations can help you along the way, it improves the way you approach people and certain ideas. It helped me in the European Parliament, politics is a lot of behind the scenes working and it has come in handy to learn the best approaches.

What was the highlight of studying at London College of Communication?

One of the highlights were all the different nationalities coming together and having the same goal. You get to study in central London and learn what an amazing city London is.

These are factors you do not get everywhere. Another highlight is the structure of the course; you get different opportunities to understand Public Relations by studying it.

Besides this, the availability from the tutors is a highlight that is important. They are present and ready to help when necessary. The course has a fast pace, which can be interesting and sometimes overwhelming at the same time.

You go from learning and really getting to know the theory of Public Relations to getting to know how to conduct yourself during interviews, learning to make questions for an interview, how to present yourself on camera and how to work in a group.

There were some projects where we had to work in-group, which is always good to do. I am currently working in a team where everyone has their own responsibility, but we all have the same goal.

Thanks to the group projects, I learned to listen and understand the other people involved a lot more.

What was the most valuable lesson you learnt from studying on the course?

Working in a group, since this is just important for my career and how big my interest as in politics and political communications. If you cannot work with other people, it will be very hard to achieve something.

We were able to choose many of our topics for our assignments our self.  I chose politics, found it so interesting, and did a good job on it as well. The lesson I learned was how much I was invested in politics and cared for it.

Then, the moment you find something, you care for and are interested in; it does not even feel like an assignment or a dissertation.

What was the most interesting project you worked on the course?

The collaborative unit and the dissertation. First the collaborative unit, because you put the theory to practice and you learn with an actual company what possible issues are. Again, you learn to work in a group.

Thanks to the collaborative unit, you learn to work with a client and you need to understand their needs. This is not always easy, but can be interesting. The dissertation was a very interesting process and taught me a lot about politics and the direction I want to go in.

The fact that I was able to spend several months on a topic that I am interested in is amazing.

Why would you recommend MA Public Relations to prospective students?

Thanks to our assignments, we were able to explore whatever topic we preferred. Not everyone is interested in politics, fashion, or something else, but during our assignment, we were able to choose a different topic and really dive into this.

This way you can grow and improve your knowledge and your own interest. This course is structured in a way that it gives you free time and it is completely up to you how you divide your time.

You can learn and explore more about Public Relations, but you can also take on some extra classes such as Photoshop or InDesign. Those programmes will always come in handy in the workplace.

What are the main benefits of studying public relations in London?

The main benefits of studying public Relations in London are the free time, the extra classes you can take and the fast pace of the course. Thanks to this fast pace, you really cover different topics and elements of public relations.

Every couple of weeks, we explored something new, which made the course more interesting. Another benefit is the combination of the theoretical and practical side of the course.

I learned more because I was able to try new immediately, such as making a video or an application.

If you could give one piece of advice to students thinking of applying to the course, what would it be?

It is a great experience, that flew by and where you meet new people and make friends from all over the world. You learn and develop new skills and feel more prepared to start your career.

My advice would be to take this all in and enjoy it as much as possible, because before you know it will be over.

What have you been up to since graduating from the course?

Since I graduated, I started an internship in the European Parliament with a member of the Parliament. So far, this has been really interesting and dynamic.

It tends to go fast and all at once, this can come with some stress as well. I am seeing and learning many different things about online communications, social media and having contacts with the press.

Once you start in a position where a lot depends on the media, you learn how it works and how important it is to have them on your team. In politics, the future is never certain. Many other factors are involved and are variable.

However, once you are in the political world, you feel it and you do not want to leave. Easily you learn and meet different people; it is easier to go to a different member of even another Parliament. I will enjoy my work and absorb the atmosphere as much as possible.

Related area

View the MA Public Relations course page.