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Sara Oberthaler

Profession
MA Public Relations graduate
College
London College of Communication
Person Type
Alumni
Sara  Oberthaler

Biography

Sara is a graduate from MA Public Relations at London College of Communication.

Interview

Why did you decide to pursue a postgraduate degree in public relations?
There were various reasons why I decided to complete an MA in Public Relations. My previous undergraduate degrees in Comparative Literature and Translation Studies both included elements of communication. In addition, I’ve worked in press and public relations for a theatre and a film festival back home in Austria.

I’ve always really enjoyed the creative mix of working in the creative industries whilst applying academia and theories to my professional work. To develop my skills further and gain a new, broader prospective of the PR industry, I wanted to study an MA overseas.

I therefore decided to specialise in public relations at London College of Communication because it has very strong links to the creative industries and offers a PR course that links theory and practical skills.

What was the highlight of studying at London College of Communication?
My personal highlight was the field trip to New York City. I gained first-hand industry insights and was able to soak up NYC’s creative energy.

What was the most valuable lesson you learnt from studying on the course?
That there is always more than one approach and more than one solution to a problem. I also learnt how valuable it is to work with people from different academic and professional backgrounds to open up new perspectives on the way I think and work.

What was the most interesting project you worked on the course?
My favourite one involved the division of a social media first campaign for a chosen company. I decided to do a campaign for a charity that tackles homelessness and I very much enjoyed the process of developing creative ideas.

Why would you recommend MA Public Relations to prospective students? 
The course shows the variety of public relations specialisms and the options available in the industry. You’re also given room for a lot of personal choice in terms of what to focus on.

The course allows you to discover the multitude of facets of public relations, so if you’re not sure what it is that particularly interests you about the communications industry, it will help you figure out what you enjoy the most.

What are the main benefits of studying public relations in London?
London is a wonderfully multi-cultural communications hub with lots of opportunities to develop a career in public relations. It is definitely at the forefront of the communications industry. Plus, the cultural and social input is enormous and there is always something new to discover!

If you could give one piece of advice to students thinking of applying to the course, what would it be?
Simply tell the University your own story, what you’re passionate about and why you love communications. It’s not about pleasing people at the other end of the application, it’s about who you are and what you’re great at.

What have you been up to since graduating from the course?
I’ve joined the Southbank Centre as Press Officer for literature and classical music and really love the job. My responsibilities are quite diverse. For example, they include writing press releases and listings, implementing press strategies for my art forms and devising campaign evaluations.

At the moment I’m leading on campaigns for several literature and poetry events. I really enjoy the variety of what I do, as well as the open-mindedness of everyone at Southbank Centre where every opinion is valued.

I’m particularly passionate about working on the literature side of things, as well as the fact that I get to work on amazing events with leading personalities in the literary world, such as Ian McEwan, Neil Gaiman, Angie Thomas, Marlon James, James Ellroy and Maggie Nelson, as well as London’s leading orchestras and world-class musicians from all around the globe. I’m particularly excited about working on upcoming festivals such as New Music Biennial, Africa Utopia and London Literature Festival.

Related area

Visit the MA Public Relations course page.