What does it take to be a “Bright Young Thing”? by @FloraEdward
2011: As a twenty year old about to start at a top ten university (it was top ten when I joined so, yes, that counts), I thought I could boldly claim to qualify as being a “Bright Young Thing”. But since day one, I heard this term being thrown around as though I was not said “Bright Young Thing”, and as though that was something I should aspire towards. I didn‘t get it; what would it take?
So, I made it my mission to earn this entitlement. Most of the “Bright Young Things” that we read about in the Cosmopolitans and Sunday Times supplements are the next radio DJ, or they‘ve designed a range of boutique camel hide sofas. I have done neither of these things, nor am I very likely to. But, I do have ambition, and whilst I may not have written a novel, I have written blogs and while I haven‘t applied to grand KPMG grad schemes, I did spend a full summer working my way (for free, I might add) around media companies in Soho and the West End. Did I count yet?
Well, no, actually, probably not. I didn‘t know which field it was I wanted to work in and apparently if you don‘t know by the time you are eighteen, you are, quite frankly, screwed. OK then, time to regroup. What could I do? I could write. I could talk (I‘m really good at that one). I could come up with ideas; creative, digital ideas. I loved social media- and am so glad I am entering the world of work as it booms. After some googleing (don‘t you love how ‘to google‘ is now a verb?) and emailing for advice and suggestions, it turned out TV or PR were likely options for me. Now I was getting excited, they sounded cool, and executive. I knew what I wanted, I was basically there. Now to get some experience. For anyone reading this, be aware that univerisities don‘t suggest work experience as a crucial thing to do. They are wrong. Work experience in relevant fields has been by far, without a doubt, the most beneficial thing I have ever done. Do it yourself, or push your children into doing it. Really.
But how do you get work experience? Emails to ‘info@‘ rarely get seen so you need to find a name. Twitter helps no end with that, and you‘d be amazed how many companies just have firstname.lastname@example.org or some variation. Something original helps too. I found myself at Media City UK with a box of cupcakes and CV‘s at 8am in a ploy to get noticed…I ended up working on Blue Peter, The Voice UK and The Jeremy Kyle Show so I guess it helped.
Then I discovered consumer PR and loved it. It was an epiphony, who would have thought there was a career out there that encompassed all your of favourite things and skills? Genius.
2014: So, three years since embarking on this journey (more the “Bright Young Thing” mission than the degree) I have a paid internship coming up in a great PR company, I‘m still pretty young and I (will in 2 months) have a degree. So, without intending to sound cocky, I reckon I pass now.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Flora Edward, 22, English Language with Creative student at Lancaster University with a budding career in Consumer PR.
She tweets from @FloraEdward