Hello! My name is Barbora Hastikova and I am a recent marketing management and events graduate, aspiring to pursue a career in the business sphere. I moved to the United Kingdom from Czechia in 2019 to complete my university degree, which I thoroughly enjoyed. However, having to undertake all of this by myself as an international student was quite challenging.
I was balancing university, a part-time job and social life throughout the entirety of my studies in the UK, receiving amazing but remote support from my family back home. Many of my friends managed to land a job straight after completing their studies, some through family connections, whilst others decided to pursue a career within the hospitality/retail sector as an easy escape.
Although I have gained some valuable academic skills in the university, the practical skills that employers require are difficult to acquire in an educational setting. As a result, I have joined Agent Academy to equip myself with skills, further knowledge, and real-life experience of industry in my ambitions to pursue a career in public relations. Tasked with a client challenge, which involves working collaboratively to improve connections between emerging talent and Bruntwood customers, has been an invaluable experience, helping me to understand how to analyse and deliver solutions to challenges that businesses face today.
Now sitting at the halfway point of Rise, I have already built a strong network of industry leaders and professionals which was my biggest aspiration when joining this programme. Though having an academic background and a certain set of skills can help you land a decent job, I believe that the connections you make within the industry are key for growth and awareness. This is what I find to be one of the most important aspects within this industry, especially for international students.
As well as building connections with industry professionals, I have also made a lot of new friends in the programme’s participants and have really enjoyed broadening my network of like-minded peers, who are on the same journey as me into industry.
I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to take part in Rise this summer. One of the most valuable lessons I have learned is that no matter whether you are a foreigner or a native, you’re not in this alone, just remember to be curious, engaged and determined.