Graduate Case Studies :: canada :: Alexandra
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Alexandra

  • Country
    :
    canada
  • Company
    :
    Transport for London
  • Subject Studied
    :
    Other
  • Job Sector
    :
    Government and NGO
  • Job Title
    :
    Stakeholder Communications Executive - London Underground
  • University
    :
    London School of Economics

Please give a brief description of your job and what it involves

In my current role at Transport for London (TfL) I work in an External Relations team maintaining and improving the reputation of the London Underground (LU) – one of the most recognisable brands in the world.

In this team I focus on TfL’s relationship with businesses and political stakeholders. This includes writing correspondence to stakeholders, organising and attending events, preparing speech notes and briefing notes for representatives and assisting other communication teams within the business.

Part of this role includes advising on potentially sensitive issues and taking proactive steps to mitigate any negative feedback or press that may arise from our projects. This includes working closely with the press office (one of the busiest in the UK) in drafting press releases as well as reactive statements in response to developing situations.

 

What key advice would you give to current students who would like to get into a similar job to you?

Any advice working in a political situation is always well received. Having experience answering hostile questions, for example, or dealing with the press can be invaluable. Lots of politicians will allow you to get work experience in their office and this can open doors to new contacts as well as really valuable experiences.

Communication skills are key so try and do anything you can to demonstrate these. This can be anything from writing a blog to articles in your student newspaper, writing copy on a website or having social media experiences. See if you can get involved with a local student group or community group and assist them in promoting their events.
 

Why do you think you got this job e.g. what skills/knowledge/experience etc.

Prior to joining TfL I had two years experience working as General Secretary (President) of London School of Economics Students′ Union. I had been involved in the Students′ Union throughout my time and I think my experiences there really helped me to get this job.

A Students′ Union is a great place to gain experiences and skills as there is so much scope to develop yourself on a whole range of projects. Time management skills are seen as really valuable and so experience of juggling studying, working, and extra-curricular can set you apart as a candidate.