PR / Social Media

Events Management



Catering / Hospitality

We’ve put together the perfect starter kit for all the business, marketing and hospitality students starting university this year. We also sit down with our Communications Director, Russell, as he talks us through his best tips and tricks to schooling your degree.

Intrigued? Have a read and find out how you can win the entire set up!





  • 1

    Microsoft Surface Go  2-in-1 Laptop

    Get the power of a Windows laptop in a compact form. Whether you’re in a lecture, a brainstorming session or on the road gathering the next big headline, the Windows Surface Go is perfect for the student on the go. The detachable keyboard comes in handy as it allows you to collect notes and ideas wherever you might be.



  • 2

    Portable Hard Drive

    It’s great to have a file clearout once in a while, but with the constant deadlines, I’m guessing this isn’t on the priority list. Save yourself some valuable time with an external hard drive. Not only will it secure all your important files, but it also acts as a backup all of your coursework.


  • 3

    Power Bank

    Your phone is often associated with your social life, but there are so many handy ways you can implement it into your university work. A power bank is a necessity for those on the go!  Whether you’re recording interviews for your journalism coursework or perhaps, you’re liaising with venues for events… Ensure your phone doesn’t run out of juice at the wrong time.


  • 4


    Tune in and zone out… A decent pair of headphones will make your life that little bit easier as you can catch up with the world’s public affairs or playback your recorded work all in the comfort of your commute.


  • 5

    Smart Speaker

    We understand the inconvenience of opening yet another tab to what already feels like a neverending list. This is where a smart speaker comes in. Whether you need a quick fact check or want to double-check a spelling or just fancy some relaxing background music while you work, a smart speaker will make your experience a little more stress-free.

    Shop here

Meet Russell, Communications Director for AO

In 1995, I moved to Preston and started my Journalism degree at the University of Central Lancashire.  It taught me every twist and turn of the profession from shorthand to media law but the freedom to sniff out a story and report on it was mind-blowing.

As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a journalist.  Before Netflix, the original House of Cards got me hooked on stories, truth and what’s known today as “spin”.  Not long after starting high school, I persuaded my local newspaper, the Glossop Chronicle, to teach me basic reporting.  Stints of work experience in Manchester’s radio and print newsrooms followed along with on-air news reporting for a hospital radio station.

Now maybe I abused that freedom at times, having too much fun in Madchester’s clubs but I wouldn’t change a thing.  University gets you an academic qualification but you’re living on your own for the first time.  Life lessons, like self-confidence and managing money – or managing without it – come thick and fast.


After graduating, I faced a career choice: work as a junior reporter on a supermarket industry magazine or take a maternity cover in the Tesco press office.  I never thought I’d sell my soul into PR but it was worth an extra ten grand a year.  Everyone’s got their price and that was mine.

So I never made it as a journalist but actually, I’ve been lucky to work for companies that are genuinely newsworthy and regularly making headlines from the Manchester Airports Group to Asda.

Nowadays, I’m the Communications Director for AO, a company that’s bursting with stories just waiting to be found and told, which means my degree still comes into play every day.


I never thought I’d sell my soul into PR but it was worth an extra ten grand a year.  Everyone’s got their price and that was mine.

Russell's Tips...

  • 1

    Get as much work experience as possible. You’ll need the power of persuasion to be a reporter, so get practicing.  Talk to every newsroom you can think of to get a break.  You’ll learn the technical stuff in the classroom but you’ll only pick up instincts from being around journalists.  The network you build will also help you in future.  And it all looks great on a CV.

  • 2

    Read, watch and listen to the news. Not just the news you like – all news.  From Radio 4 to the Sun to Huff Post.  Think about what’s behind the stories.  Why are they reported that way?  Where did they come from?  Question everything because all is not what it seems.

  • 3

    Watch the West Wing, the Thick of It and, if you can find it, the original House of Cards. Most TV might well be chewing gum for the eyes, but you’ll learn a tonne from these shows and be entertained in the process.

To be in the chance of winning this entire kit, click here.

The Business, Marketing & Hospitality Kit

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By Becca Monaghan on 24.07.15

Guest Contributor

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