15 September 2017
15 September 2017
Amy Hughes

Quite a lot actually, says Amy Hughes, Marketing Assistant at High-Rise Communications

I’ve got a first class linguistics degree. So, why did everyone seem so baffled when I told them I was commencing a career in marketing?

Here’s why I think having a linguistics degree is actually pretty useful for a career in communications, especially at an agency like High-Rise dedicated to supporting charities and community development.

Along with formal qualifications, work experience at a charity really helped too

After graduating from The University of Manchester with a first class undergraduate degree in Linguistics, I then studied towards an MSc in Marketing at the Alliance Manchester Business School. Although my postgraduate degree gave me specialist knowledge in communications, it was my volunteer experience with charities that really helped me get the role I now have at High-Rise Communications.

Using linguistics to reduce social isolation

As an undergraduate in Linguistics, I volunteered at non-profit organisations to use my linguistic knowledge to help others to communicate more effectively. During my first volunteering role with the Stroke Association, I attended weekly groups that supported stroke survivors whose communication has been affected by their stroke. Not only did these groups facilitate their communication, but they also acted as a service in their local community to reduce social isolation.

I then volunteered with Mencap, helping a gentleman every Friday afternoon at their Manchester office and offered support with reading work-based and other related documents and writing letters and emails. It was these rewarding volunteer experiences that sparked my desire to have a career where I can make a positive difference in some way.

How relevant is a linguistics degree to my communications job?

My linguistics degree helped me to develop plenty of transferable skills that are essential for my job. For example, my undergraduate degree enhanced my communication skills and I developed the ability to adapt my writing to different audiences. This skill is particularly relevant in my role as Marketing Assistant, as I have to liaise with numerous contacts and translate information into more public-friendly formats.

What do I enjoy about my job?

I enjoy seeing the positive impact that our work and our clients' work have on people’s lives – it makes working for High-Rise a really rewarding experience. I get to work on a range of projects which makes the nature of my role extremely varied and I also get to work closely with a number of very passionate people.

Words of advice for someone wanting to start a career in communications

I always knew I wanted to work in the non-profit sector and I was involved in volunteering throughout my time at university – so getting this experience is invaluable if you want a role within the charity sector.

Whilst my linguistics degree allowed me to develop the ability to write and articulate information clearly, it was my MSc in Marketing that provided me with specialist communications knowledge. Studying a master’s degree can be expensive business and it is no easy ride, but it can add immense academic and work-related skills to help you progress up the career ladder.

Category: Charities and social enterprises