Graduate stories: Kayode the communications professional

International PR and Digital Comms Masters Student Kayode

Kayode arrived in Salford to study MA PR and Digital Communications after a successful career in internal communications in Nigeria. During his course, he had an extended internship with Weber Shandwick which led him to securing a graduate job within the NHS. 

A man in a blue and white striped sweater on DJ decks

Background in Communications

For my bachelor’s degree, I studied computer science and once I graduated, I started looking for jobs in IT. I applied for a job in the IT department of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) however before accepting the job I attended an event organised by UBA. I was fascinated by how the UBA’s communications department organised the event and how they communicated UBA’s vision. After this event, I knew that I wanted to explore this area further. I approached the HR department and asked if there were any roles in the communications team – I think they were surprised at my change in direction, but I knew it was the right path for me. Throughout my career I have always been intentional in my choices and created opportunities for myself. 

After six years in this role, I was given the opportunity to move to an international integrated energy services provider, Westfield Energy Resources Limited as Head of Brand and Corporate Communications, where I stayed until 2021 when I decided to take a leap of faith and move to Salford to further my skills and undertake a master’s. 

Placement at Weber Shandwick

As part of my course, one of our modules was a mandatory 10-day placement. The purpose of the placement was to give us real-world experience in the UK PR and communications sector and provide us with the opportunity to develop a portfolio. I found a placement at Weber Shandwick, a leading global PR firm. After the initial 10-day placement, I approached them to ask whether they would consider extending it. They were thrilled with my contribution and allowed me to extend the placement to two months. During my time with them, I helped to develop and implement an internal communications campaign for one of their clients.  

This experience, coupled with the thorough course content and supportive nature of my lecturers, prepared me to enter the UK job market. After leaving Salford, I secured a fixed-term contract as a Senior Communications Officer (Engagement) at the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust focusing on staff engagement, in particular improving responses to the annual staff satisfaction survey.  

Imposter syndrome

There have been two instances during my career where I’ve felt major imposter syndrome. The first was when I was given the opportunity to become Head of Brand and Corporate Communications at Westfield Energy Resources. The CEO had seen my work from my previous role and believed that I would excel in the role, but I lacked the same belief in myself. The second time was before I arrived in Salford. I worried that I would struggle in the programme and wouldn’t be able to achieve the same successes I had in Nigeria.  

During both instances, I overcame the imposter syndrome, proved myself wrong and achieved greater successes than I could have imagined. I have developed coping mechanisms to help me overcome the imposter syndrome, including looking at the challenges in front of me and taking them one day at a time. Through my experiences, I have realised I can tackle any challenge I face if I put my mind to it.     

Ambitions for the future

I would like to use my skills in communications as a medium to help motivate people to find their purpose in life. I believe that you should not acquire knowledge just to benefit yourself, you should also use it to help others. I feel passionate about having a positive impact on the people around me and believe my skills in communications can help me to do this. I may even consider doing a second master’s in counselling to help me fully achieve my dream! 

The meaning of creativity

For me, creativity is a way of life, from my job to my hobbies. In my spare time, I like to DJ, and I run an internet radio station, so I really do believe that creativity is the way I choose to live my life.