Ruth Garland

Ruth Garland

Lecturer in Media Cultures, University of Hertfordshire

Lecturer in Media Cultures, 2016

Why did you choose LSE, and why did you choose your programme of study?

I came to an open day and met Nick Anstead who seemed really interested in my proposal.  He encouraged and advised me and then became my supervisor.  The intellectual environment at the LSE suited me because I wanted to study political communication from within a media and communications department rather than a politics department.

Overall, how do you look back on your LSE experience?

The rigour and commitment of the academics in the media and communications department has been fantastic and because they are internationally and nationally networked I've been able to connect with so many fantastic scholars from the first year I arrived here.  I loved every aspect of studying for a PhD and had the chance to work on a cutting edge research project on the mediatization of government at the same time.

Please describe your career path to date:

I worked at the LSE summer school last year and then spent the academic year 2016-17 lecturing on Brunel University's MA in Media and Public Relations, seeing the students through from arrival to final dissertations.  The fact that I had more than 20 years' experience in PR before arriving at the LSE was quite important in my getting the job and helped give me more credibility with the students. I started out teaching because I felt obliged to do it for my career but I've found that I really enjoy it and find it enriching.

Why did you choose your current job?

Having enjoyed the teaching at the LSE and Brunel I thought I would try to find a more secure form of employment which would allow me to both teach and research rather than applying for research fellowships.  The job at the University of Hertfordshire is part-time, so I will have extra time for writing and research.

Tell us about your current job:

I start the job next month so I don't know what the balance of the job will feel like but there will be will be lots of student contact which I enjoy.  The amount of marking worries me a bit but it will be good experience, and it's a fact of life in academia.  The University of Hertfordshire is very close to London, in Hatfield, and is really easy to get to.

What advice do you have for LSE students who are looking to enter a similar profession to you?

Prioritise your PhD because that's where everything else springs from but take the time to attend conferences and smaller academic events so you can think and talk around your subject.  This also helps you to start publishing.  As you get close to submitting your PhD you can look out for hourly paid teaching opportunities to broaden your experience.

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