The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Joss Rankin

Joss Rankin

Joss graduated in 2007 with a BA in Sociology.

Choosing Newcastle

I chose to study Sociology at Newcastle as I was keen to learn more about a subject I knew relatively little about.

As someone who had recently decided my current course wasn’t suitable, I wrote an essay to the Head of Year about what I though Sociology meant in the 20th century. What a treat! I enjoyed every second! When I finished writing that essay, I knew this was the course for me. The research alone kicked up some famous names of Sociology; Durkheim, Marx, Comte. I knew instantly I was making the right decision.

Studying at Newcastle

I loved a good debate. I spoke to friends who sat silent and stony faced in their seminars in their subject areas, whiling away the hour, playing snake on their phone! Our Sociology seminars were active, engaging affairs. Never a dull moment and there was always someone with a strong opinion to share.

I loved anthropology. Finding out about why we were the way we were, back in the days without technology, without infrastructure. Criminology was also a favourite and something I eventually took inspiration from for my dissertation.

Peter Phillimore was an inspiration. His life alone was a chapter in our reading list. We studied his research page by page. It was his enthusiasm and passion for anthropology that still lasts to this day with me. It’s still a subject I find very interesting.

Career profile

I am currently PR Account Manager with MCG PR, an independent public relations consultancy in Leeds, West Yorkshire. No day is ever the same. Today I went to a crisp factory; tomorrow I’m dressed in hard hats and high vis for a tour of a new acquisition by my industrial gasket client.

My company is small, independent and outrageously friendly. We work on outcomes rather than hours, so everyone pulls together and works hard to get consistent results.

While studying at Newcastle, I joined the university’s newspaper ‘The Courier’ initially as a writer and then became a section editor. Throughout university, I undertook several work experience placements with magazines and newspapers, including The Crack and the Newcastle Chronicle, intent on becoming a journalist when I graduated. I was even able to study some journalism modules during my final year of Sociology which was a great opportunity to get to know the nitty gritty of the industry.

When I graduated, I moved to Leeds with friends and was looking at positions in marketing, media and public relations so I could continue working to my strengths in communication. I started working as a Marketing Assistant at Leeds College of Art and soon discovered my strengths lied in writing for the media, organising events and dealing with challenging situations. This led me to a change in career options and I started looking at independent PR consultancies in and around Leeds.

An Account Executive position opened with MCG and after pulling together examples of my writing from university and from my role with Leeds College of Art, I went to a brief chemistry meeting and left with a new job! I am now an Account Manager, looking after four large accounts; a global food producer, a global industrial gasket manufacturer, a national franchise of accountants and an artisan supplier of champagne. I’ve worked across a variety of industries, met many interesting people and continue to work in the exciting world of media, design and communications.