CAREERS: How I Got Here - Sara Hazzard, external communications manager, St Mungo's

What was your first job? I was into music and enjoyed events so I joined Music Events Sponsorship in London, which gave me a good chance to learn about the role of media management.

What does your current role involve? I manage all the external communications, which include the press officer, electronic PR, national press, strategy, briefings, crisis and issues management. My role is also to strengthen the identity and profile of St Mungo's and to create tools to communicate with key audiences, including clients, workers and residents.

Roughly outline your career path? Following Music Events Sponsorship, I became the network co-ordinator at Leap Confronting Conflict. I then went to work at UK Youth as the publicity and communications officer, which included taking it through a rebrand from Youth Clubs UK to UK Youth.

I took up the external communications manager post at St Mungo's last month.

What training or course has most enhanced your career?

A masters degree in PR and public communications at the University of Westminster.

What has been your greatest career achievement? Having an impact on the Government's Green Paper, Widening Opportunity and Education for Young People. The policy would have denied funding to the most fundamental programmes and services that give socially excluded young people a chance to achieve.

What is your biggest career regret? None, but I know I would have regretted not moving into the voluntary sector.

What is your advice to people starting out in the sector?

Don't lose sight of the needs of the client group serviced by your organisation.

Are there any charities you support financially?

Amnesty International and CHADD, which helps people with hyperactive and attention deficit disorder.

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