‘Being declined previously only made me want to apply again’ – lessons on perseverance

Ally Boldan

For 2023’s Never Give Up Day, which focused on cultivating a mindset of determination, we spoke to 2023 Rising Star winner Ally Boldan, PR and Communications Lead at Instantprint (part of Bluetree Group), about perseverance – something she knows a lot about since she narrowly missed out on a Rising Star Award in 2022.

Learning from feedback

Ally first applied for the Rising Star Awards in 2022, and although she reached the interview stage, she was not named a winner. Undeterred, she explains how she took onboard the feedback and refocused her application. “I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t disappointed at the time, but now looking back, it was 100% the right move. First time around I’d picked a freelance journalism course, but having moved into a PR role at Instantprint, it became clear I needed to focus specifically on PR.”

Thanks to the extra year to consider her options, Ally realised by applying again, she had time and additional experience on her side. “When I first applied, I’d only been working in the role and industry for a short amount of time, but since then I’ve got a lot more experience, more technical print knowledge and a completely new role. This helped to show my dedication not only to the print industry but also my personal development during my interview. I’m also quite tenacious – being declined previously only made me want to apply again with a stronger application!”

Looking to the future

This determination impressed the judges and Ally was named a 2023 Rising Star, receiving up to £1500 toward the perfect course to advance her career, and showing the importance of considering the right course for a long-term career goal. “I have just started the first unit. My next steps are to finish (and pass!) my course and start using these new skills. I’m hoping to go through internal management training, ultimately moving to a leadership role in PR and communications. I also want to share what I’ve learned with our customers to help them promote their businesses in industry media.”

Asked if she had one piece of advice for anyone wanting to apply, or who did not succeed at first, Ally said; “Definitely speak to The Printing Charity team about your application. I asked for feedback on what I could do over the course of the year before I reapplied to make sure that my application was as strong as possible. I took on their advice: to spend time on my solo projects, my personal development and generally just upping my print knowledge. I also spent a lot of time researching what course I wanted to do, and why. I found that by putting in the effort with determination meant it all worked out!”

2024 Rising Star Award applications are now closed.

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