I graduated from Brighton Journalist Works in June 2009 and, after a summer of work experience with the Argus, the Press Gazette and Esquire Magazine, I returned to the University of Sussex in September to study English BA, writes Juliet Conway.
In a bid to keep my journalism career afloat, I started my first year as news editor of the student newspaper, the Badger, and after one term progressed to the position of co-editor-in-chief.
In November 2009, I was honoured to receive the NCTJ student journalist award for Top Scoop, which I won for my front page scoop for the Argus – while on the first week of my course – about University of Sussex medical student, Hester Stewart, who died from a legal drug overdose, GBL.
Having a CV with such credible experience and achievements – none of which would have been possible without Journalist Works – I endeavoured in January this year to line up work placements for my summer. I knew all too well that in an industry as competitive and fast-paced as journalism, you always need to be one step ahead, and I feared that leaving it too late would do me no favours.
As anticipated, there were some disappointing replies, but it hardly mattered as I was overjoyed to get some acceptances as well.
I am currently in my first placement this week, working with the Press Association in London. I will then be putting my sub-editing skills to use during an internship at Progressive Digital Media (London), which will be followed by two weeks with the Camden New Journal as a news reporter.
I felt satisfied that this would keep me busy and well-practised during the break in my university studies, until quite unexpectedly, two weeks ago, I received a call from Amy Iggulden, news editor for the London Evening Standard. She said I had come up in one of her searches for “award winning young journalists” and that she had read several of my news stories which were all very interesting and well written. Then, to my utter disbelief, she asked if I would like to come and do some work experience with them. As I am determined to complete my three years at university, I more than happily accepted an all-expenses paid month-long internship which I will take on after working with the Camden New Journal.
The call from the London Evening Standard really highlighted the effect of all my journalistic efforts and achievements in the past year, which undoubtedly can all be traced back to the fantastic top-quality training I had at Brighton Journalist Works. It really goes to show that despite journalism being so competitive and cut-throat, and despite the seeming lack of jobs on offer, there is still a palpable need for good, hard-working journalists – you just have to have the motivation and dedication.