Work experience pays

5 03 2012

Work experience is being hotly debated in the press.  Is it exploitative, socially divisive and unfair?  Should it be compulsory, optional or paid?  At Brighton Journalist Works we think it’s vital to get a job in journalism.  So much so, we organise it for our students at the end of their NCTJ course.  They get to go to Esquire, Time Out, The Argus and a range of other publications.  And it leads to jobs.

Nicola Fairhurst graduated from Brighton Journalist Works last year and is now a sub for the Kent Messenger Group.

“I came into journalism having worked in a number of different industries from travel to horseracing. The one thing I had learnt from my previous experience is to make the most of every opportunity you are offered, so I didn’t hesitate to press the KM Group for some work experience when I heard there may be a subbing opening in their Whitstable hub.


“Three days of unpaid work experience is not long to prove yourself, but I threw myself into the long days of subbing with enthusiasm. The  advantage of work experience is that you not only get a taste for the job itself, but get to meet the people you may be working with in the future and can see how you will fit in with the company.


“I was also fortunate to spend time at Esquire and The Grocer and it was interesting to compare the different working environments as well as the type of work you would be doing in a full-time position with the company, and the dream job you were aspiring to may not be the right fit.


“Yes you are not being paid, and may find yourself out of pocket, but I ultimately landed a job and have been working as a production journalist at the KM Group since I graduated from Journalist Works last summer.”




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