Contacts, contacts, contacts!

29 11 2012

So, we train you up to know how to write a story, to not type any libels and to be able to take down what your interviewees say at lightening shorthand speed. Then we sort out your work experience and unleash you into the big wide world of journalism. What you do next determines whether you make it in the career you want.

Here’s a few words from past graduate Juliet Conway, who won the National Council for the Training of Journalists’  Scoop of the Year award three years ago whilst studying at Brighton Journalist Works. We think this says it all about perseverance….

“I did my journalism course before going to university, and so being trained as a journalist before starting my degree, I used the expertise to become editor-in-chief of the student paper. I also fitted in work placements during the holidays, so by the time I graduated I had amassed invaluable skills and knowledge – but of course as any graduate knows, that hardly ensures walking into a job.

“I began the arduous task of searching for jobs and editing my CV, but I also secured a work placement at ES magazine by contacting the editor directly. I knew sending out my CV was important, but I also knew my best chances of getting a job was to actually be in the right place at the right time.

“The month-long placement at ES magazine was unpaid but my travel expenses were covered and it was great experience (all placements are, even if it’s because it teaches you what you don’t want to do). However, it was clear there was no job at the end, but that hardly mattered as I met people and made contacts.

“For one job, I was sent to report on a film premiere and met a journalist from the Daily Telegraph. She told me her editor was looking for freelancers and I immediately took her email address and she said I should send her my CV. I did so the very next day.

“They got in touch and I started working for them as soon as my ES magazine internship ended. I’m still a freelance reporter but I work for them regularly each week. I could never have planned this. But what I did plan was the internship, and I did have the drive and desire to put myself out there when I met other journalists and contacts. Above all, I could never have started any of this without the essential skills I learned at Brighton Journalist Works. “




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