You’re not just there to make the tea – Our work experience promise

24 05 2013

Here at Journalist Works we pride ourselves on offering our students the best, and nothing but the best. This is especially true when it comes to the work experience placements we provide.

site-logo

I am not talking about one work placement either. No no. We offer three weeks of fantastic, action-packed work at various amazing companies. Many of them even cover travel expenses or pay a small wage, and if our students impress them (which often happens) they get snatched up there and then.

logo

We offer work experience at Esquire, Men’s Health, You Magazine, The Argus, Time Out Magazine, Women’s Fitness Magazine, The Mail on Sunday, The Mail Sports Desk, Gay Star News, Juice FM and many more.
logo_mol

And our list keeps growing daily, as our students go on to get great jobs at great places, and remember us when they need students looking for interns.

Advertisements




What is it like studying with us? The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth

24 05 2013

Our students are encouraged to blog on their Brighton Journalist Works course. Kayleigh Tanner and John Herring muse on their experiences via their blogs, with the most recent entries first.

John Herring

A reflection: The end of an NCTJ era:

“I have every faith that every single one of my course-mates will make a raging success of their journalism careers.”

Class of April 2012:

“At the start of the course many of us, myself included, thought reaching 100 words a minute was an impossible task, requiring assembling a team of mighty heroes, legendary weapons and a stash of energy drinks and doughnuts to tackle this Herculean task.

“We have a lot to thank Roxanne for. Not only for getting us to a respectable speed in shorthand, but for being able to sleep easy knowing Caroline got an eye test – something she tells me she revised hard for – and as a result, now has to wear glasses.”

The point where I’m in denial about the end of my course

“I’m going to miss everyone terribly. And the course. Such good tutors, such good content, such good course-mates. I’ve never been so reluctant to leave an educational establishment. Shall I hide in the tea room?”

KayleighIt’s the final humpday

“It’s pretty devastating, leaving a course which has inspired me and which I’ve actually thoroughly enjoyed, to return to something which leaves me feeling so… flat.”

The end is nigh

“I feel like the NCTJ is infinitely more worthwhile than my degree, and I feel like I’ve learnt so much more in the 12 weeks I’ve been learning to become a journalist than the two years I’ve been regurgitating the academic papers of linguists.”

The momentous occasion where I passed 100wpm

“I doubted that I’d be able to get there, so it’s a huge weight off my shoulders. I practised an insane amount the day before those exams, so thank God it paid off. In my group, six of us passed the 100wpm after ten weeks! Surely we deserve a medal.”

Legal eagles, and other journalism exam matters

“Today has been a very exciting day at Brighton Journalist Works. We’ve received our provisional Media Law and Court Reporting results, and I got an A in Media Law and a B in Court Reporting (a true Christmas miracle, given how hideous that paper was).”

Prints Charming 

“The news today is that my first print story (hence the title) has made it into my local paper! (page 19 of  The Argus in Brighton, in case you were wondering). I have a byline and everything!”

Exams ahoy

“I passed my 60wpm shorthand exam! Hooray! This means that as long as I pass everything else (at whatever level), I’ll have passed my NCTJ. Again, hooray! Alas, I have to sit an 80wpm on Friday.”

Happy Humpday!

“I can’t comprehend how fast this course has gone! When I think about how much this year at uni dragged, this is just insanity. It’s one of the things I really like about this course; the fact it’s not eating into too much of my time. I’m really impatient, and I hate moving at a slow pace, so cramming it all into such a short space of time is ideal for me.”

Featuring John Jenkins

“We had a visit from feature writer John Jenkins today. We got to do one of my absolute favourite types of writing, namely a travel journalism article, and he gave us some interesting things to think about when writing features. He said we should let every holiday pay for itself, as we should be able to sell a feature we write about our trips two or three times to various publications. I have a few features I’ve already written that I’d like to pitch to some magazines, and I’m going to write a feature that popped up in my head forever ago and see if anyone would like it.”

Teeline Impressions: Life in the middle lane

“The only margin in my shorthand notebook is the margin of error. This currently stands at around 26.4%  and sits uncomfortably on my mental well being, like a walrus atop a hedgehog.

“We’ve now moved away from 60-word-a-minute passages and moved into the middle-of-the-road speed of 70-90 words a minute. I’m surprised at how much I’m able to take down at this speed. It’s just a case of getting your brain in gear to bring the relevant outline instantly into your mind, only for it to be discarded a nanosecond later for another one.”

Off-duty

“I love the fact everyone on our course gets on. There are only around 12 or 13 of us, so it’s quite a close-knit group.”

Tanner’s Top Tips for Telling Tales  

“Recently, I felt really stupid having to ask a man how he spelled his name… and that name was Chris. A shudder of embarrassment ran through me as I had to spell it back to him to make sure I’d got it right, but I would’ve felt a whole lot more ridiculous quoting him as Chris and having him phone me a day later telling me he was a Kris.”

Time’s a-tickin

“I ruddy bloody love Media Law; it’s really interesting, which I wasn’t expecting. To be honest there’s nothing I particularly dislike about the course.”

Teeline Impressions

“Teeline is said to be the easiest form of shorthand to learn, which is good considering that you have to sit a 60-word-a-minute exam after 10 weeks of a 14-week course. But if this is the easiest to learn then the other forms must be like trying to ride a unicycle up Mount Everest.”

Vox pop, pop, pop

“Today we did some vox pops in town. Lots of people see the notepad and cross the road or speed up their walk to avoid you. My piece of advice for vox pops would be MAKE SURE YOUR PEN WORKS. I spent the entirety of the first vox pop carving the man’s answer into my notepad with a pen that WOULD NOT WRITE. I have the word ‘bad’ carved into my notepad over and over again.”

Learnin’ and… journin’

“Today we had a visit from Euan Ferguson, the chief deputy sub from Time Out magazine, who actually took a course at Brighton Journalist Works a few years ago. We had to do a write-up of his talk, and mine made it onto the BJW blog! He also emailed our course administrator and named mine as one of his favourites, which was nice. I’d love to get some work experience with Time Out. Maybe that’s my next task.”

Dreams of here

“Oh great” cried my inner monologue. “I have to write a review. Not just any review but an ART review. This internal outburst was brought about as part of our reporting sessions for Brighton Journalist Works (BJW).”

A learning curve

“I’m currently cooking up some stories to research for my patch, and I need to practise some shorthand tonight. Shorthand is so intimidating. 100wpm feels completely unattainable right now. I know it’s only day 2, but it’s still daunting.”

Both Kayleigh and John achieved the gold standard for their NCTJ course. Almost all of the course passed their 100wpm shorthand and all achieved a minimum of 80wpm.

Exam results in the other subjects were similarly brilliant – everyone passed Essential Media Law at grade C or above; 90% passed Essential Public Affairs and Crime Reporting at gold standard; and 10 students got the gold standard for Reporting.





Non-graduates getting it right first time

24 05 2013

After completing the course Ben Leo started his work experience at the Argus and was snapped up by them at once. Here is his story.

“The cost of going to University after my A-levels really put me off as I didn’t fancy studying hard just to get into debt. Instead I enrolled for the fast-track course at Journalist Works and learnt everything I needed to know in an intensive but high-calibre 14-week course.

“I was a little apprehensive before starting the course as I questioned whether I would be able to keep up with my fellow university-educated students. I soon discovered it didn’t really matter if I had been to university or not as the employers I spoke to all valued an NCTJ education more than a degree.

“After the course, I put the skills I’d acquired at Journalist Works to the test during a work experience stint at The Argus.

“Soon after the placement, the News Editor called me up, told me he’d liked my work and offered me a job”. I remember he joked: “They taught you well upstairs.”

I gladly accepted.”        

“Studying for the NCTJ at Journalist Works not only saved me thousands of pounds in tuition fees, but also a hard slog at university too, and it got me my cracking job”

And Ben is not the only one bagging himself a great job after completing his qualification. His course-mates Rebecca Creed and Caroline Wilson, went on to find work as a junior reporters. Neil Hawkins joined the Echo in Southend. Puja Tiwari became the editor at a luxury lifestyle and fashion magazine named Sabaya,and Emily Noszkay joined www.positiveluxury.com as their new Content and Community Manager.

 

 





Top CV writing tips

24 05 2013

There is no one way to write a good CV and cover letter.  But here are some tips:

1: Adapt the cover letter to the job: reflect the wish list in the job ad into your letter.

2: Aim for one page CV, no more.

3: Write one sentence or more at the top of your CV that sums up who you are and why you are right for the job.  Put key skills, particularly those that make you stand out as different to other candidates, such as video editing, blogging etc at the very top.

4: Cut obvious or generic statements such as ‘good communicator’ or ‘team player’ and replace with specific examples that show you actually have these skills.

5: Create a webpage CV, which includes examples of your online and multimedia journalism skills and put the link on your paper CV.  (tumblr et al) See Luke Lambert’s here.

6: Put your NCTJ qualifications at the top.

7: Put all your other qualifications and work experience in order with most recent at the top.

8: You can now lose all those descriptions of what you did in Tescos – editors know what checkout staff do.

 9: Add links to all your published work eg; your Argus page and others.

10: Your cover letter should be written to showcase your writing skills as a journalist; you are not an Edwardian lady applying for a job in a library: write tight, sharp, lively copy – why else would an editor hire you?

11: Never, never, never send a cover letter/email/CV without showing it to someone to proof read first.  We ALL make mistakes (that’s why we have subs) and an editor will spot them and bin your application straight away.