Joining student media has been one of the most valuable opportunities, and I’m confident it will help me further my journalism career. Whether it’s a student group at your university, or an online student publication like Kettle, you’ll gain the skills and experience needed to break into the industry. You’ll also have loads of fun along the way too!
In my first year at university, I started as a writer for my student media publications, and have since worked my way up through various sub-editor positions and into the role of Print Editor for my final year. This has been alongside my position as Music Editor for Kettle, and all sorts of other freelance opportunities. I even got involved with student media during my study abroad year in Long Beach, California. There have been countless benefits of these opportunities and my time as a student wouldn’t have been the same without it.
Your time at university is all about getting involved with student life and making the most of the university experience. Joining student media outlets allows you to meet plenty of new people with a range of backgrounds and interests. There’s nothing like pulling an all-nighter before a print deadline to bring you closer together! It’s not just journalism; many student media outlets also offer opportunities within radio and TV too, making it a great opportunity to try something new.
If you are interested in a career in journalism, or any aspect of the media industry, you’ll soon find the experience is the most valuable asset you can possess. You honestly can’t get a job without it. By working within student media you can develop your writing skills and apply your journalism knowledge to real life situations. This isn’t just sitting in a classroom writing an assignment, this is producing articles for real publications for people to read.
Student media runs the same as any media publication. There will be writers, editors, designers, photographers, a whole range of positions which need to be filled. Progressing in these areas lets you take your experience even further. Taking on an editorial position is a great way to expand your own knowledge and help others to improve their writing skills too.
— Trident Media (@TridentMediaUK) November 2, 2014
— The Boar (@WarwickBoar) November 12, 2014
Alongside these great writing and editorial skills you can develop, you also get hands on experience with what it’s really like to work in the media industry. Student media has the same pressures of filling pages and meeting print deadlines. You’re part of a team who have to work together in order to make your publication a success and this reflects the way things work in the big wide world outside of university too.
Having all these fabulous skills and amazing experience falls short if you don’t have something to show for it. You can explain your roles and industry understanding on a CV or cover letter, but nothing says professional journalist like a portfolio. Being able to demonstrate your work with published articles, in either printed or online forms, shows potential employers how valuable you can be. It shows that you’ve got more than just a degree, something which is becoming increasingly important for all job seekers.
It sounds corny, but the student actively engage with media opportunities now are the ones whose names you’ll see in years to come. If you’re an aspiring journalist or media aficionado looking to further your career, student media can be the best starting point.
What do you think? Are you currently in student media? Have your say in the comments section below.