Tell anyone that you attend Loughborough University and they automatically assume that you are either a budding sportsperson or a gifted engineer. Tell them that you’re interested in working in the Media and they can’t mask the confused look on their face. Yet, there is a small group hoping to break into the fast-moving world of media and are seeking help and advice as much as every other undergraduate. Therefore, the talk put on by the Careers Centre on October 24th was a pleasant surprise.
The seminar was given by two women who have an abundance of experience in the industry: Carole Flemming, the first speaker, is a lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, which boasts an impressive Centre of Journalism and Broadcasting. The second speaker was Stephanie McGovern, the current face for Business and Finance on BBC Breakfast.
Carole kicked off with an extremely useful presentation detailing the different skills required for both the journalist and broadcaster. However, more importantly she addressed the issue of work experience. In today’s world a degree alone is not enough; if you want your CV to stand out, work experience is vital. As Carole highlighted, this is easier said than done. Her advice is to avoid the competitive, prestigious companies and instead think local.
Applying to local radio stations or newspapers can be just as insightful and are easier to secure. In fact, it has been suggested that the smaller the place, the more valuable the experience. Staff shortages and a more informal atmosphere allow employers to give interns more responsibilities than larger companies can. This can be a great way to show your versatility, as well as your willingness to muck in and help out team members.
Next in line was Stephanie McGrath, the welcoming face of business on BBC Breakfast. Stephanie‘s appearance certainly suggested BBC, her accent not so much. The bubbly Middlesbrough lass is an example of how broadcaster stereotypes are being broken in today’s media. Her biggest piece of advice; be yourself!
Stephanie also picked up on the difficulty of securing work experience. She maintained that you have nothing to lose by writing to figureheads of the Media industry asking for any advice they can offer. Her mantra was that a flattering e-mail could go a long way…
The presentation was recorded by the Careers Centre and is due to be put on their website in the near future. For information on upcoming events or the Springboard Careers fair next year in May, keep up to date with Loughborough University's Careers and Employability Centre webpage.