"Thanks for running a course that has turned my life around and given me some confidence in myself and a chance to enjoy my working life. The rest is up to me."
James Lowe, Journalist Works graduate, now Enfield Gazette
MY DREAM JOB
My Dream Job....George Walker
"I am a journalist for my-wardrobe.com. Now my main task is writing product descriptions and designer biogs for the website, but (as we all know from interning) if you ask to do more, you will get to do more, so last week I wrote a five-page menswear feature, I worked on part of the menswear press book and I've done several blogs. It's an exciting place to be as the company is really growing, with the editorial content becoming more and more innovative and wide-ranging. The people are also brilliant, so don't believe all those Devil Wears Prada clichés you hear about!
The Brighton Journalist Works course and my work placements at publications required a lot of the same skills I now use. Jeremy Langmead (the editor of Esquire magazine) is becoming editor of MrPorter.com (a men's version of net-a-porter), showing the gap between magazine journalism and corporate editorial work has well and truly been bridged. So, don't be shy about applying for those less traditional writing posts - you don't know where they might take you!
Starting at Brighton Journalist Works, I wasn't quite sure what area of journalism I wanted to work in. I'd written news items and helped edit the arts section of my university magazine, but I still wasn't sure if I preferred writing features and culture news or searching for news stories. I'd enjoyed both, so I came to the course with an open mind and no definite plan of action for my career.
Soon into the course I sorted out my work experience, including Live Music Writer at What's On Guide Brighton, a week at Time Out London, a week sub-editing at Esquire and writing for The Argus's community pages. I also got two weeks on websites owned by Delightful Media – which included reporting from London Fashion Week, attending industry events and eventually working as the Men's Style Editor for the vintage site - and spent a month at the fashion desk of The Independent.
After that, I knew I wanted to work in lifestyle and fashion journalism. I wouldn’t have got my job without all this work experience and I wouldn’t have got the work experience without Brighton Journalist Works."
My Dream Job...Rosie Rogers
"I work for the BBC, as a journalist on a new website that is due to launch very soon. I will be employing many of the subediting and other skills I learnt during my Brighton Journalist Works course. I even had a very similar test in my interview, which I was more than prepared for thanks to the NCTJ exams! While I know there will be a steep learning curve, I am very excited. I would just like to thank Brighton Journalist Works for teaching me the skills to get the job in the first place. I started as an intern. I was thrown into video production as well as the upkeep of a website and worked with lovely a lovely team of people."
My Dream Job...Sally Griffiths
“The Brighton Journalist Works course was definitely the right choice and I'm so glad I moved to do it.
With JW help I did lots of work experience (including the Independent on Sunday). I was looking at permanent members of staff wistfully - even if they were just eating a scabby sandwich at their desk.
Then I went to Askamum.co.uk (the website for Bauer Media's "Mother & Baby" and "Pregnancy & Birth" magazines) and really enjoyed it. I was constantly busy, in charge of writing their news and getting forum discussions started, plus they were happy to teach me things and answer questions. Because I liked it I'd stay late and felt genuinely happy to be helping them out.
Then I started applying for paid work in journalism and got a job as a writer on a gift website. A month later I got an email from the Deputy Editor of Askamum telling me about a vacancy and asking if I wanted to apply. It was writing news and features for the site, developing new projects and working closely with the magazines.
I was overjoyed she even thought of me. After nervously sending in a feature she'd requested and pitching some ideas for the site, she offered me the job.
Anyway I guess my point is that my work experience was rewarded with someone remembering me.
When I read the quotes on your Brighton Journalist Works boards at that graduate fair in Angel, London, I thought 'this looks too good to be true'. But now it's me saying I can't believe I finished the course in 2009 and am starting 2010 with a job in journalism I really want. I've always been a confident person, but I was too scared to write and the course really did make me realise it wasn't out of my reach. And you can quote me on that!”
Sally Griffiths, JW Graduate, Askamum.co.uk
My Dream Job...Sophie Eager
Sophie Eager landed her dream job as a news wire reporter for Splash, the international news and picture agency that specialises in celebrity stories, videos and photos.
“I love my job because celebrities fascinate me. I want to be the first to know what’s happening. It’s a fun, different kind of job which is quite a talking point when you first meet people. I write short news stories all day and read all the celebrity magazines. I also watch TV and listen to the radio for any potential stories. All stories are verified and come from credible sources. I write between 30 and 35 celebrity news stories each day. It’s my job to ensure that no stories are missed and to keep on top of the world of celebrity. Obviously you have to be careful not to get stories wrong or libel anyone.
I loved my course at Brighton Journalist Works as I was actually taught by real journalists who had real anecdotes: anecdotes that were actually funny. One law lecturer even told me some interesting true celebrity stories which I can’t repeat! The lecturers passed on their knowledge in an entertaining way: The course was brilliant. I just really wanted to get out there and get a job in journalism.
“It was a good decision to do the Brighton Journalist Works journalism course. I have changed so much: I have gone from living at home, to living in London and I’ve even got a new boyfriend now. I have got lots of new friends and, of course, still see my old friends too. I am not on a university budget and have no debts. I would definitely advise other people to do a Brighton Journalist Works fast-track journalism course because it opened the doors to a perfect job that would have been almost impossible to get without qualifications in journalism, work experience and a portfolio of published work that the course provided.
“What’s the best thing of all about my job? I’m paid to read my favourite celebrity magazines!!
My Dream Job.....Euan Ferguson
“I am a sub-editor at Time Out Magazine in London. I edit and correct copy for grammar and spelling and re-write articles in the Time Out house-style. I proof read copy for final errors and organise layout. I am also involved in on-line production and creating articles. I write restaurant reviews too. It's great working in Time Out because it's the authority on London Life.
I went to Brighton Journalist Works to do a fast-track NCTJ accredited Journalism course. At ten weeks it was the fastest NCTJ course and the only one based at a daily newspaper. On the course, I learnt how to write news and features, how to lay out pages and how to use industry software like QuarkXpress. I also studied media law and local government. The course was very practical, equipping me with real skills and NCTJ qualifications which enabled me to get a job in journalism.
I knew that I needed professional qualifications for the kind of job I wanted. The NCTJ exams were particularly important for me because I had changed career. Previously, I had run my own restaurant so I had to prove that I was serious about journalism.
I don't think I could have got a job in journalism without doing the course. It's not the kind of job you can just walk off the street and do, straight away. The course taught me the necessary skills and gave me the confidence to apply for jobs. The lecturers were great and so different from my university lecturers. They were warm and informal. They were working journalists who clearly enjoyed teaching.
I found Brighton Journalist Works on the NCTJ website. At first I thought the course was too far away from Edinburgh where I was living at the time but then I realised that this fast-track course would be the most cost-effective. I applied through the website and then had to sit an NCTJ aptitude test.
The journalism course was very vocational. 9-5 Monday to Friday. I felt like I was learning real skills that would help me to get a job. I had to learn media law and local government so that was fairly academic. The lifestyle was nothing like being at university because the course was so intense. There was a lot to cover in 12 weeks. No-one wanted to mess around and waste money
The most unexpected thing of all, was that I got a job so quickly after finishing my last exams!
My Dream Job...Lawrence Smith
“I am a sub-editor on a chain of local weekly newspapers owned by Johnston Press. .
I've always been interested in writing and went to the University of Sussex to read English. The degree was useful because it taught me how to construct an argument and appreciate how language can be used effectively to convey meaning.
I saw an advert in the local newspaper advertising a sub-editing course at Brighton Journalist Works in Brighton. I passed the aptitude test, passed the interview and was offered a place. It was a three-month intensive short course, followed by exams. I was lucky to find my present job while I was doing my work experience.
I'm now part of a sub-editing hub in Horsham, mainly subbing for the Sussex Express, a local weekly. The job lives up to my expectations. At present, it's more design-based and creative. I work with a content editor who selects the stories - I don't choose them. I use QuarkXPress and I enjoy being able to create the pages, especially picture spreads. I like the fact that it's a newspaper job and that I'm part of a publication which, by the end of the week, I've helped produce.
If you want to become a sub-editor, I think it's best to do a National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) course of some kind, and preferably one that specialises in sub-editing. Certainly if you want a job in journalism it seems best to have an NCTJ qualification. I rang a lot of places to find out about work experience opportunities, but they didn't really seem interested unless I had been on an NCTJ-accredited course first.
The newspaper industry is the place I want to be at the moment. I could transfer my skills to a magazine, but I'm enjoying where I am.”
My Dream Job...Juliet Conway
“I graduated from Brighton Journalist Works in June 2009 and, after a summer of work experience with the Argus, the Press Gazette and Esquire Magazine, I returned to the University of Sussex in September to study English BA. In a bid to keep my journalism career afloat, I started my first year as news editor of the student newspaper, the Badger, and after one term progressed to the position of co-editor-in-chief.
In November 2009 I was honoured to receive the NCTJ student journalist award for Top Scoop, which I won for my front page scoop for the Argus- while on the first week of my course- about University of Sussex medical student, Hester Stewart, who died from a legal drug overdose, GBL. Having a CV with such credible experience and achievements- none of which would have been possible without Journalist Works- I endeavoured in January this year to line up work placements for my summer. I knew all too well that in an industry as competitive and fast-paced as journalism, you always need to be one step ahead, and I feared that leaving it too late would serve me no favours.
As anticipated, there were some disappointing replies, but it hardly mattered as I was overjoyed to get some acceptances as well. I am currently in my first placement this week, working with the Press Association in London. I will then be putting my sub-editing skills to use during an internship at Progressive Digital Media (London), which will be followed by two weeks with the Camden New Journal as a news reporter.
I felt satisfied that this would keep me busy and well-practised during the break in my university studies, until quite unexpectedly, two weeks ago, I received a call from Amy Iggulden, news editor for the London Evening Standard. She said I had come up in one of her searches for "award winning young journalists" and that she had read several of my news stories which were all very interesting and well written. Then, to my utter disbelief, she asked if I would like to come and work as a reporter for them. Unfortunately, as I am determined to complete my three years at university, I had to turn down the offer, but I more than happily accepted an all-expenses paid month-long internship which I will take on after working with the Camden New Journal.
The call from the London Evening Standard really highlighted the effect of all my journalistic efforts and achievements in the past year, which undoubtedly can all be traced back to the fantastic top-quality training I had at Brighton Journalist Works. It really goes to show that despite journalism being so competitive and cut-throat, and despite the seeming lack of jobs on offer, there is still a palpable need for good, hard-working journalists- you just have to have the motivation and dedication. ”
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