Welcome to the first “A Day in the Life” of 2016. Since it’s a new year, I decided to give you an insight into the life of a journalism student and that journalism student is me!
I head back to university tomorrow, although my semester teaching doesn’t start till the end of this month.
So here we go, time to interview myself.
Here’s what I have to say!
What is your name, age and degree?
I’m Sophie Dishman, I’m 21 and I’m a journalism student at the University of Sunderland. (If you didn’t already know!)
How did you get onto/into your degree?
I did an inbound transfer, as I wanted to stay at the same university. I went to the programme leader and pitched my experience in the journalism sector, took along my portfolio and that was that. I waited five months (until August when my first year results from my social work degree came though.)
I got into my degree by having a passion for writing and for telling stories. You can see a detailed post on this here.
What do you like about your degree?
I like the versatility.
I’m studying for a BA Journalism degree meaning that I get to cover all types of journalism.
I can choose what type of degree I want through my optional modules meaning I can specialise without having to change degree at all.
I also enjoy having journalism practice built in to my degree.
At the University of Sunderland we have the Media Hub, which is where all five of our journalism platforms are based. They are all working platforms. We have SR News (Online Print and broadcast), Spark (TV, Online, Radio and Print), Northern Lights (online Print and broadcast), Fashion North (online print and broadcast) and Sportsbyte (online print).
Using the Media Hub is built into my degree so I get experience in journalism in a real environment.
What are some of the challenges of your degree?
I guess having a broad degree means that sometimes I’m spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing an optional module. I get to choose one optional module a year and even though I’m only in my first year, I’ve found it difficult to choose already. I settled on Media Photography as my optional module.
Apart from that, I can’t really see anymore challenges at the moment.
What do you think are some of the challenges in the creative sector?
Competitiveness is one. Everyone is out wanting the same thing – a job.
There are some really talented people out there and you have to be one of them and be the best.
I’d say that gaining experience can sometimes be difficult too, as everyone wants an internship in the big organisations, especially in journalism. It can be hard to get there at first. It is possible but it won’t always happen straight away.
If you did a degree, how has it helped you?
I’m still doing my degree. But it has helped me enormously in 12 weeks already. My writing has definitely improved and it has helped me broaden my horizons to consider new avenues and areas of interest. Twelve weeks ago I would not have said that I have an interest in business news – I do now.
Why did you pick the sector that you are studying?
This can also be explained by this post here. But in short, I chose the journalism sector because it is fast paced, exciting and there’s never two days the same.
As you can see, I love writing too so that’s another perk of the job. I get to do what I love and that’s write. It’s also fun doing broadcast items too.
We’ll have to see which area I choose to work in.
Describe a typical day in your degree.
There’s no typical day but I normally get up at 6am to do a workout and to eat breakfast.
Sometimes I’m up at 5am if I’m reading the news. I’m out of the house by 6.30am if that’s the case!
If I’m not reading the news then I’m out of the house by 8am so I can walk to university.
Walking to university gives me a chance to listen to the radio and to catch up on news stories.
My day is usually filled with lectures and seminars in the morning.
However, the day isn’t done for me.
It’s the afternoon by this time so I either make my way over to the library and then eat lunch or work up in the Media Hub and eat my lunch.
I’m normally in the media hub or in a lecture after 2pm.
I leave university at about 5pm.
Any advice for people wanting to get into your sector and/or the creative industry?
If you want to get into journalism then I suggest you write, write and write or if you want to do broadcast journalism then get experience by doing a podcast or having a YouTube channel.
To get into journalism post degree and into the creative industry in general, you need experience.
Go get some!
If you want to appear in my Day in the Life series then comment below, click on my social media links below or go to my contact page.