Whilst at university I attended a talk, hosted by the university newspaper, it was aimed that those aspiring to start careers in the media. I left the lecture feeling inspired, slightly overwhelmed but nevertheless I was filled with the promise that my career in journalism was entirely possible. If I work hard, find the right contacts and present myself well, I really could work my way up to my dream job. However, as I walked away on this cloud of positivity and promise, there was a word that was niggling at my good mood, and it was word that came up some many times during the talk, and one that has played on my mind ever since- ‘luck’.
The first guest speaker at this lecture had worked for some of the biggest names in the industry, and his speech was honest and frank, but the first notes I scribbled down was his quote ‘I got lucky’. That is not to say that said journalist did not work hard to get to where they are, they took the initiative and went straight to the people that matter and asked for exactly what they wanted. I am not naïve enough to think that in the current industry ringing Anna Wintour asking for a week of work experience would get me anywhere, fair enough, maybe I would get ‘lucky’ and through my desperate attempt to get to Vogue I may come across opportunity, but I am not leaving my future to chance. That is way I am currently going through the process of apply for a masters in journalism.
I understand that to some the idea of teaching the on hand skills of journalism in the atmosphere of a lecture hall is laughable, and maybe some of you will think that my year spent hearing about how to become a journalist rather than going out and becoming one for myself is a waste of time. Maybe this is true, maybe my year would be better spent begging at the door of the Liverpool Echo or frantically typing CV’s and getting back rejection after rejection. I have no doubt that this part of life will come. I am not saying that a masters will by any means guarantee me a job and I am sure I will have many sleepless nights and many tears will be shed as I try and make my way into the impossibly difficult field of journalism. However, standing out is something that is extremely difficult, everyone applying for jobs has the same academic skills as you, they also wrote for the university newspaper and had experience in local magazines and hey they probably were captain of the swim team, ran five marathons and managed to buddy a granny. So anything that puts me on level, if not above with theses individuals is something that I am willing to do.
I am fully aware that a masters comes at a cost, I am currently looking at having to fork out a minimum of £6,000 for my top choices. However, journalism is something I know I want to do and if this helps me rise above even a small proportion of those applying to similar jobs then I fully believe it is worth it. As I read through the course descriptions, it sounds so cliché, but I literally cant help smiling, this is what I want to do, and someone can actually teach me the skills I need to do it.
I am not applying for these courses because I am not sure what else to do or because I am scared to enter real world of work (okay, actually I am terrified of this) and I don’t think for one second that I am going to come out of my MA and straight to the top, but I do think it’s a start and is an opportunity to get on the ladder, or at least stand at the bottom of it…