Sarah’s BA (Hons) Journalism Experience

Journalism to me is about making an impact on this world. It is thrilling, addictive and never fails to get my heart rate up. Journalism is being a part of something that could be history and could change the world, a life, many or none. Journalism is for those who want every day to be different to the next and not know what each day will hold.

When deciding on a University RGU was an obvious choice and I had no doubt that this was the university for me. The BA (Hons) Journalism course at RGU is an amazingly designed course, practical and thorough of all skills and knowledge needed to be a Journalist by not telling you about what journalists do, but by letting you be one in the unique and creative facilities we have on campus.

The course gives you a responsibility of being up to date with the news, locally, nationally and internationally that you incorporate into the interactive activities in class, through campus and in the city of Aberdeen. Since first year of university the modules I have covered have been both direct to Journalism as well as subjects that you will come into contact with throughout your career in the industry. It is a course created to bring the best out in its students and allow them to be a part of the industry to set them up in the best way possible for entering it after graduation. Some of the subjects I have been taught at RGU have been News Writing, PR, Media Law, Politics, Visual Culture and Design as well as Applied News Production. A diverse range of subjects all as equally valuable in teaching me writing skills, Photoshop, filming and recording techniques as well as the legal and public relations side of Journalism.

My course throughout my 3 years so far has given me opportunities as well as the ability to take on others that I have sourced myself. Being on the Journalism course joining RGU Radar the student magazine and RGU radio has been a great experience. This year and last I have been lucky enough to have been the news editor and part of the editors team giving me opportunities to help create the magazine as well as still be able to write articles. I have had the opportunity to attend events such as the Look Again event in its first year to interview artists for the magazine as well as host my own radio show about local, national and international unsolved and solved murder cases.

Award

Myself and my co-host were also chosen to go down to Glasgow for a SRA Scotland training day where we got to listen to  radio presenters and those who have worked in the media for years and let them hear our recordings and give us some tips and advice. As well as these opportunities from media related societies, one of the best experiences the Journalism course gave me was to work with a local business. We chose a Brewery from Insch, a local small Aberdeenshire town where I am from. This was an amazing experience. We worked along with them to produce video content to promote their book themes beers with a unique peel back label with authors on the back. This involved filming at multiple bars where their products were sold, such as The Marcliffe and No 1 Bar and Grill. The guys at Beerstory were super supportive and even let us film at the brewery. I was also chosen to film for Sky at the General Elections in 2017 at the AECC and my footage was used live that night and on repeat on TV.

election room

My course has also set me up with the ability to feel confident that I had enough skills to take on my first ever work experience in 2017 at The Telegraph in London as well as the Press and Journal in Aberdeen, two amazing experiences. All these modules and experiences so far have now set me up with a variety of knowledge to complete a 12 week Professional Placement that I have been lucky enough to get at the Marketing Department at RGU. Although not Journalism, the course over the years has equipped me not only to understand a career choice in the media but others that deal with the media. This is one other thing that I believe RGU does perfectly, not only do they set you up to work in the career and industry you chose, they train you to be employable, they set you up to have a variety of skills that make you flexible and able to apply yourself to other professions.

Beertsory

In my three weeks so far I have been welcomed and settled into the team and familiarised myself with what the marketing team do and who and what they deal with through reading up on the university courses, customer plans and strategy. I have been able to carry out tasks individually such as event articles for the for the University’s Applicants’ Day, a day for students with offers to study at RGU to attend workshops, talks and explore the university and speak to staff and students. I have also been attending a variety of meetings such as steering groups and have been able to sit down with the team members and discuss how I can help them and what I can learn. It has been an insightful learning process into marketing so far and through the group and individual tasks I have been supported by all the team as well as my course leaders and tutors. I have also been assigned a lot of copy to write such as for the University Bulletin to appeal to those of the University staff and students to help out with Applicants’ Day and ensuring schools have all they need for Applicants’ Day to welcome the prospective students. I have loved being able to help organise Applicants’ Day as it has reminded me how much I enjoy organising events and working with people. It is moments like this that you realise how valuable placement is as it makes you think about other routes or areas you may want to explore in the future.

It is now week four and I am working on postgraduate leaflets for courses for the Creative and Cultural Business School as well as still continuing the tasks for Applicants’ Day and juggling and organising myself to ensure deadlines are met and everything gets equal attention on a daily basis. As anyone would be, I was nervous to start but I know now by how I feel on week four that by the end I will be comfortable and feel accomplished with a new area of knowledge cemented in my thought process. With more postgraduate leaflets to do and another Applicants’ day approaching along with smaller tasks to communicate with students and staff, it excites me what the next 8 weeks will bring and teach me. So far I already feel as though I am beginning to write in an appealing way to readers to bring them to events or make courses sound appealing, not something I have done much on my course but something I am enjoying and know will be beneficial in my future.

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Many if not most of RGU’s courses provide a professional placement opportunity, an invaluable experience to use your skills so far in a professional setting and learn more from those who use them on a daily basis, their tips and tricks and allow yourself to grow and develop as a person intellectually, in confidence and understand the opportunities out there and what the working world is like. For the next 8 weeks I hope to grow more in confidence socially in a professional environment, be able to take on tasks with less and less assistance and continue to participate in tasks given. I look forward to the opportunities that arise to broaden my knowledge and learn more about marketing as well as improve my writing skills and professional conversational skills.

So far I feel marketing is something I would like to further, like Journalism it is a very social and a heavily communication orientated sector where it  revolves round people’s opinion, perspective and needs and wants, which I love. Marketing to me so far seems a very logical yet creative sector where it aims for perfection and involves a broad variety of events and tasks. From the Applicants’ Days to looking after schools or even posters around campus and current and prospective students from Scotland or as far as China.

Overall, the placement opportunity so far has been a great experience, I still feel that I have a lot to learn and develop in, however by week two it had already given me an insight into the work that goes behind what we see or do on a daily basis and in my case, mine and everyone’s student experience at RGU even back to when we chose to come to RGU by reading the prospectus in the library or visiting the website. I cannot stress enough how valuable placement is and how much of an exciting experience it is and if you have this opportunity on your course I stress that you take it as it is both rewarding and challenging and at the end of the day leaves you feeling productive and proud.

Sarah

Year 3 Journalism Student

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