Graduates give guidance at guest lecture

“Don’t be too proud of yourself and do the the little jobs that other people don’t want to do — make youself available on all platforms.” This was University of Lincoln graduate, Leigh Milner’s, advice for journalism students.

“If they [an employer] say do a vox-pop, then ask if you can edit it. Go the extra mile,” she added.

This was during the final Journalists Speak Out on Journalism session for the year in the University of Lincoln’s Cargill Lecture Theatre.


Six graduates returned to talk about their experiences. Photo: The Linc

Several former journalism students from the university were selected to give advice to current students on Monday, December 6th. They have jobs ranging from accounts manager to sub-editor.

The overwhelming consensus from the graduates was that students should actively engage in work experience, be persistent when applying for job interviews and should show a human side to their prospective employers. They did however present differing opinions on the role of shorthand, in broadcast and print.

Edward Sault graduated from the univerity in 2005, he now works for the BBC in the Channel Islands. Sault was initially a radio journalist but slowly converted to video.

He spoke of reporting one of the biggest stories in the history of the Channel Islands, when partial remains of a child’s body were believed to have been discovered at a former childrens’ home.

Josh Withey started working in the industry at an unusually early age, being offered a radio show before going to university. Withey  has also worked for BBC Introducing in Shropshire.

Speaking on how to gain employment he said “you’ve got to be a little bit cheeky”, he added “you can become a brilliant specialist in a subject, if you follow a hobby”.

Leigh Milner graduated in 2010, during her time at the University of Lincoln she engaged in lots of work experience, including working for BBC Lincolnshire, Humberside and Look North.

She encouraged students to be diverse in their talents and to go the “extra mile”.

Kelly Atkins differed from the other graduates in that she works in public relations following a degree in journalism.

“I literally said: ‘you will give me a job, or I’m going’,” this was the direct manner in which Atkins secured her job at a PR firm after making herself “indispensable”.

“You can use anything to your advantage…it’s your contact book that sometimes gets you a job”

Rob Wells is the sub-editor for the Morning Star, a left leaning daily paper. He spoke of the conventional “job application” manner with which he secured his position.

Another 2010 graduate, Wells was previously the news-editor of The Linc, he attributed his current role to the work he did there.

“The way I got my job was doing something over, and over again, until I became good at it”

Daniel Ionescu is the editor of The Lincolnite an independent, online publication which boasts ten-thousand readers a month.

“If you have an idea, go and do it, there is tons of supports on campus,” was his message to current students.

The session ended with the graduates being questioned, including being grilled on the grade of their degrees – and suggested that even if you don’t get a first, work experience can make up for it.

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