3rd year Journalism student, Sam Bullock, looks at his journey through University and what Graduation means to him:
Graduation is an odd concept to wrap your brain around. After three years of studying Journalism, I’ve come to associate myself with the university and the student lifestyle. During my time at Worcester, I’ve made a magazine, presented the news, interviewed politicians and been published on several websites. As I get closer to leaving education and venturing into the world of work, I’ve been getting very introspective on what I learned and what led me into the exciting and ever-changing world of journalism.
I’ve had a fascination for news and captivating stories for as long as I can remember.
I always had a lot of respect for documentary hosts like Anthony Bourdain and Louis Theroux. People that seemed so engrossed in their work that they were willing to travel around the world to uncover stories. Similarly, Michael Azerrad’s book Our Band Could Be Your Life got me into music journalism.
Upon leaving sixth form I initially started working in retail and did a plumbing course at my local college. I found both routes not to my liking, desiring more creative freedom and variety in my day-to-day work tasks.
It was my girlfriend Sophie who finally convinced me that at the ripe old age of 23, I wasn’t too old for university and I should pursue a degree in journalism.
I settled into university rather quickly. The students in my class were all very friendly and willing to help each other out with work. My lecturers managed to create an environment where I always felt I was progressing and learning new skills. At the same time, they were not above cracking jokes or sitting down with a cup of tea and sharing stories from their own careers.
The most valuable lesson I learnt at university was the importance of being multi-skilled. Upon beginning my degree, I thought that being a good writer was the only thing I would need to get my dream job. I quickly learned that this was not the case.
Our lecturers were very keen to get us trained in all aspects of modern news that any journalist should be familiar with. This included social media, filming and presenting the news, as well as how to use editing software such as Premiere Pro and InDesign.
This can be intimidating at the start, but three years on, I feel adept with technology that used to be a mystery to me. Similarly, I used to be terrified by a lot of social interactions and I now feel confident in front of a camera or asking someone for an interview. These are skills that I know will be invaluable in any workplace.
An openminded approach has helped me to broaden my horizons when thinking about careers. I currently write film and music reviews for an online publication called The Indiependent. I hope to bolster my portfolio to the point that I can write for publications such as Empire, Pitchfork and NME.
I’m also looking to expand into broadcast. I love the idea of hosting my own radio show dedicated to underground music, either on a local or national radio platform. I want to start a film review podcast with a friend, something I’ve always thought about but lacked the necessary tech knowledge until now.
My Journalism degree has given me perspective on my career opportunities and my abilities as a writer and broadcaster. I can’t wait to get out there and put these skills to good use.