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How to make the most of your media/journalism degree

Home / Student blogs / Hannah Sly / Making the most of your media/journalism degree

Published: February 20, 2019

Media/ Journalism courses at the University of Sunderland are designed to help students develop both practical and theoretical skills, but what else can you do to make the most of your degrees, that will, in turn, strengthen your CV?

media journalism students

Make the most of the Media Hub

The Media Hub provides students with an abundance of opportunities to engage in a range of media platforms that focus on the local area. It’s likely that you’ve been reminded on several occasions to go ‘above and beyond’ your degree and acquire further experience to build on the skills you’ve covered in lectures and workshops. If you would like to enhance your journalistic skills, why not write content for SR News, Northern Lights, Sportsbyte, Fashion North and/or Spark Magazine? You could also take on the role as editor, deputy editor or section editor. If you love radio, why not present or produce a show for Spark?


Work experience

If you’ve ever applied for work experience, you’re probably familiar with the competitiveness of the entire process. Nonetheless, rejections should not discourage you from giving it another go. Apply as many times as you like! When it comes to filling out application forms, the best advice I could give is to be yourself, showcase your skills and communicate why you want the experience. As some places don’t advertise placements, it’s always a good idea to send emails to a range of local companies (and further afield if you’re able to travel) asking for the opportunity to come in and see how things work.

Work experience is the perfect opportunity to network, ask questions, gain an insight into the workplace and put what you have grasped so far at university into practice.


Don’t underestimate your part-time job

Even though the employability skills I’m about to mention may sound extremely cliché, it’s always beneficial to be reminded of these valuable strengths that are essential for pretty much every job out there. You might often underestimate or forget about the favourable skills you have secured from your part-time job. From responding to customer queries to multi-tasking in a fast-paced environment, transferable skills such as time management, problem-solving, communication, using your initiative and working as a team will be highly useful in the future, regardless of the career route you decide to take.


Apply for the Sunderland Professional Award

The Sunderland Professional Award recognises the worthwhile skills you’ve gained and the volunteering, work experience and events you’ve participated in at university. You can apply for either the bronze, silver or gold award.


Create a LinkedIn account

When I first created a LinkedIn account, I found it quite difficult to navigate. I wasn’t sure how I could possibly build up a network or find work-related opportunities when my professional connections in real life lacked. After watching various ‘how to’ videos on YouTube, I managed to assemble a profile that presents my work experience, skills, and education all in one place. I now connect with people I wouldn’t normally have the chance face-to-face.

You can use LinkedIn to keep in contact with people you’ve met on work experience/shadowing. These connections can be extremely useful in the near future. Furthermore, you can use the website to search for job opportunities and keep up to date with all the latest industry news.


Use the CV and application services by Sunderland Futures

One-to-one CV, guidance and interview appointments offered by Sunderland Futures will assist you with every stage of the job application process – from sending the CV to attending the job interview.

If you’re applying for a specific position, the CV (and cover letter) appointment can help tailor your application and improve the overall layout and content. You can book appointments online.


Professional Mentoring Scheme

If you would like to find out more about the industry you hope to work in after you graduate, why not register for the Professional Mentoring Scheme? Once you’ve completed the registration form, you’ll be paired with an experienced, relevant mentor. Regular meetings can then be arranged where you will have the opportunity to ask questions, boost your industry knowledge and develop new skills.


Attend career-related events

Even though they can be quite daunting, networking events can be used to meet people from the media and journalism industry. In addition, the university frequently holds careers fairs attended by employers from a range of industries and companies.


Create your own blog

Blogging is a fun way of writing about things that interest you (without having to adhere to deadlines!). You can customise your blog to reflect your personality and post original and engaging content to attract readers. From this, you’ll become familiar with analytics, SEO and techniques used to promote blog posts. This gives you something interesting to discuss in interviews.



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