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Jess Kirton

Bradford, UK

MA Sports Journalism

Jess Kirton has a BA in Film production from another university and was looking to further her skills with a journalism course. She was specifically looking for one with the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) qualification and chose to study at Sunderland because of the practising journalists who teach on the course, and the good reviews she’d read from graduates. She is now a Videographer for Rangers F.C.

I have a BA in TV production from Bournemouth, but I needed further experience to focus my qualifications and give me more skills. I was looking at journalism courses, specifically one with the NCTJ qualification. I had a choice between Sunderland and another university, but decided Sunderland was the better option because it employs practising journalists and the graduate case studies I'd read were really encouraging. I chose Sunderland because it could give me all of the essential and relevant experience that I would need to land my dream job.

The lecturers really made the experience at Sunderland stand out. The course wouldn't be what it is without their commitment and the unique experiences they share and skills they offer. The access I got to work experience placements was also hugely beneficial, as the University has a partnership with Monkwearmouth Football Academy. It is through this placement that I got real-world experience of making promotional videos, which is pretty much 99% of what I do now in my job.

I am now a Videographer for Rangers F.C. My job is everything I wanted it to be, no day is the same; I can spend a day full of editing, filming, travelling, or even hanging out with Steven Gerrard, which is fantastic and surreal.

I would absolutely recommend the University of Sunderland to other students; if you want to do a journalism course I couldn't recommend a place with better facilities or staff. It’s more of a lifestyle than a course, because of how engaging it is. I would advise future students to take advantage of as many opportunities as you can – don’t just expect to get a good grade and a good job. The course gives you everything you need but the onus to make it all come together is on you.

I loved my time at Sunderland and I would do it all over again! It was a great experience and invaluable for me as a way of getting my dream job.”

Published 9 November 2021

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