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Angela on location

Angela Barnes

BA (Hons) Multimedia Journalism

Graduated 2008

Angela Barnes

This course provided me with an excellent foundation to build on at the start of my career in journalism. It helped me to make a confident and impressionable transition into a real newsroom environment.

The wide range of multi-platform skills gained allowed me to pursue different journalistic paths - starting in print, moving to digital, then to TV.

During my final year at university, I started freelance writing for the business section of the Daily Echo, gaining weekly by-lines. In my third year, I also gained freelance work at the Evening Standard newspaper, achieving my first national front page by-line on a mayoral election campaign story.

Upon graduation, I was accepted onto Sky News' three-week internship programme, a very competitive placement to get.

After impressing them, I was offered a full-time position at Channel 5 News, which was then part of Sky. I worked there for one year as an online producer and TV reporter. After that, I took a staff position at Sky News where I now work - and I love my job!

My current position at Sky is one of the most diverse in the newsroom. Not only do I produce, I also report and present. Being able to combine all of these roles is thanks to the excellent tuition I received in these areas to prepare me for my career. During the course, I was always encouraged to adopt a multi-platform mindset early on and this has helped me to have the interesting and varied role I have today.

If you want a career in journalism, I would advise you to make the most of the university's facilities when you are there - film, shoot and edit original reports, practice in the studio, practice with the kit available. Build a portfolio of work when you have the expertise and tools to help set you on your path.

Apply for placements and start freelancing as soon as possible. Find out who books freelance journalists at different media organisations, send them your CV, links to your work and persist. Also, keep any public social media accounts professional; you never know who looks at them!

Hollie Ward in the Quill Society

Hollie Ward

BA (Hons) English

Graduated 2017

Hollie Ward headshot

English is my passion – I decided aged 12 that I wanted to do a degree in English, studying poetry and Shakespeare, and I loved every second of it.

Throughout my time at Solent, I worked as a student ambassador, and became involved in many of the other student roles in the University. This included working in widening participation and access – going into schools, and delivering lessons. I also worked as a books and stories mentor (as part of the SUN programme), where I worked with nine students, aged 10, who were disengaged with reading. I visited them with another mentor once a week, and we did everything from lesson plans to reward schemes.

I have picked up a lot of freelance work along the way, both events managing, teaching and photography. I decided to try out events managing on a larger scale, and I now work in communications and engagement as an events assistant. All of these things were such great opportunities, and things I would never have been able to do if I hadn’t come to university.

There’s no such thing as a typical day when you work in events! It usually involves liaising with lots of different people, whether internal or external. I have to do everything from booking rooms, to social media, catering forms, selling tickets and writing articles on the intranet.

I can even get out my camera from time-to-time and photograph the events, which is great. I go to a lot of meetings, and have found a whole new side to the University that I never knew existed! 

If you love reading and want lecturers who are really passionate about their subject, this is the course for you. English is a fantastic subject; so versatile, and valuable to any sector.

Take advantage of the opportunities that people are giving you now, make sure your voice gets heard and people know who you are/what you can do. Pick up all of the experience that you can, and really get yourself out there. Listen to the feedback people give you, and really take it on board. Also, don’t ever be afraid to ask questions. Learning is such a valuable thing, and you’ll never stop, so make the most of it!

Discover English at Solent

Max interviews Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Max Whittle

BA (Hons) Sports Journalism

Graduated 2014

Max Whittle

You never know who you're impressing at any point in time! If you're in a room for a job interview, or you're meeting someone, or you're going for a screen test… always be on your best game! Even if you don't get a role, you might have impressed someone in that room – and that will lead to jobs in the future.

All of the course lecturers were immediately friendly, welcoming and honest about their own careers and how they could help us. They had all worked – or still did work – in the industry, and their willingness to answer questions about their respective fields was always appreciated.  

They sent out weekly emails with work experience opportunities and potential jobs from alumni or fellow industry leaders. They organised regular guest lectures with big-hitters such as Matt Le Tissier, and understood exactly how to transfer the skills we were learning into the ‘real world’.  

Every core aspect of journalism was covered - writing long-form features, writing press releases and news stories, filming and editing both video and audio, podcasting, reading bulletins; you really felt like you had all the necessary skills upon graduating.  

 The facilities were fantastic, and from what I see when I go back to Solent, they’re getting better year on year. There are multiple professional studios for radio and TV - including industry-standard television galleries – it makes you feel like you are already in the industry and working towards your goals.  If you want to become a DJ or a radio presenter, there is literally no better experience than to get into the studio, learn how it feels to sit behind a mic and edit your own work.  

In my third year we started News Days, which are now a regular portion of the course for all years. We would put together hourly radio packages or TV segments, write scripts, book guests and film across the day as if we were working in a professional newsroom. The pressure was high; the deadlines and environments in which we were recording (studios, filming the general public etc) mirrored what you do in the industry.

I recall presenting a short video sports show in the newsroom in front of everyone. It was really exciting; now that I am working in TV I always think back to that moment as being the one where I thought, ‘this is cool, this is what I want to feel more often’. 

In our final year, an opportunity came up for us to start producing video content for Hampshire Cricket Club. Our group of three began travelling to the Ageas Bowl every week to film, interview players and present to camera for a small show that would air on their official website. It was a great gig and we were getting paid for it, an added bonus.  
It felt like the hard work had paid off because something we were ‘just’ doing for a university project became actual work; this showed me that university work directly affected getting a job.

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