BA English Literature
How has your career developed since graduating?
When I first left university I undertook some local internships. I interned at Archant and Velvet Magazine and freelanced as a copywriter for the All About Group. I think far too much focus is put on gaining journalistic experience at big national papers – you’ll often find you can learn much more from smaller, local publications. They have more time to devote to offering you feedback and mentoring.
In my current role, I work very closely with the Digital Editor. An average week involves editing freelance articles, writing my own features for readersdigest.co.uk, recording the monthly podcast and managing social media channels.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your current role?
Seeing my creative ideas through to realisation is fantastic. I have to think of a great deal of content each month for the website, both to write myself and to commission freelance writers. Seeing those gems of ideas become real articles that our readers enjoy is very satisfying.
Why did you choose to study English Literature at UEA?
I’d always loved reading, but even more I loved finding hidden layers of meaning in texts. I really enjoyed immersing myself in a book and picking it apart until I discovered a whole new way of looking at it.
What skills did you learn at UEA?
My research skills and ability to see beyond surface appearances were the most valuable things I learnt at UEA. The course really nurtured my sense of curiosity, which is vital for a journalist.
My studies also shaped my interview technique. Learning what questions to ask of a text, and what a certain phrase might imply but not explicitly say, helped me to read people and situations better. It’s taught me when to challenge or push someone and when to hold back and let them do the talking.
How did careers central provide support?
I was offered an interview at Mumsnet and the UEA careers service was a huge help.
They gave me a mock interview, which improved my interview skills hugely when it came to the real thing. I got the job, but unfortunately couldn’t afford to move to London at the time. I don’t regret the decision because it meant when I was in a better position to move, I had all of that experience from both the real interview and the careers service behind me.
Did you participate in any clubs or societies at UEA?
Yes, lots! I founded the Literature Society which was hugely rewarding. We organised a ball, discussion groups and trips to see plays and other cultural outings.
The most important society to me was the student newspaper Concrete. Not only did this teach me valuable proofing skills, build up my writing portfolio and offer experience in the environment of a busy newspaper, but it’s also where I met my closest friends, who I would eventually move to London with.