I’m a graduate… now what?

With the looming reality hitting me that I will very soon be able to call myself a graduate, if not already, I’m beginning to panic at what this label will do for me in world of journalism. Not a lot. Aside from the fact I have my journalism course for 5 months starting September, what happens after that?

The thing I’m getting at, is although in your third year of university there are many emails/posters/talks/more emails about graduate jobs, these are never for journalism. As I’ve moaned about previously, graduate jobs are very much in the business industry, those doing economics/accountancy/management courses might find a lot more options to find jobs after finishing university. Are there graduate jobs in journalism? No, not really. When I was at The Times I asked the Times2 editor how she got her job in journalism, and she told me she did a graduate scheme at the Financial Times, back when graduate schemes were more common and less people were applying. The reality now, is that putting on graduate schemes at newspapers, will give them an overload of applications when they don’t need to put on a graduate scheme to get the ‘best of the best’. If you want to get into journalism, you will, no matter if there are graduate schemes put on or not.

Having said that, after my extended google searches, I have seen that both ITV and BBC do what they call journalism ‘trainee schemes’ which, being a graduate will definitely be a bonus for. The problem is, is that journalism is such a huge field and the ITV scheme is more aimed towards broadcast journalism. The BBC however does allow the successful candidates to experience all aspects of journalism within the BBC, being broadcast and online. Looking at the BBC, it does have appealing benefits, such as a £23,000 salary if you are working in London, but the chances of getting on it considering the amount that will apply, are very slim (although I should learn to start being more optimistic). The thing is, is that the BBC are reluctant to take on those who have had some journalistic training as they believe they want to teach you on the job, they are wanting those to apply who have some experience, and passion and are willing to learn new things.

So, after my NCTJ, what am I going to do? It’s always nice to have a plan, so it is good to know from September I know what I’m going to be doing but what then? Internships that pay nothing, so I will need a part time/weekend job, and even those are hard to get into. Or a paid journalist job – is this likely to get in straight away? It would be lucky if I did but that does require a lot of luck.The guardian is currently following a graduate in the same position as me in his search to find a job in journalism: I’m guessing there are quite a few of us in the same shoes right now… he says:

“This has been a bit of a wake up call to the size of the task that is awaiting me – I had thought, naively, that I wouldn’t be out of work for long.” Jambo the Journalist.

So before going to bed tonight panicking again that I will never find a job in journalism, I need to remember there are many others out there who are probably in the exact same position. Wish us all luck! x

I’m a grad… now what?


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