Remember The Exclusives?
I do. I wrote a week by week review of ITV2’s show when it first started, when I first began this blog. What I constantly spoke about was how much I admired the confidence of finalist, Hayley Newnes. Although she didn’t win, Hayley seemed to breeze through the show, coming top on many tasks and always taking everything in her stride. I was interested what she was doing now so decided to catch up with her to find out more…
What first sparked your interest in journalism?
I watched an episode of Sex and the City and remember wanting to be Carrie Bradshaw from an early age, writing about thoughts and feelings with them being heard seemed such an amazing opportunity. This lead myself to pursue an education which revolved around journalism.
What did you study at university and do you think this has benefitted your career?
I studied a degree within English Language and Literature, which helped myself develop my grammar and vocabulary which is an asset when it comes to journalism. I also had the chance to explore the language used within various types of media, which has helped myself a great deal.
It’s been a couple of years since you starred on ITV2’s The Exclusives – how did you find the whole experience, from beginning to end?
It was a unique and amazing experience, which helped myself develop professionally and personally. I experienced once in a lifetime opportunities and made valuable contacts which still assist with my career development today.
What made you initially apply for the show and how did you find it responding to criticism?
I wanted to apply for the show as I have tried for years to intern at Bauer media and this opportunity was one I could not miss. I has always dreamt of working for Heat magazine as well as the other Bauer titles. I felt that the criticism on the show was very constructive and it was very important for myself not to take this personally. I put in place strategies in order to achieve the advice given to me straight after I received the criticism. I tend to see the points given to me as a challenge than a form of criticism.
What did you do after the show – are you still in contact with people from it?
I am still in touch with plenty of people who I have met on the show, from celebrities I interviewed, the mentors, the judges as well as the other rookies. It was a pleasure to work with them all, and it is more so an honour to now call most of them friends.
Can you tell us a bit about what you are doing now? You mentioned on Twitter about setting up a website?
I have just finished an internship at a media company, and I am currently applying for jobs as I have now got a huge amount of experience I need to in order for myself to become a journalist. I am also working freelance for a number of magazines which has been fantastic. I have not got round to launching the website due to my busy work schedule, from freelance work and editorial internships I have been doing yet I hope to find time to launch it and maintain it in the near future.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Having my own television show interviewing the rich and famous about their lives!
What advice can you give to aspiring journalists, including your thoughts on unpaid internships?
Ensure you keep names and addresses of people you have met within the industry as you may need them one day, considering how small the industry actually is. Ensure you know your reader inside and out, as your writing should be tailored with reference to this and finally always ensure you research what you are going to write about, knowledge is key. I have completed a number of unpaid internships and they have helped myself develop as a journalist, yet it is important the internship is a beneficial for the intern and not solely for the media company who is offering the internship.