Sunday, October 4, 2009...9:30 am

More on internships

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My post on internship experience of UCA journalism graduate Adam Leveridge attracted some interesting comments, including one from another UCA Farnham graduate, Matt Burton, whose work I also liked at the UCA graduate show.
I’d like to flag it up here because Matt’s experience is so directly relevant to the whole debate about whether there’s a future for journalism graduates in the industry at all.
After a number of unpaid work placements and one piece of paid freelance writing, Matt writes:

In the end, a well-paid marketing officer job came up locally for an exciting new sports project in Surrey, and after applying for it I got the job. So four months after graduating with a journalism degree and after 5 weeks of work placements including paid work, I am now working in marketing and PR.

It begs the question of whether Matt’s journalism degree was worth the cost and hassle to get. I’ve no doubt that the degree and his work experience helped him get his job in PR – but that’s not really what it was for.
Then again, I bang on that people who go into journalism would be better off doing a degree and getting experience in something else first – so maybe journalism qualifications and experience are a better route into marketing and PR than a marketing degree might be.
One telling thing is Matt’s choice of specialism – football. It’s so popular a choice that I suspect he was on a hiding to nothing trying to make a living reporting on a sport that so many other fans would like to cover.
At least Adam Leveridge picked Formula 1 as his specialist interest, which is a bit more niche. We’ll have to wait and see if that will help Adam carve out a paid niche in the world of sports journalism.
Anyway – at least Matt seems to be doing well and enjoying his new career. I wish him – and his peers – good luck in such a difficult market.
But I imagine there’ll be plenty of other journalists making the same transition before this is over.

1 Comment

  • I just graduated from journalism grad school in HK and sadly many of my classmates who are actually able to find a job ended up doing marketing or PR…
    I’m lucky to find an editor job at a newspaper..but still…not a hopeful sign for J-school grads…

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