7th February 2017

Final year fear: get involved in student media

If you’re in your final year and struggling to get relevant work experience, why not try getting involved in student media?

The second semester is well and truly underway by now, and the more forward-looking of you might be thinking about what you’re going to do with the summer that’s fast approaching. For those of you who, like me, are final year students, even the word ‘summer’ fills you with dread.

The inevitable questions from everyone begin about what you’re going to do with the rest of your life after you graduate; if you don’t know the answer, which is more than likely (and completely normal), then you’re met with shock and fear. “What do you mean, you don’t know what you want to do with the rest of your life when you’re 21 years old? Isn’t that what university’s for? Why did you pay £27,000 for something that doesn’t lead straight into a job?” Trust me, all of these questions are coming, if you haven’t faced them yet.

It’s even worse if you know that you want to go into the media industry or anything creative. You’re greeted with a forced smile and a look of panic. “Don’t you need to do work experience for that?” people ask, as if they’re being friendly and supportive. Yes, I’m well aware that I should’ve been looking for and getting work experience when I was binge watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix. Don’t make me feel worse.

If this whole situation sounds familiar to you, then don’t worry! There’s an easy way for you to get some experience under your belt in those final few months before you graduate and you’re thrown out into the real world and expected to land on your feet.

Working for or in student media looks great on a CV, as it shows that you can balance studying for a degree, the inevitable social life that comes along with it, and still manage to write articles or host a radio show. Plus, there’s a whole load of perks that come along with working in student media, such as contacts and opportunities for networking. Who knows, that person you emailed for a quote for an article might just be looking for a new journalist to take on.

At Manchester there are so many ways to get involved with student media. Writing for The Mancunion couldn’t be easier, just come along to a meeting for whichever section you’d like to write for and think of some article ideas. It’s just as easy to get involved with Fuse FM or Fuse TV.

Anything you’ve got a passion for, student media can cover it. This applies to everyone, even those who aren’t in their final year — if you know that you want to go into the media industry, then start early and get a year’s worth of experience in student media on your CV before you start applying for those coveted graduate jobs!

I only became a part of student media and The Mancunion at the start of my final year, and I’ve already learned so much and gained so many skills that I know are going to benefit me after I graduate. So to everyone who’s struggling to get work experience in the media industry, please consider becoming a part of the Manchester Media Group. It’ll give you so many opportunities and improve your CV, and you’ll have a great time doing it!

Ultimately, the main thing to remember is that just because you’re in your final year, it doesn’t mean that all hope is lost and that you’ll never get a job in the media sector. There’s still plenty of time to get even a little bit of work experience that could make the difference between you gaining a place on a graduate scheme or not. Take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Manchester Media Group and you never know, you could be the BBC’s next rising star!

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