Sunday, 5 April 2015

Find Your Dream Job: Study Journalism

Marisa Kennedy
Twitter: @marisak96 Blog: kennedymarisa.wordpress.com
She's only in her first year studying journalism and media in the University of Limerick but she's already the chief sports writer for campus.ie, she's the sports editor for An Focal, a regular news reader on UL FM, had pieces published in some of the biggest publications in the country AND she's only nineteen, Marisa Kennedy from Lorrha, Tipperary has made shock waves through the journalism community and she's here to give you her insights into what it's really like to be a Journalism student.

For someone who doesn't know much about what this course is, how could you best describe it:
This course is very much based on print journalism, that is newspapers. It involves a lot of writing in first year where they teach you the main writing skills of journalism as opposed to creative writing. You also learn how to layout a paper and design the pages. You choose two elective subjects to study from a list of history, sociology, politics, law, English literature, economics or a language, one of which you will keep on till 4th year. You also do a social media module in the second semester which is really interesting.

What are the entry requirements for this course:
The points for this course were 365 in 2014. In addition to this you need a B3 in higher level English in the Leaving Cert or equivalent. If you want to study a language as one of your electives you need a B3 in that language in the Leaving Cert or else you can start that language from scratch.

Where else can you study this course:
Journalism can also be studied in DIT, DCU and as an addition to an Arts degree in NUIG.
What are the possible outcomes of this course(What jobs could you have):
This course will enable you to work as a journalist in print, online or broadcast journalism. You can also apply the skills learned to the role of an editor/ sub-editor.

What were your expectations of this course before you began and did it live up to them:
I think this course has exceeded my expectations. Having always wanted to follow a career in broadcast journalism, I didn’t think I would enjoy a course that is heavily based on writing in first year but I do. There are so many brilliant opportunities like seminars with broadcast journalists such as Bryan Dobson and Fergal Keane as well as societies such as UL FM to broaden your understanding of journalism that all students are encouraged to get involved with.

Is there anything about this course that shocked you:
I think the lack of hours shocked me. I only have 15 hours this year but we’re encouraged to get involved with writing and gaining experience and building our portfolios outside of our hours. For example, I got involved with campus.ie, Ireland’s largest student website and I also got involved with the GAA club here in UL, going to matches and reporting on them so I’m always keep busy. From the very first day in first year, students are encouraged to get their names out there and write, write, write, which will help us gain a good place for our work experience in third year.

What are the most important things you need to know about this course:
The main thing that drew me to this course was the third year. In third year you go on work experience for the first semester and on Erasmus for the second semester. In fourth year you will do what’s called a Final Year Project which will involve all the fourth year and masters students producing a paper.

What advice can you give someone hoping to follow your footsteps and get into this career:
I think the main thing I can say is get experience. Go to a local paper, radio station, TV station for a day. Write pieces and send them to papers, the worst they can say is no and you try again. Start a blog it really helps improve your writing skills. Because at the end of the day, the degree will help but it’s the experience that will count.. Well that’s my opinion anyway!

Did you always know this was the career for you/background behind it:
No I didn’t. In TY it was suggested to me but I want through a crisis of confidence thinking nobody would be interested in what I have to say so I researched every option from teaching to physio to event management to business! But eventually I settled on journalism but I was still really nervous. I had no real experience in journalism and didn’t know what to expect from the course even though I’d done loads of research on it. But from the very first day I knew it was the right course for me. I really love it.

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