It’s a funny thing when you find yourself in a role you didn’t think you ever would. I’m talking about being a speaker at my university. I was recently contacted by a former lecturer and asked if I could speak to a group of 2nd years about my role as a reporter and my time as a student on the journalism course they’re currently on. Basically, I’m supposed to be relatable, motivational and quite possibly inspirational. That’s kind of a weird thing for me, as I spent so long listening to others doing this during my own time as a student. And now it’s my turn.
Each year that I was a student, we had at least one journalist (or someone from the industry) come to talk to us about what they do in the ‘real world of journalism’. To be fair, it was always interesting and provided a great chance to ask questions to further prepare us for the world of work. It was also an opportunity to begin building a network of industry contacts – and in the world of journalism, knowing people can be a real asset, especially when you’re starting out.
But now, I’m the guest speaker. I’ll be the one talking to students about what journalism is really like, as opposed to what you imagine through what you do at university. I’ve had to go back into my student mind-set to figure out what I wish I’d been told when I was a second year journalism student. It’s a case of highlighting that journalism isn’t necessarily the glamourous job it’s often portrayed to be, while also drawing attention to the fact it is a great profession to be in.
It’s a weird feeling, after being a student listening to journalists who came to speak to us, to now be the journalist speaking to current students. It’s also kind of rewarding though, especially as I was still a student only six months ago. If my journalism-student self would have known that one day, I’d be standing back at my university as an actual reporter, I’d like to think she’d be proud.
I hope that, now I’m a reporter, I can have the same effect on students as reporters who came before me.