UCL Careers


Five lessons from Media week

Student Journalist, Annita Semina Petrides, recaps key lessons from this year's Media Week.


1 December 2021

1. There are many routes into journalism

In fact, a simple observation of our Panelist’s background in UCL Career’s event “Routes into Journalism” would be enough for one to understand this.  With their degrees ranging from:

  • English
  • Latin American Studies
  • Human Rights
  • Classics

There is one common denominator they all implied or stressed in their talks: passion and dedication.

This means that whatever you are studying, if journalism is your passion, you can still pursue it.

All you need is the drive and motivation to find yourself the correct opportunities that will help you thrive. In fact, many of our speakers stressed the importance of not being afraid to send pitches again and again, not be discouraged by failure and keep going no matter what. 

2. Experiment in publishing 

Almost all of our speakers advised gaining as much knowledge of the industry as you can.

Tanuja Shelar from Yale University Press stressed that it is very important to "try out something just so you know you don’t like it” as this will help you gain knowledge of the industry understand what works for you and what doesn’t.

In fact, being open to opportunities and experimenting to see whether something that seems interesting is actually appealing to you in practice is extremely important.

Top interview tip: Multiple panellists advised applicants to research the publishing house you apply for and understand what differentiates them from their competitors, as this will make you stand out and elevate you in the eyes of the employer.

Importantly though, you should also make sure you stay resilient and accept rejection as part of the process while making sure that you “have healthy boundaries” and remember your worth through the whole application process.

3. Work hard and be dedicated!

It is important to be willing to start from the bottom to make it to the top.

Be prepared to work in different roles, try different roles and do each of them with passion and dedication!

For those interested in a career in broadcasting, speakers at our “Get into Broadcast Media” event highlighted that it's important to be prepared and that you will be doing a lot of work behind the scenes.

You will be rewarded and your hard work will be recognised!

When looking for a job or an internship, it is important to check the schemes are run by organisations directly to see if you can kickstart your career through one of these opportunities. Plus keep in mind that many organisations in broadcasting are keen on recruiting diverse applicants from different backgrounds.

Top tip: Look out for specific internships and graduate programmes, who aim to increase diversity in the industry which can help talented people from diverse backgrounds enter the profession.

4. You already have the skills

You already have a lot of the skills necessary through your experiences at UCL, which will be very beneficial to your future career!

Many speakers highlighted this in UCL Career’s event “Insights into advertising, marketing, PR and social media careers”.

Many of them noted that the most important thing is to realise how to explain what you have gained through every experience you have gone through depending on the particular branch you are applying for.

Almost all speakers agreed that tailoring your CV towards a specific job is the way to go and not to be afraid to apply to jobs that interest you, even if they seem outside your reach- “take a leap of faith” was the advice given, as you never know where that will lead you. 

5. Make the most of UCL! 

As cliché as this may sound, attending UCL Careers events for your chosen career field, or even for something that may seem interesting can be a very beneficial experience.

In fact, hearing the passions or learning about the daily schedule of someone involved in an industry that might interest you first hand, may help you get a clearer picture of what career opportunities you want to pursue.

It can also provide you with an insight into how the progress in your quest towards landing a job in that specific sector, and you will also have a great introductory sentence to break the ice if you want to network with the speakers on LinkedIn, by commenting on their talk!  

In case you missed it: Read UCL Alum article '10 things I wish i'd know before becoming a copywriter'

If you missed out or would like to recap, you can find a selection of recordings on the Themed Week Archive page.