UCL Careers


Key Things You Need To Know About Digital Media

Are you are interested in pursuing a career in the Media Industry? In the recent UCL Careers Media Insight Event ‘The Future is Digital’, UCL alumni discussed life in the sector.

A portrait image of UCL student Camilla Mina.

15 December 2022

Written by student journalist Camilla Mina.

  1. Where is media headed for the future? 

Traditional media previously included radio, broadcast, television and print and more generally, media outlets that existed before the internet. In today’s fast-changing world, media is constantly evolving, adapting to growing social media platforms. Digital media uses the web and comprises social media, apps, online platforms, video streaming and news sites. Digital media is immediate and often less expensive to produce than traditional media (such as books or newspapers). Just a few years ago, TikTok didn’t even exist and now is one of the most used websites in the world. In the coming years, the media industry could be based on new additional social media platforms, with a more authentic side.  

  1. Different paths into Digital Media 

A mix of creativity and data skills are required in digital media. Matthew Chew, Social Innovation Lead at Mediacom, explained that it’s not always as creative as it may seem. It’s important to know how to use Excel and other similar software. If you don’t have those skills, firms also offer robust training programs. During his degree in German and Management studies at UCL, he took a module in digital marketing. He then started working at Mediacom through a graduate scheme and he is currently the Social Innovation lead.  

Amarie Cassidy initially learned about social media when she interned at Sky. After also graduating from UCL in 2019, she started her own YouTube channel. As a freelance social media and digital consultant at ASOS, her job includes creating TikTok campaigns. In the past, she also worked on managing SoundCloud and YouTube accounts for other brands.   

Laura Rincon created her own blog after getting fired from a sales job. She is UX Designer at Foundry Digital, where she started as an intern, four years ago. Her job includes writing blog pieces and analysing how users are connecting with the features of the website.  

Tim Philips is a podcast host at VoxTalks Economics. Writing for the university paper at UCL helped him to get a job as a freelance journalist. His degree subject was unrelated, but allowed him to specialize in more ‘niche areas’ (such as development economics and environmental policy).  

  1. Making the most of digital media opportunities  

Starting in this industry often requires starting from somewhere - often through an internship. Many great opportunities can be found on the UCL Careers website.  

Using MyUCLCareers resources is useful to find a summer work experience: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/ucl-careers 

To stay updated on similar insight careers events organized by UCL, follow UCL Careers on Instagram and Facebook as well. 

  1. Getting in touch with key employers  

To make the most of these opportunities, you can also get in touch by sending a message to employers on  LinkedIn and by attending talks and insight events, like this one. Networking is essential if you want to get into the media industry; talk to people and get out of your comfort zone. Media companies and job postings can also be found online, for example on the website of specific companies such as Sky, or on listings sites like Guardian Jobs.  

Don’t be daunted by applying to large companies, even if they have big application process as it’s all valuable application experience.  

  1. Application tips 

Matthew suggests: ‘Be authentic and be yourself- no one wants to read the same things over and over again’. Matthew also suggests applying for as many internships as you can and don’t be worried if you don’t meet all the requirements.  

In order to be successful in your application, it’s important to look at how you can present yourself and proving that you have the right skills in your cover letter. Sometimes even a completely different job experience can be helpful to show that you have the necessary skills and that you can transfer them in another job, ‘In the end, it’s what you make of things’, Laura explains.  

For Amarie, soft skills were essential: ‘They expect you to be able to hit the ground running, go in and do the best job, be curious and ask questions, they want you to take ownership’. It’s important that you start somewhere, whether it’s creating a YouTube Channel, learning how to use Photoshop, Google Analytics, Adobe XD, or having your own blog.  

Being able to network is also key: someone else might be more skilled but if they do not take ownership or network, they may not be the right person for the job.   

It’s also normal to be rejected once or even a few times by the same company, don’t lose hope.  

Be resilient and ask feedback on what went wrong, take everything as a learning experience. That’s how Amarie managed to successfully get the job when she tried the second time, ‘I asked them for feedback and next thing you know, I got the job when I went for the second time’.  

If you're interested into more insights into the Media sector, keep an eye on MyUCLCareers for events next term including an interactive journalism workshop and a panel about careers in publishing and more!