Being 21 comes with a lot of expectation; to establish yourself as an independent adult, whilst juggling a social life and trying to make the correct step into a career that will mould you and fundamentally shape your working life. Sounds exhausting doesn't it? Well you would be correct. It is made even harder when you actually have zero clue where the hell you want to be in 5, 10, 15 years and you are being told that the decisions you make now shape your future. I was foolish to believe that having an undergraduate degree meant getting jobs would be easier, this was an unachievable idea, and after about 100 rejections I am now doing a Masters. I think I chose wisely, however my next steps cannot be delayed for much longer, apparently you cannot be in education forever!

This was three months ago…

Induction week has arrived and I am about to start my tasks in preparation for next week when the hard work begins, again! Aside from all the specifics (rooms, the timetable and the modules) a lot of what I am hearing is centred on passion, resilience, style and content. I like books and reading and discovering new authors; transition from reader to writer is one that is going to take some getting used to. I never once had to write my own pieces because I have never been sure that I have an opinion, let alone one that someone would want to read.

This could be more of a challenge than I expected. I am basically learning the exact opposite to what I have been doing for the last 3 years of my academic life, but rising to the challenge is something I have a lot of experience with. However, whilst writing this piece and laying out my fears, I am realising that whilst this is going to be a challenge this could be the perfect opportunity to find my voice, my interests and develop the skills to be able to enter the world of Publishing/Journalism with all the qualities needed to succeed. Even when faced with modules that had not exactly been what I had expected, I was always able to find and discover a section that interested me, an area that I wanted to research and write about, and I often managed to achieve something I never thought possible. Those experiences are going to be pivotal for this year. This is a year to find and expand on what interests me, share stories that I have written and find my own voice amongst the noise.

1st Day at Coventry University

26th September 2016

11AM – 4:15PM

Location: Coventry University

Mood: Lets see how it goes…

Today marked my first step on the path to become a journalist. “How’d it go” i hear you ask? Well I certainly could have done a lot worse. It was a long day for someone who hasn’t done a proper days graft since they graduated back in July…

Parked up, raring to go, sausage roll in one hand and notepad in the other, I entered the Ellen Terry Building. Upon arrival I was greeted by my lecturers for the year, Andrew Noakes and Fred Mudhai. Once the formalities of registers and admin were out of the way, we were taken on the tour of what will be my stomping ground for the next year. I’d like to say that my postgraduate ‘status’ allowed me to waltz around campus with a note of superiority but with a face like mine people were questioning whether they were in a University or a Nursery. Do I not look like I’ve had my soul crushed gradually for the last three years, that I was the twisted, foreboding face of what was to come for all the new, bright face freshers? Evidently not.

Tour complete, the traditional ‘Spoons’ lunch consumed, it was time to meet a man who I am sure will be the highlight of my week. Steve Cropley. A man with unfathomable experience in the trade and a kindness to his voice that is rare to find. The editor-in-chief for AutoCar, the oldest Car publication in the UK, was quick to pass on his knowledge about journalism, describing the pit falls and, most importantly, how to enhance my employability prospects. That is one of the reasons I have started this blog. In a world where everyone can have a voice, I’ve decided to finally voice mine and fight my way to be heard above the rest.

Cropley’s devotion to his passion is unparalleled. I could tell that just from listening to him speak about the past stories he’s broken, the buzz from being the person who tells the world breaking news. It was infectious. Sure, I didn’t particularly care for what car is breaking the land-speed record, or what the best car was in 1985, but I did care for his devotion and excitement for his passion. Watching him lecture about his enthralment in cars made me question what was my passion? What do I want to write about? What can I report about with the same ‘oomph’ as he could. Football!

Cropley’s publication is owned by media conglomerate Haymarket, operating out of Twickenham, London and Daventry. How lucky is it that the publication that i want to work for, FourFourTwo which is also under Haymarket, operates out of Twickenham… as does Cropley. Hopefully he can put in a good word for me, after all, he did teach that work experience is the most essential component to landing your dream job. Practice what you preach Steve?

It was a very interesting, possibly career changing day. I left Ellen Terry full of optimism and a sense of purpose. I want to write and produce content for an outlet which I have a strong passion for, and for the first time I believe I can do it. Steve Cropley is the man who I aspire to be. When I’m 67, with forty years of journalistic experience under my belt, I hope that I can stare at my 1000th article with the same optimistic enthusiasm as if it was my first as Cropley does, just with a few less cars of course!