A couple of weeks ago, I posted the first part of my Journalism Undergrad Guide and had a look at whether journalism degrees deserve the bad press they get. Today, I’m looking at applying for journalism degrees.
This is the time of year that sixth form students nationwide will be stressing about their UCAS applications. I remember all too well the stress that applying for university caused for me. First, writing the dreaded personal statement and then travelling around the country for interviews. So I thought I’d share some tips on these things:
1. Make your personal statement unique. But don’t stress over it too much. It’s just a headline of who you are, what you’ve done and why you want to do the course. In most cases, the personal statement is just what universities use to decide if they want to interview you, so don’t worry about it too much. And don’t make it too academically focussed. Big up any work experience you’ve already done, especially if you’ve already been published.
2. Prepare for the interview. Read the news. And not just on the day of your interview. Read it everyday. And not just one paper. Really know what’s going on in the world. Know who the Chancellor of the Exchequer is. And have an understanding of what his job is.
3. Take examples of your work. But don’t be intimidated by other people at the interview who have loads more than you do. I turned up for my interview at Bournemouth University with about six articles. Other people there had a huge portfolio that was bulging with all the stuff they’d already done. I felt rubbish and embarrassed by mine. But I still managed to get an offer form them.
4. Ask questions. One of the most traumatic experiences of my life was at the end of a university interview. The lecturer who was interviewing me asked if I had any questions. I had a quick think and said “No, I don’t think so.” To which he replied, “A good journalist always has questions.” So have a think about it before you go for interviews, plan some questions you might want to ask.
5. Have a bit of confidence in yourself. Especially if you face a group interview. You don’t want to be forgotten because you didn’t really shine. So be bold, stand out for the right reasons and impress the universities.
And, as always, if you have any other tips for applying for a journalism undergrad let us know. Leave a comment below or tweet us @wannabehacks.
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After finishing my stint in student media, I couldn’t help but look