You may have noticed, if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, that I've recently graduated from university. Now there's a sentence I never imagined typing. The last six months have been a whirlwind - quite stressful at times owing to the deadlines but in the end so rewarding. I wanted to document the last three years in a blog series. Today I'll talk you through my course and there will also be posts on my university experience, Graduation day and what's happening after university.
Internet Copy for graziadaily.co.uk - Year One; March 2011
Long Interview Piece - Year One; April 2011
For as long as I can remember I've always loved reading anything from fiction novels to glossy magazines and I always used to wonder how journalists came up with the stories and put them on the pages before me. So journalism it was, but when I began my UCAS journey (the thought of that personal statement still makes me shudder) I really had no idea that a course specifically tailored to the magazines I loved existed. I happened upon Fashion Journalism and although some thought I was backing myself into a corner, I went with my gut and took the plunge. What I will say I learnt very quickly was not to judge a book by it's cover. My first year was by no means fashion specific, we had a couple of modules that required us to focus on fashion topics but other than that, the units were broad, teaching us the basics every journalist needs to know - news writing, broadcast, interviewing, internet copy, as well as styling and imaging. What I liked about this course is that you don't just learn how to write, but you're also taught how to use industry standard packages such as InDesign and Final Cut Pro.
Shopping Page - Year 2; October 2011
Feature Piece - Year 2; January 2012
Difficulty was increased in second year with modules in the first semester including opinion writing, features, shopping pages and catwalk reports. Second year was tailored a lot more towards fashion and I used this to develop the beauty bug that was becoming quite apparent, as well as choosing a topic for my long feature that was outside of my comfort zone - escorting or sugar daddy dating as it's otherwise known. As the year progressed we began group project, which was to give us a taster of what was to come with FMP. My group created a technology magazine for women called Stylebyte, which was hard work but also a lot of fun. We then went off on our own and undertook a months placement, which we were to set up ourselves and had several tasks to do each week whilst we were working. I ended up as a social media intern at a small dress agency in a local town and I had a lot of fun - there was endless amounts of Anya Hindmarch, Mulberry and DVF coming through the doors day in and day out.
Within what felt like seconds, third year was finally here - a year that I'd dreaded and heard many a horror story about. We were told to enjoy it because it would be gone before we knew it - something I didn't believe at the time but the three units we endured really made the time fly. Our first unit was Investigative Journalism, a unit I was dreading but ended up really enjoying. I wrote a piece about internet trolling, an article I'm still really proud of. I interviewed an Olympic athlete, the police, a cyberpsychologist (yes, that's a real job) and many more before piecing the feature together. After Investigative, the real work started with Dissertation consuming much of my Christmas break and pretty much the whole of January 2013. I'm not the most academic person so I wasn't looking forward to the unit, and it didn't help that my tutor didn't get my topic and therefore wasn't interested in helping me, but somehow I got a 2:1 for it. My topic was "How has Generation C affected consumerism with specific regards to beauty bloggers?" The last unit was Final Major Project, we each had to come up with a magazine concept, pitch it and then see it through to the final product. Being a bit of a technology junkie, I decided to create an iPad ready magazine all about - wait for it - beauty. We had a 10,000 word limit and had the choice to produce shoots to go into the magazine too. Although it sounds like a lot of fun, which at times it was, at times it was frustrating, stressful and I wondered if I'd ever see the end of it.
Overall, I really enjoyed the course and I don't feel like I backed myself into a corner at all. I gained a lot from it, from meeting great friends, making good contacts, getting the experience and also learning from mistakes. If like me, you're thinking about a career in women's magazines or fashion and beauty but are unsure of how to go about it - definitely give the syllabus a read.
If you have any questions at all about the course, please leave a comment and I'll answer it as best as I can. You can view all my work here or visit my online portfolio here.