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Tales From A Student Journo's Desk
By Bianca, SIM-University of Birmingham student
There comes a time in everyone’s life when they will need to step out into unchartered waters to move forward in life. As a second year student of the SIM-University of Birmingham BSc Business Management with Communication programme, I knew that it was about time for me to take that all important step to gain working experience in a professional environment.
Thankfully, my university made it convenient with a professional placement programme. As this was a new opportunity, I felt challenged, yet excited for the new journey ahead.
While some may see it as part of their routine in their university lives. I wanted to make this experience count.
I didn’t have clear knowledge of writing a CV and applying for jobs, but I received a lot of help and guidance from SIM-University of Birmingham teachers and staffs I was very grateful for this.
I eventually decided to apply for a position of student writer at SIM’s Corporate Brand and Marketing Department. I was selected for the job interview and felt nervous as it was my first time having one. After going through a writing test and interview, I clearly remember being asked by my supervisor, “Bianca, do you enjoy writing? Are you comfortable with performing the daily tasks that come with this job?” I wondered how tough the job would be but nevertheless, I plucked up my courage to say ‘yes’ and few days later I was told that I was accepted as a student writer.
Becoming A Student Journo
I promised myself to give my best in everything that I did for this placement. However, journalism was a new thing to me. I needed sufficient amount of time to learn many aspects of the job such as gathering contents; interviewing; transcribing; framing the story angle and writing the story.
When I first started out, I was feeling stressed and nervous because of the high standards that I had set for myself as I wanted to complete my assignments before all meetings to create a good impression at my first job. But it came to a point where I was struggling to keep up as it was tough work to write stories.
I decided to share my problem with my supervisor. He assured me that it was normal to face such situations in writing. He encouraged me not to pressure myself into finishing the tasks at home but instead, I should work at a pace that I was most comfortable with. In this way, I would also be able to let my ideas and creativity flow. I felt assured and motivated after our conversation and this drove me to do my best.
Attending various events as an SIM representative and student journo was filled with interesting experiences.
The most memorable part of my journey was working alongside people in my department who were very friendly and willing to help me all through this four-month placement. Apart from learning on-the-job skills I also learned what it was like to work in an office environment. Through my experience of covering events and interacting with staff and students, I realised that I had missed out on opportunities that were present in this institution to sharpen my career and life skills. However, since then, I have committed to be more active at school and in my personal life.
One of things which I benefitted from was meeting with people from different backgrounds and walks of life. Sitting down with them and interviewing them was an eye-opener as everyone was unique and had a story to tell. It also helped me gain a fresh perspective on life and made me realise that there are people out there who are facing bigger problems and tougher battles in life.
This project placement has allowed me to step into a new chapter of life with fresh perspectives, new skills and greater confidence. It was a great learning experience that I will always be proud of and thankful for.
Posted online, 20 November 2018