After the success of my Career Inspiration series I’ve created Uni Life. The purpose behind this new interview series is to give prospective and current students an insight into life at university, what it takes to get there and how to survive.
It’s hard to know what path to take when you’re in college and there’s a lot of pressure to go to university or dive straight into the world of work. I hope that this series will give you a chance to learn from current students about the courses you’re interested in.
This week I’m sharing an interview with Karishma, a final year Journalism student in Sheffield. I hope you enjoy the interview and remember to feel free to ask any questions in the comment section below.
What course are you studying at university?
Hi, I’m Karishma and I’m in my final year (having to stop the tears) at Sheffield Hallam studying Journalism.
Did you have to study specific subjects at college to get onto the course?
The course specifications suggested any language, media subject, English Lang/Lit etc. So I picked French and English Language, enjoyed them both but A-level French is difficult but then again, which A-level isn’t.
How did you know this was the right course for you?
I’ve always known that I wanted to go into Journalism. I remember it must have been in year 7 or 8 we had to write a piece about where we see ourselves in 10 years’ time. I wrote that I wanted to be a journalist and have never looked back. I’ve always had an interest and strength in English so I was always going to go into an English based career.
What do you enjoy most about your course?
There’s so much to be honest. I think it has to be the practical side of it. Doing the course has shown me that I’m not a newspaper journalism kind of person. I’d rather be out there looking for stories for TV or interviewing someone on the Radio. They’re probably the two modules I’ve enjoyed the most.
What do you find most challenging about your course?
Looking for interviews and getting people to talk. I’ve always found looking for interviews difficult but doing the course has made me realise you start with people you know because often they’ll lead you to an interview. Also in general, when you walk up to the public with a MIC or camera and ask them if you could interview them they’ll probably say no. I’m not a massive fan of this but it’s part of the job and you learn. I now have more sympathy for the people you see in town trying to get you to donate or buy something. I know what it’s like.
Are internships easy to come by in your field?
Hmm, I think with any subject there are loads out there but you just have to build your way up and keep applying. It’s annoying when you’ve applied and not heard anything. But especially in journalism persistence is key.
Please tell us about an internship/work experience that you’ve gained something positive from.
Being an editor of my university student magazine, it might not seem like conventional work experience but it’s taught me quite a bit. Time management, working with others, working to deadlines – all of that.
Do you have any career plans in mind for when you’ve graduated?
Yes and no. I know the career I see myself going down; it’s just getting there that’s going to be the hard thing. I either see myself working in some kind of magazine or completely forgetting Journalism and going into PR. They’re both similar but different careers if that makes sense and without PR you wouldn’t have Journalism. Seeing the PR life makes me wonder what it would be like to have that career.
Either way, I want to start applying for internships as well as jobs so I’m doing something with my time.
Do you take part in any student groups or outside activities?
I’m the News section editor of the student magazine. But I think that’s one thing I wish I’d done, joined more societies and groups.
What do you do in your spare time?
Blogging is something I’ve really got into. Last summer I spent most of my time working on my blog, A Little Peep into My Life but since starting final year I’ve let it slide a bit, something I plan to change. I love it. It’s my space where I can talk about anything and I love meeting other bloggers, reading their blogs and hearing their experiences.
I’m partial to a good night out but I think the inner granny in me has come out this year as I love a good night in, in front of the TV with a cup of tea. Who wants to be out in the cold anyway? (I’m not a fan of cold weather as I’ll get ill straight away).
What would you’ve liked to know about university life before you started?
I’m not too sure. I don’t think any amount of someone telling you can prepare you for university life. It’s just something you have to experience.
What keeps you motivated?
Work wise; the thought of graduating and just that whole day. But also making my parents and family proud, I’m an only child so it’ll be pretty amazing for them to see me with my hat and gown.
What advice would you offer to prospective students?
There’s so much – pick the right course/city/university for you, be organised, as lame as it might sound work when you have to etc. Most of all enjoy it and make the most of it. Everyone will probably tell you this and they told me but 3/4/5 years will fly by, use that time wisely and enjoy yourself. Like I said before, no amount of advice can prepare you for university, but I hope this helps.
Finally, what is your go to meal after a busy day of lectures?
This year it’s become Mexican food. There’s a Mexican place near uni and on the way to where I live so popping into there on the way back is always tempting. Great for my stomach but bad for my bank balance. Piece of advice; cook at home as much as you can. You’ll learn how to cook and save money.
I want to say a big thank you to Karishma for taking part in this interview. Once again, this is another interview that shows that you don’t have to follow a direct career path from your degree. Many courses will branch out into other areas. If any of you have tips regarding a career in PR then feel free to get in touch with Karishma and have a chat.
My advice to Karishma, is to get a few PR internships after graduation and see how you feel about the industry. Good luck, it’s not long ’til you graduate!
If you would like to take part in my Uni Life series then drop me a message on Twitter.