Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Keep plugging and eventually things will click into place

Hi, my name is Simon and I’m a second year media arts student at St. Mary’s University College in Twickenham. I was lucky enough to be asked to write this blog, sharing some of my experiences of internships, work experience and the trials and tribulations of being a student. On looking through the other featured blogs, it would appear I am the baby of the group as I’m still at University so hopefully I’ll be able to bring something a little different to the party for those of you that are in a similar position to myself. 

For a long time now, I have known I wanted to be involved in the media in some way, shape or form. Apart from a brief stint as a seven-year-old when I wanted to be a Commonwealth swimmer (I knew my limitations) but, I digress. A number of my relatives have been involved in TV, Journalism and Photography and it always seemed like quite an exciting career choice, listening to their stories of working with celebrities on a daily basis and being responsible for the creation of things that were available for the world to see. 

As they say, in the media industry, it is not what you know, but who you know and I personally think this is true. It is all well and good being fantastic at video editing or an excellent photographer, if you don’t have the contacts once you have finished university, it is going to be difficult. That should be the first step; get yourself a presence online.  I am still fairly new to the blogging game but have been using Twitter and Facebook for some time. I have been considering going into journalism, specifically music journalism and I’m a budding review writer. So instead of letting my reviews clog up my hard drive, I decided to let them run free in the big wide world for all to see. This may seem daunting and you may be conscious of people judging you, but from experience, it really isn’t worth worrying over. My reviews may not be ready to grace the pages of NME magazine, but people are reading them from all over the world - and that is the most important thing.

Most of the jobs I’ve been involved with have been in retail, just something to fund my gig habit and a student lifestyle of super noodles and beans. I am currently working as a security steward at Twickenham Rugby Stadium and although it means free pitch-side rugby, it doesn’t sound like the best stepping stone for a career in media. However, I feel all experience is good experience and even if there is one, tiny thing that you can take from a job like this, then you’re doing beneficial with your time. 

Recently, I’ve decided that music journalism may not be the best route for me. I have been looking at heading down a more PR/Marketing-related path and in this field, work experience is even more valuable. So, naturally, I’ve been sending out email after email, begging various PR and Marketing houses to let me make tea for them on a work experience placement. My search is going well, with a number of companies replying in a positive manner so fingers crossed, I’ll be getting some hands-on experience in the near future. I think it’s important not to become disheartened if you are rejected. It can be very demoralising if you feel you are put down at the first hurdle, but there is no substitute for being hard-working and committed. So keep plugging away and eventually, things will click into place. 

And that is just about it. Determination and a pro-active, can-do attitude are key in my opinion; it’s crucial that you throw yourself into every opportunity, offer and experience available as you never know when you might find the missing piece of your puzzle. 

If you have any questions at all, get in touch via Twitter : @simonjeleggett  or through my blog.