JAMD04 – Lecture 7

Yesterday we wrote fake cover letters and talked about our mock interviews in December.

The interviews I’ve had before have all pretty much gone the same way – me fumbling to respond in coherent English to simple questions – and somehow I currently have a job, so who knows how that happened.

I was really pleased with how my cover letter turned out; I thought it was professional enough but there was still some personality there so it hopefully wasn’t boring. Rob said it was good, but to ease back on the personal stuff a bit, which I won’t disagree with – there is a line and I might have crossed it. Everyone makes such a big deal about standing out, and I think that’s a huge part of getting a job, but maybe not giving a potential employer my entire life history is a good idea.

Surprisingly though, I found it wasn’t difficult to find positive things to write on it. It’s easier in writing though, to a nameless, faceless person, whereas in an interview I still don’t want to sound arrogant, even though that kind of is the point to an interview. You’re both there to have a conversation about how great you are. I think all of the quizzes helped, because they were much more positive than I thought. There was also one entirely dedicated to strengths, which helped me write the cover letter, and gave me a nice ego boost at the same time.

JAMDO4 – Lectures 5&6

Since I forgot to do last week’s session I’ll combine it with this weeks.

Last week, Ross Reid, a local sports journalist came in to talk about what it’s like living as a freelancer, which was fascinating. It is something I have considered, and it was good to get an inside look at what it’s like.
On top of the discussion about not being afraid to put work out, and the speed interview practise we did in preparation for this week, the main thing I took away was that it’s more work than it looks to freelance. Ross said he started after working as a journalist for a while, so he had built up contacts already, which seemed to make it easier for him. I think it would be really difficult to come to it as a job straight after university, not knowing anyone in the industry, or how it works.

As I am not the best socially, either, working for someone would out me give me a reason to talk to a lot of people I might not get to otherwise.

This week, we all went to a networking event at the Theatre Royal; we listened to a panel talk about what it was like getting into their industry, then had the chance to ask them questions afterwards.

I was dreading it, but it wasn’t as bad as I’d been building it up to be. The panellists were interesting people, with a lot of stories to tell and advice to give. They were mainly from the broadcasting side of things, though, or screenwriters, and not necessarily relevant to what I want to do, though I tried to take as much as I could from it, asking questions and making notes.

Afterwards, I was lucky enough to go to the BBC studio for a potential job there. While I don’t love broadcasting, I do like radio, and I’m not terrible at it, like I am with film, so I think it would be a good opportunity to properly see if it’s something I want to do in the future.

At this point, it might be best for me to stop thinking about what I love doing, what I enjoy the most, because it will always be writing in some format. I figure it would be better to look into doing other things, especially at uni where we’re not limited to one area, and we have to use other mediums anyway.


JAMD04 – Lecture 3

This lecture, we were creating CVs. And not like our original CVs, that have to all look pretty much identical and contain all the same information with slightly different GCSE grades, but personal CVS.

Because journalism is a pretty creative industry, I wanted to make a creative CV, something that kind of says what kind of person I am and also showing I know how to use InDesign past a 20 minute crash course.
Being me, I created my CV to look like a Wild West Wanted poster. It’s not finished, as I need a professional-ish headshot to go in the centre, and need to change the background colour, but the info is down, and the design is mostly complete too.
I chose this design because it will definitely stand out, it’s a bit weird, and hopefully they’ll know I’m a bit different because of it.

Shannon Brown CV unfinished-wmqbh2

JAMD04 – Lecture 4

This week, I took some online quizzes on the Marjon Futures site.

The most interesting one was the Temperament quiz – essentially a version of the MBTI test, which I’ve done many times already. I’ve always had the same answer when doing it before – INFJ – so I wasn’t expecting anything new on this one, but it told me I was an INFP – the only difference being a preference for spontaneity and going with the flow. Depending on how much these personality quizzes are to be believed, that might explain why I’m struggling to get organised and complete tasks on time.

Out of the quizzes I took, they were mostly different answers to what I expected. The Stress Management one, for example, would I cope well with stress “most of the time,” and I don’t really agree with that. A healthy management would be talking to people, working through things,  allowing time for breaks. I tend to ignore stressful things until it gets too much then blitz through and produce something a little bit half-assed.

On writing that, I realise I definitely to start handling that a bit better.



JaMD04 – Lecture 2

We created an online portfolio full of the stuff we created over the past year, and beyond. Mine includes links to my personal blog, and some of the video and audio packages from last year.


It isn’t completely finished, because there are some more things I would like to add – the videos me and Clara made for the uni for election season, and the video I edited for the chaplaincy last summer – but there’s a wide selection of skills shown on the portfolio, which I think is better than tailoring it specifically to what I want to do after uni.

I then spoke to Mike about what kind of placement I was interested in; I still have no idea.

My strongest skill is writing, and it’s what I enjoy doing most, so I’d like to go into written journalism, though, right now, I’m not fussy about whether online or in print – the print industry is dying so I would probably write for online magazines or news sites. Though i said I don’t want to do news and I stand by that – I think I’ve done too much creative writing to be a good news writer.


JaMD04 – Lecture 1

This module covers all things relating to placement and work experience, as well as generally making myself more employable in general. At the moment, the placement side of things feels very far off, though I know I would like to do a variety of things, to better understand what I would like to do after finishing third year.

Since the 20 days total can be spread out over the year, I would like to have found some kind of work experience by reading week, which is about a month away, even if I haven’t started it then. Just having my foot in the door somewhere would be better for my mentality than having no idea and no goal in mind.

Over tonight and tomorrow, I plan to look online at places that offer work experience – Plymouth Herald for certain, and Plymouth Heart possibly as well – and see how to apply, as well as ask Mike and Sarah about other opportunities, like the potential to shadow a freelancer for a day, or something of that nature, because I’m not sure what I would like to go into.
I know I like doing radio work, particularly the producing side of things, but I find it easier to keep my voice in written media, whether online or in print styles, and I prefer that about it.

In today’s lecture, we looked at personality tests; some places of work still use them as a way of gauging whether they think people would be suitable to work there. I don’t know how accurate they can be for picking and choosing people for jobs, because I think there are many more external factors that affect a person. Four letters cannot possibly predict how a person would react to every possible scenario, especially because there’s so much variation between the types.

I do, however, think they are a fairly accurate way of looking at personality, so long as they are not seen as set in stone and any deviations from the classification are not seen as some giant personality change.

The test I am most familiar with is the Myers-Briggs test, which I’ve done a lot and it comes up the same every time. My type on this test is INFJ, which is known as the “advocate.”

People with the same type include Nelson Mandela, Nicole Kidman and Wilson from House M.D. Some of the strengths of this type include being creative, insightful and altruistic, while the weaknesses include being incredibly private, sensitive and can burn out easily. Funnily enough, journalist and careers in the media are listed as suitable careers for an INFJ, so, if this is accurate, I’m glad I’m in the right place.

While I stand by what I said before, in that I don’t think it’s Gospel, and I definitely see more weaknesses in myself than those listed on this website, I think the part about having an ingrained sense of morality and idealism is true, and that’s what I want to bring into my work as a journalist.
In the end, I want to report on social justice, and inequality between social groups. Eventually, I’ll know how the best way to go about this, and how to get there.




Session 3: Re-run

For this week, our task was, essentially, the same as last week: create a radio show aimed at a specific target audience.

I might have suggested children as our audience, without specifying age group or gender, which was probably what threw the task off slightly.

Due to personal issues, I hadn’t brought anything for the session – I didn’t have a chance to create anything – so I filled in for a missing person on they day, and ended up writing and presenting the news.

This wasn’t aimed at children, but instead aimed at parents listening to the show with their kids; many families listen to the radio together in the car.

I think this worked, because it was designed to give the parents something to focus their attention, before the show that really wasn’t for them.

I wrote the news the morning of the show, so we would be broadcasting relevant events, and because I wasn’t aware I’d be doing it till then, and scripted out what I would say. Then, during the main body of the show, I looked for, and scripted, a new section of news, to add a bit of variety.

The first reading went well, and I don’t think I stumbled over any words when reading it out, but I know I did in the second one. However, I think that was because that was my first time talking live on radio, and I was very nervous. With practise, I think I’ll do a better job, and my voice will hopefully sound less shaky as well!

To go back to our audience – because we didn’t specify and age group and just said “children,” there were some differences in the style of the packages people in the group made. Some were made for very young children, but some were about school and option for after school.

To improve, I think we will select an age group and, possibly, a hobby, or interest of the intended audience, so we have a more focused radio show. I think we will also need to pay more attention to the order of the packages – we started with one about films because it was the most ‘news’ based.

While I think this is a good structure for most shows, I don’t think it worked with ours, because we were aiming it at children – I think we should have started with a more exciting package to attract the listeners attention, as well as ending on an exciting one as well, so they have something they know they’ll want to listen to.

This would work best with a preview, or a ‘coming up on…’ section, so I think we should also include on of those next time.

Overall, I think the show was a big improvment on the previous weeks show, which was the main focus, really.

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