Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Media and Communication

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Journalism

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Aron Jheeta: JC Social Media

Aron Jheeta works as an Account Manager for JC Social Media. He was a Broadcast Journalism student at the University of Leeds, graduating in 2015. Aron is responsible for the marketing briefs of a variety of clients on social media. Whether they’re automotive or technology companies, bars or restaurants, or even a banana importer, Aron creates content that results in engagement from existing followers and audience growth. At JC Social Media, Aron created and implemented the Isuzu and Subaru’s ‘Advent Calendar’ campaign and helped Ana Rocha Bar get 1000 likes on Facebook within 6 months of opening.

Aron has written about his experience of finding employment after graduating. If you, like Aron was, are unsure about what to do after university, there’s a free event called Life after Leeds on 23-24 May 2017, which is designed to help those students in their final year who haven’t got a clear sense of what they want to do post-graduation, with sessions on writing a CV, application letters, mock interviews and networking.

The Next Step: My Life After Leeds by Aron Jheeta

Like many of you, I thought I’d focus at University, get my grades and then I’d be off into the working world without the need to look back, as I’d land my dream job. The reality is different. No two people are the same, so some of you will relate to what I’m about to tell you and others will have been organised (unlike myself) and got themselves a job lined up already. Here’s a little more about my journey from seminars to social media management.

Call me cliché but it’s all in your CV

A first impression lasts a lifetime. When your employer first takes a look at your CV, that’s the first time they’re aware of your existence. You need to make sure your CV tells the story of you in an eye-catching, unique way. Here are a few things to consider:

  • What field are you going into?
  • Have you done anything to express an interest in that field?
  • Do you have any experience in that field? (Not a necessity, trust me!)
  • Of the work you’ve done at University, on placements or even part time, what have you learned than can be adapted to your future field of work?

My main advice on CVs would be that the School of Media and Communications is a school of creativity. Show your creativity and make the layout of your CV unique. This is the exciting bit. By now, you’ll be meticulous in your editing, filming, shooting or essay writing. Your CV is a chance to hone this skills and apply them in the best way. If you lack experience, lead with your skills. If you’ve had scholarships and/or brilliant work placements, lead with your experience. Make sure your CV showcases your strengths as early as possible. There are wonderful, free tools like Canva for you to use if you feel like getting creative with your CV design.

Become an organised chameleon

If you find yourself without a job when you leave Leeds, don’t panic. I was unemployed between June and December after leaving University. At the beginning, I felt sorry for myself, played lots of Xbox and gained some weight. It’s easy to slip into bad habits when you haven’t been working 9-5 for 3 years!

At this time, I did some part time work with a family member to have some money coming in. More importantly, I got myself organised. Believe me, this is key for your progression in the working world. If you don’t have a job, it’s not the end of the world. Create a job for yourself: finding a job. I would make sure my laptop was on for 9am and I’d be trawling the internet to find a job until 5pm. Not only did this prepare me for a days work when I got one, it also increased my productivity. For every job I’d apply for, I’d add it to a spreadsheet along with the method of contact, date of contact and date the post finishes. Give yourself a few days after the job post ends to send a follow-up e-mail or call to check if they have read and received your CV.

That’s the organised bit, this is the chameleon bit. Your employer will invest time and money into you, so the least you can do is invest some time into them! Make sure you tailor your CV for every application you send off – how many of the job criteria do you fill? Fill in your skills or experience accordingly. One thing is important whilst you’re applying – make sure you take breaks during the day and spend some time out of the house in the evening, you don’t want to overwork yourself!

Finding the right job for you

By the end of your final year, you know your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to your degree. I didn’t spend enough time reading in first year, so this affected my writing in final year – I was never going to go into PR. I chose Marketing as I fell into bit of an awkward category. I always displayed creative ideas and solid execution throughout University, but my lack of progression on work placements told me that maybe Broadcast Journalism wasn’t for me.

I focused on what I CAN do. At University, I displayed creativity, enthusiasm to learn about technology and strong communication skills. Unfortunately, I lacked experience. This meant that when I was applying for jobs, I kept getting dismissed. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, don’t hang your hat on any particular job.

So, what if you don’t want to work in the industry that you studied to work in? There is always a job for you somewhere. Always make sure you add ‘entry level’ to your search teams to define the sort of roles that are realistic for you. Combine your interests and your talent, and I promise you’ll be able to apply things you’ve learned from your degree in your new job. Quite often, the technical skills you’ve developed at University will be superior to some of your new peers’ skills, so you’ll quickly become an expert and an asset to the company.

Patience is a virtue

If someone approached me in April 2015 and said by December I’d be working in a bank, I’d have laughed at them. I envisioned myself finding a job straight after leaving Leeds and having my happily ever after. Unfortunately, life contains a few lumps and bumps. These are challenges that you will face and you will overcome – back yourself.

I knew I wanted to work in marketing, so I spent my time on LinkedIn Premium sending InMails to Social Agency CEOs. My eventual employer actually messaged back saying there wasn’t anything available (in September), but she was a fan of my approach. So I was sat there in December 2015 on a cash desk. I could either moan that the work was beneath me (it wasn’t), or I could be resourceful and learn.

Six months in the bank taught me more about the real world than 21 years of education. We’re not taught about finances, credit cards and current accounts in school, so it’s a good idea to get learning! Most importantly, it taught me about having working relationships with people I wouldn’t necessarily hang out with in my personal time and got me out of my comfort zone by having about 200 different face-to-face conversations a day.

When I decided to try again to go into marketing, I was a little more battle-hardened to the real world and my personality had developed accordingly. I was a professional. Don’t be afraid to work in a foreign field, but make sure you never lose track of your long term plan.

Investing in yourself

Here comes the cheesy part!

  • The world owes you absolutely nothing, you owe everything you have to yourself at this stage
  • Back yourself, focus on your positives, and don’t be scared of rejection
  • Everything is a learning curve. Apply for as much as possible, try to attend as many interviews as you can every week even if you don’t want the job
  • The interview is your chance to sell yourself, and the more you practice, the better you’ll be
  • There’s a reason why you went to Leeds University, you have talent. The challenge you face is understanding the amount of talent you have and learning to harness it to go out there and achieve
  • Working is brilliant, it opens up opportunities you’d never think you’d have. The challenge for you is getting your foot in the door, and your talent will take you there
  • You’ll grow as a person and professionally in a working environment. The challenge for you is to embrace the fact your learning is far from finished.

I’ve laid down the challenges, now it’s time for you to overcome then. It all comes down to you, don’t do this for anybody else. If you need any help with your CV, further advice about finding employment or just to ask a question, follow me @AronJheeta on Twitter or e-mail aron@jcsocialmedia.com

Anna Doble: Channel 4 News

Anna Doble leads the online team at Channel 4 News, working closely with TV colleagues in the foreign, home and independent film units. She steers day-to-day news coverage including video content, live-streaming, blogs and social media as well as longer-term cross-platform investigative projects such as ‘No Go Britain’, which has won three innovation awards including an RTS. Anna led the relaunch of the website which saw channel4.com/news become the first UK TV news site to adopt a responsive design. In summer 2013 her team won five Online Media Awards, including ‘Best Overall Website’ and ‘Best use of Social Media’, plus an Amnesty International Media award. She was also named in journalism.co.uk’s list of 50 female digital innovators and listed in the Hospital Club 100 media innovators. Anna also blogs on music and culture. Follow @annadoble on Twitter.

Fergus Bell: Social Media and UGC editor (international), Associated Press

Fergus, a graduate in Broadcast Journalism, joined the Associated Press (AP) six years ago as a news assistant on the television news desk in London and worked his way up to senior producer. Since April 2011 he has focused on social media news gathering. He has used social media to aid AP’s news gathering operations and source user-generated content (UGC) during the Arab Spring, the shootings in Norway in 2011 and the Japanese earthquake. Bell recently was named a winner of AP’s highest staff honour, a $10,000 ‘Oliver S. Gramling Achievement Award’, for his pioneering work in the area of UGC.

Ellie Henman: Closer magazine

Following her graduation, Ellie worked full time in a bar before managing to get an unpaid seven-month internship in Parliament working as a Diary Secretary and Communication Strategist. She funded the role with part-time work and gathered some very useful experience. Following the internship and after an interim step trying out an MA at Goldsmith’s College, Ellie applied to take part in ITV’s reality show ‘The Exclusives’, a search for a new generation of high-flying journalists. She was accepted and won the competition, securing a year long traineeship with Bauer Media. So far she has worked for Heat and More magazines and is currently working at Closer magazine. She freelances for Heat and More at night and at the weekends.

Amy Lea: BBC Look North, Newcastle

Amy graduated from Leeds University in 2007 and got her first ‘big break’ as a radio journalist at Sun FM in Sunderland. In March 2008 she left to start working ‘over the river’ at Real and Smooth Radio in Gateshead – a regional station covering the whole North East. In 2009 she visited Iraq and Afghanistan for exclusive reporting on the front line with British Troops. She also helped to organise and report on the impact of injuries on British Troops with a special ‘Help For Heroes’ Day, which raised over a quarter of a million pounds for the charity. She became the breakfast newsreader on Smooth Radio and in March 2010 she joined BBC Tees in Middlesbrough. In October 2010 she became the Saturday Breakfast show presenter and presented special shows for the Royal Wedding and the Queens Jubilee. At the beginning of last year Amy joined BBC Channel Islands News for three months, where she learnt to film edit and report for TV. She is currently working as a TV reporter for BBC Look North in Newcastle.

David Atkinson: Travel Writer

David is a freelance travel writer, blogger for hire and part-time lecturer in multimedia journalism. He writes freelance for national newspapers, magazines and websites covering travel, family and education. Recent stories include taking his two young daughters on a Barbie cruise (read more at atkinsondavid.co.uk/all-aboard-the-barbie-cruise). He also works as a Guest Blogger and Copywriter for international tourist boards and travel companies. Recent projects include brochure copy for Marketing Manchester, brochure articles for the National Forest and writing a series of guest blog posts for the official website for the Dylan Thomas centenary in 2014. Read more at atkinsondavid.co.uk/blogging-the-dylan-thomas-centenary.

Alice Salfield: BBC

Alice is a Broadcast Journalist at BBC London Television news where she produces and occasionally reports. In the last year, she has worked on the Woolwich attack, Nelson Mandela’s death and the birth of the Royal baby. Prior to this she worked at the Guardian as a Video Producer, producing, filming, voicing and editing national and international news. Whilst at the Guardian, Alice produced content on the phone-hacking scandal, the US elections and a number of political profile documentaries. She studied Broadcast Journalism at the University of Leeds, where she was also head of LSTV, the student television station.

Natalie Whelan

Natalie graduated from the Broadcast Journalism programme in 2008. She worked on 5 News for over two years, planning, developing and producing entertainment interviews and reports, including locations and contributors. She worked as a producer in the field both in the UK and abroad to co-ordinate crews for VTs and live presentation. In Autumn 2009, she was appointed the entertainment producer for ‘Live From Studio Five’, a new magazine programme providing daily live showbiz guests and pre-recorded interviews. For the past year, she has been Entertainment Producer for 5 News, working alongside the programme teams on 5 News and OK! TV to decide which entertainment stories would fit the agenda on that day’s show. She has field produced live OB’s in the UK and overseas at events including film premieres, the Cannes film festival, awards ceremonies and music festivals for both OK! TV and 5 News.

Emma Glasbey: Broadcast Journalist, BBC Look North

After graduating from the University of Leeds with a degree in Broadcast Journalism Emma spent 6 months working as the breakfast newsreader at Kix 96.2fm in Coventry (now Touch FM). Emma always hoped to move back to Leeds and in January 2003 she was given a Reporter/Newsreader job at Radio Aire and Magic 828. After three and a half years at Radio Aire, Emma left to join BBC Radio Leeds as a Reporter, Producer and Newsreader. In January 2008, she crossed the newsroom to join BBC Look North, Yorkshire as a Broadcast Journalist. She now works there as a video journalist, one of the busiest roles you can get!

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