Social Media Success for DMU Graduate Champion

By Natalie Whitehouse

Journalism graduate Georgina Baker found herself remaining a part of De Montfort even after leaving, when she undertook an internship through the university’s DMU Graduate Champions Scheme.

The 21-year-old has this week completed a six-week placement with Media Board International, a Leicester-based marketing company, where she has been enjoying her role as Social Media Marketing Officer and Journalist.

Since graduating last summer, Georgina has applied for “no end of jobs in journalism,” but says she wasn’t too disheartened that the applications, thus far, have been to no avail:

“I was ready for a little break, so I wasn’t too downhearted at my failings for finding something permanent.”

Georgina has since found herself back at her local pub, in the part time job she has had since she was fourteen, before getting a letter through the post advertising DMU Graduate Champions, tempting her to look into the internship scheme and apply:

“I got a little letter through the post and to be honest I actually didn’t think they would have any positions for me, as I didn’t think there were any journalism postings about.

“I left the card on my desk and for a few weeks it kept staring at me, so one day when I was writing a blog post I bit the bullet and applied – not expecting to hear anything at all!”

Gee Baker

Georgina’s application was thankfully successful, undertaking her internship at the beginning of the year. Her role at Media Board is diverse and enjoyable; providing her with a whole host of tasks to keep her busy from day to day:

“I have been involved with setting up Media Board’s official blog where I write all the blogs, which have included an ‘About Media Board’ one, as well as personal blogs from myself tracking my time here. I’ve also been let lose editing content already on the website.

“I’m involved in planning content for Media Board’s clients, which we then draft and schedule to social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. This sort of stuff can be anything from opening hours of the restaurants we work with, to coming up with competitions and special offers.

“Because no one client is the same it has been really interesting to see how ideas can be adapted for each business, and it’s great because you meet so many different people.”

Georgina has also praised the internship scheme, ran by DMU, which enabled her to gain this vital experience in an industry she wishes to work in, in turn hopefully giving her the extra push she needs to secure a full time role:

“I really would [recommended the scheme to graduates], especially if you are like me and find job searching a minefield! For the sake of going online for ten minutes tops and filling in the application form, it is so worth it. DMU does all the hard work once you’ve submitted your application, and you just say yes or no to the jobs they find you. Whatever job you end up being assigned to is all experience and will look great on the CV!”

With regards to the future and her hunt for a job, Georgina would ideally like a job in journalism, PR or marketing, noting that she’s “not fussy” as to where she ends up; as long as it gives her the chance to do something she loves, as well as passing some personal milestones:

“I’m hoping to still do stuff with Media Board from them such as blogs and I will keep up my own personal writing too while I look for a full time job in the journalism industry, but while that happens and while I’m still at home I am going to try and get my driving test passed as soon as possible, and keep working at the pub to stop myself going bored and provide me with money and a bit more of a social life!”

Eye-opening and enjoyable internship for DMU Graduate

Journalism graduate Natalie Whitehouse returned to De Montfort for a six-week internship placement, working on the Leicestershire Press.

The 22-year-old, who graduated from DMU with a First Class Honors degree in July last year, applied for the placement through the DMU Graduate Champions scheme, which seeks to find internships for recent graduates from the university, to give them more experience in their field:

“I heard about the scheme when I got a card through the post about it, and applied for it straight away,” Natalie notes, “I was contacted not long after to confirm that my application had been successful, and that I’d actually been given a placement at De Montfort.”

The internship, which began in January and is set to finish next week, has seen Natalie work closely with DMU’s Journalism Centre, where she completed her degree at the university:

“It has been really nice to go back to DMU and work alongside the people who had helped me get my degree. It was good to come back and do something positive for the journalism centre to give them something back for everything they did for me.”

Natalie, who studied English Language and Journalism at DMU, has been working as an Editorial Associate for the Leicestershire Press website, finding positive news stories to help promote and publicise journalism at the university:

“My role is essentially researching recent graduates, finding out what they’re doing and whether they’ve managed to find full time employment, or even an internship like me, in a journalism related capacity.

“If they have, I’ve then contacted them to arrange an interview, and just had a general chat about their role now and how their degree and experience whilst at DMU helped them in landing their jobs.

“It’s been interesting to see how these graduates actually got employed, because most haven’t been the conventional ‘apply online’ way. It gives you hope that there are many ways to get employed, and you need to think outside the box and be proactive!”

The internship has definitely been an eye-opener for Natalie in terms of her own job search, but an enjoyable experience too:

“It’s been really nice getting back into contact with people I had classes with at university. It’s also been great talking to people who I didn’t know whilst I was at DMU, I was wary about approaching people I didn’t know, but they’ve actually all been really helpful and happy to chat about their jobs.”

Since graduating, Natalie has been continuing to work part time whilst gaining extra experience in the hope of securing her dream job herself:

“I have had some interviews for a couple of really great jobs that I never thought I’d get an interview for! But I was told I just needed that little bit extra experience. I’m already involved in quite a few things journalism-wise, and now this internship with DMU is something extra which I hope will make me stand out when applying for jobs.”

Although accepting that it has been tough to find full time employment after university, she is confident that what she has learnt so far will stand her in good stead in the future:

“It’s no surprise that trying to find a job in the journalism industry is tough, but I am and have always been a determined and driven person, and I know if I keep working at it it’ll happen. This internship, alongside my full time job and commitments to other websites, has seen me working six days a week, but I know that it’s all worthwhile experience and I am confident that the hard work will pay off eventually!”

Natalie Whitehouse

DMU gives graduates a helping hand

By Natalie Whitehouse

For graduates, the task of gaining employment immediately after university is a tough one, especially if the industry they wish to get into is fiercely competitive. On leaving university, many people find their vast amount of experience is still not enough to qualify them for their dream job.

That’s where DMU have stepped in: developing a placement scheme entitled DMU Graduate Champions, which seeks to find six-week paid work placements for graduates looking for further experience in industry.

Journalism graduate Conor Davies was more than happy to be involved with this fantastic initiative when he was offered a placement, which began at the start of this year.

Since finishing university, Conor has travelled to California as part of a #DMUglobal trip, as well as having a job in the DMU Accommodation office on his return. The 21-year-old is now employed part time as in Medical Recruitment at his local hospital in Derby, so when he heard about the DMU Graduate Champions Scheme, he was eager to apply:

“I applied for it [the scheme] as soon as I heard about it. There are lots of opportunities out there but, as I currently live in Derby, most of them are unpaid and in London… it’s difficult to make this work realistically. So getting paid and being almost guaranteed a place through DMU’s employability commitments means I went for the scheme almost immediately.”

After applying, Conor, who graduated from De Montfort with a First Class degree, was given the opportunity to work as Communications Officer for the DMU Communications team, which has seen him gain vital workplace experience to add to his CV:

“My skills that had been developed and honed on the journalism course like interviewing and the art of putting a news story together have been tested. I’ve been on the placement for three weeks and I’ve written about audiology, neural networks and successful students. It’s been a whirlwind but it’s refreshing to get back into journalism after a short break.”

Conor (right) at graduation

Conor (right) at graduation

As well as working on honing his talents, the internship has also allowed Conor to add further skills and expertise to his collection:

“I think adding skills like publishing to Content Management Systems, as well as the increased amount of work I can add to my Portfolio and experience in the communications side of things will add to my employability prospects. Especially as so far my work experience had been specifically in the sports side of things in newspapers.”

Ideally, Conor’s dream job would be a sports reporter for a newspaper or a magazine, but he admits it’s a challenge to find your perfect job straight away in such a competitive industry:

“It is a challenge in the current landscape of jobs and opportunities, but I’ll never stop trying, and would definitely grab any job in journalism if offered to me to enable me to start working my way through the ranks.”

And Conor’s current internship is providing him with an extra bit of experience that will, hopefully, make him stand out from the crowd and appeal to prospective employers. But aside from that, the placement is also proving something Conor likes to do – which is often half the battle:

“I’m really enjoying it. It’s very refreshing for it to be my ‘day job’ for a couple of days a week. The Comms. team have been great with me too, treating me like a proper member of staff rather than a work experience kid, and have given me plenty of opportunities to test and challenge myself.

“I definitely would [recommended the internship scheme]. DMU’s employability focus is unique and certainly one of the best attributes the university has had from day one. I remember in my first year of journalism, we were expected to arrange work experience for ourselves at our own local newspapers. This commitment was essential and gave me the newfound confidence to match my journalistic skills, which had been honed in the first term at university.

“With this placement, it almost feels like I’ve come full circle, and DMU is still there to support myself and fellow graduates with these paid placements.”