I know that I’ve already mentioned it a few times (OK, maybe a lot!), but opportunities present themselves on a very regular basis at university.
There is no way you can throw yourself at all of them, but when you feel like it’s something you can spare the time, money and effort on, then you really have to go for it.
I’ve had the chance to do some really rewarding things throughout the course of my degree, including this job that I’m doing now, and another exciting thing that’s fast approaching.
I am covering the Loughborough count for this year’s General Election on May 7th for Sky News, something that I’m looking forward to immensely.
This opportunity was presented to me through one of my tutors, who emailed me the details as he has for so many other things over the past three years.
The work involves me going to the Loughborough voting count and providing a live stream for Sky News’ digital project; which is aiming to cover in excess of 100 counts up and down the country.
Not only is this a fantastic thing to just be involved with, but I will also be receiving a reference from the team at Sky and payment of £150 for the night’s work. Not bad for just saying yes to an email, right?
It may well be a long night, as I have been informed that last time, back in 2010, the Loughborough count was not declared until almost 6am, but that’s all part of the experience. Who needs sleep anyway!..
I have been trained by a Sky News reporter on how to use the camera and live streaming unit Sky have provided us with and I’m now ready and raring to go.
For me, it’s another step towards making me that bit more employable as my search for a career in journalism begins.
The money that I’m getting for covering the election is undoubtedly a nice bonus, but the most important thing for me at the minute is the reference.
Big companies look GREAT on your CV, so if opportunities like this come your way during your time at university: DO NOT TURN THEM DOWN!
Another thing that I would recommend is using those contacts that you have close and accessible to you to help you along your way.
A week after my election night marathon, I’m going to spend a week at the Nottingham Post newspaper, which will also be an incredible experience.
One of my lecturers this year is the editor of the paper, so I kindly asked him if I could join his team for a week and he was good enough to say yes.
My point being, that sometimes, you have to chase up leads yourself rather than be spoon fed opportunities.
And also, the age-old lesson of “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. Couldn’t be more true here!