Stories of 2019 #10: My Published Journalism

Following my previous blog about how to get magazine journalism experience, here is my article that I have had published in the magazines. I do not think you will ever get over the excitement of seeing your name in print. Enjoy reading!

The Spirit of Summer // High Life August 2018
Capsule Collection // High Life September 2018
Stage Left // High Life August 2018
Roisin Murphy // September 2018
Take me there… // The Sunday Times Travel Magazine May 2018
Van Gogh // The Hertfordshire Life

Stories of 2019 #9: Getting Work Experience in Travel Journalism


‘Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.’ – Theodore Roosevelt

The magazines I have been published in.

Everyone bangs on about work experience, experience or getting your foot in the door and all that jazz. But it can be daunting. It can be hard! It can be expensive! I have lost track in how many magazines I have emailed and had no reply to do work experience at. But keep emailing and at some point, they reply. For my course at Nottingham Trent University, it was compulsory to have a minimum of three weeks work experience in order to pass the course. So, that definitely pushed me outside my comfort zone to do it.

When I do look at my CV or what I have had published, I am glad that we had to do work experience as I do feel a little proud at what I have been able to achieve. If I am honest, some work experience has been better than others, some more exciting, some more admin based but all in all, I have met some great people, had work published by all and had the experience of working in a busy editorial environment. Now, I have not yet got a career within journalism so I am unable to tell you whether or not this experience has benefited me into getting a better career but I am assured by other people that it does. So, fingers crossed aye.

Where have I done work experience?

Currently, I have done nine weeks of work experience.

I started off with easing myself in with one day at my local paper, The Comet. I really enjoyed this taster day and the editor was so helpful in showing me what to do, how to do this and how to do that. I even had to do a telephone interview for an event I was writing about. I did not have a Dictaphone or was able to do shorthand as at this point I was only on about 20 words per minute! I basically just scribbled down as much as I could. But all worked out fine and I had an article published in my local paper. I will not forget that little moment of first seeing my name in print! It was all very exciting. Here, I also met Richard, the editor of Hertfordshire Life Magazine, where I would undertake work experience a few months later. This shows how important networking is in the industry.

Next, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine. I can’t really remember how I applied for ST Travel? I am sure I saw an email on Twitter looking for work experience placements. Side note, #journojobs is a good tag to look at on Twitter for jobs and work experience. I did two weeks here at the London Bridge Office. It was a bit of a whirlwind the first day. I was sat at a desk and told to write! Which in a way was an excellent task as it got my work out straight away but then the following week was more fact checking and overall not a lot of work for me. So, much of the second week was asking around for any old job. This may have just been unlucky for the time I was there as it was January. Who knows.

After this, I went back to Stevenage to work at Hertfordshire Life magazine. Perfect work commute. Five minute drive or a nice 40 minute walk! There was only two people on the editorial team at Hertfordshire Life and was really lovely to be able to have that one on one experience. They also had my best interests at heart and gave me important work to do straight away. I think this definitely makes your experience, when the team are looking out for you and making sure you get the best out of your time with them. Richard, the editor, put me straight on writing book reviews and also going through ways I can develop stories, as at this time I was still learning how to be a journalist. But, nevertheless, they put me forward for trying my hand at the bigger features including interviewing celebrities and putting together my own main feature for the magazine. Amazingly, my feature I did whilst there became the cover story and I now own about 10 of that issue ha ha. Thinking back, this was actually a really valuable work experience and they even bought me Easter chocolates and I was able to work from home. Happy days!

On to my favourite place where I have done work experience – High Life magazine. If I recommend one place to do work experience it is here at Cedar Communications. High Life is the in-flight magazine for British Airways and covers so many different topics from travel to fashion to food. Their offices are on The Strand, neighbours to the Savoy hotel. I did two weeks here again and worked with the editor, Andy Morris and the editorial assistant, Melissa. Similar to Hertfordshire Life magazine, they had my best interests at heart and made sure they were making the most of me. I had lots of work daily and I was kept busy, which I find very important for my work experience. I do not want to be sat there like a lemon! I wrote features, transcribed copy, tried to come up with ideas, interviewed Roisin Murphy, went to the PR events, overall it was my highlight in my work experience journey. I attained this place by emailing Andy himself, which I was able to get hold of through a speaker who came into my university. See the saying can be true – it is not always what you know, it is who you know.

That is all my previous work experience. As you can see all my experience so far is travel related as ultimately this is the area of journalism I wish to pursue a career within.

What I have found when trying to get work experience is that basically if you don’t ask, you don’t get. You just need to keep trying and putting yourself out there. Yes, it is scary and trust me I am a nervous wreck, I would say on the first day but I am nervous wreck for the whole two weeks. My mum can vouch for that. You just want to do your best and make sure you impress them. Really just go in relaxed and take any opportunity you can. Just go for it. At the end of the day, if this is something you really want and you put all your hard work into it, it has got to pay off surely? That is what I am hoping anyway…

Other ways to get work experience… Go Think Big are a good company and have magazines such as Grazia and Hello. Fashion Workie also has lots of jobs and work experience placements. Asking your lecturers at university so they can put you in touch with anyone. Magazines themselves sometimes have email addresses online or in their print issues for interns and work experience. Just keep your eyes peeled.

I will be posting more about my work experience/magazine journalist journey such as my published work, university work, university tips and so on. So, please follow and like my blog, Instagram and Facebook. Let me know if there is anything you would want to know about if this is something you are interested in or wish to share your work experience and perhaps we can exchange contacts.

Stories of 2019 #8: Why I Love Baths

‘Happiness is a long, warm bath after a tiring day.’

Wishing this was me // Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

I could not agree more with that quote. But my mum would have a different view. In this world, I think you are either a bath or a shower person. And whilst I do enjoy a quick hop in the shower, I do not think you can beat a nice hot bubble bath before bed. Although, I do hate it when I do it too hot and you are in there for max five minutes…

Now, as it is #nationalbubblebathday I am going to share with you where I buy my bath products for #bathgoals!

Portside Soap Company

Made in Hertfordshire, this little shop is bursting with uniquely designed, brightly coloured, delicious smelling bath bombs, body scrubs and shower gels. I love this company all their soaps are handmade, vegetarian and cruelty-free. They do deliver around the UK which is a bonus for those not based in Stevenage, where they are based in the Indoor Market.

Lush

I mean everyone knows Lush, don’t they? As you speak about Lush you can smell the strong aroma of scents when you walk in the door and the friendly staff that pounce on you as soon as you first step foot into the stores. They are the holy-grail of bath bombs. Each season they bring out a variety of different products. This valentine they are even releasing an aubergine and peach emoji… Brilliant.

Zoella

She is the queen of baths. Her bathroom itself is enviable and then she adds her bath set up on top of this and she just has what looks like the most amazing soak! With this, she has her wide range of bath products that she sells at Superdrug. So, you can have a bath as enviable as her.

These are only the three brands I use for my baths. But there is so so so much out there that you can add to your bath to make it relaxing. Oils, bath bombs, salts, milks, you name it they have probably got it.

If you have any products you use, let me know in the comments below and I will add them into my bath routine.

Stories of 2019 #7: Early Bird Catches the Worm

‘Go to bed early and wake up early. The morning hours are good.’ – Jeff Bezos

Early mornings in my Body Shop headband // 07.01.2019

I have always, well every since I went to university, got up at 7am on the dot, made my coffee and porridge and settled down in a comfy spot to start my day. However, I would scroll through various social media to check at what everyone had been up to. Nothing very productive or good for me first thing in the day!

I have been inspired to change up my morning routine and adopt the ‘power hour’, a term coined by Adrienne Herbert. An inspirational lady whose story is worth reading about. If you follow her on Instagram you will see she wakes up at the bright and breezy time of 5:45am (!!). She claims that this is the most magical hour of the day. When you are up when the rest of the world is asleep, you can get a head start on your day.

Even though I was not doing much, I used to love waking up before the whole house at university and just having that moment for me. So, with it being the first Monday of the new year, I am not going to have ‘just a few more minutes’ after my alarm clock has gone or sit watching a YouTube video. I am going to wake up and do something for me and my goals, whether that be writing a blog, read a magazine or do some stretching.

Listening to the guests on Adreinne’s Power Hour podcast such as Ella Mills of Deliciously Ella and Fiona Murden, I have been inspired by the benefits they have achieved from the ‘power hour’. Well, Ella is one of the top plant-based blogs in the world, has a range of products and a deli in London… I mean any thing she is doing, I want to know.

With my alarm set of 6:30am, I ready to conquer the day!

Stories of 2019 #5: Podcast Recommendations

‘Podcasts embody what is arguably the essential promise of the Internet: a means for surprising, revealing, and above all ennobling encounters with people, things, and ideas we didn’t know.’ – Jonah Weiner

I use the Acast app to listen to podcasts for free // 04.01.2019

If you spend a lot of time with me (sometimes not even that), you will know I am practically an ambassador for PODCASTS! And if you do not listen to podcasts, where have you been?! You need to get on this. This could be your new thing in 2019. Whenever I see friends or family I either tell them a podcast they need to listen too or how great a podcast was I just engrossed in. Literally, it is an ever growing space at the moment, with new podcasts coming out each day. Sorry to Jessica Sansome who has a list of about… let me think… 50 billion!

Whether you like sport, culture, health and fitness, fashion or comedy. I just safely say, there is a podcast out there for you. I walk a lot and it is the perfect way to make my walk far more enjoyable, rather than listening to the same old playlist. I really enjoy listening to health and fitness, comedy and also, I love listening to podcasts that will teach me things for my careers.

With no further ado, here are my top seven podcasts I listen, love and recommend. And please, please, please, let me know if you listen to any of them or have any recommendations for me as I would love to have a listen.

  1. Talking Tastebuds

This one has to be the top podcast of all time. Mainly because I just love the host – Venetia Falconer. So, this podcast just adds to my fangirling ha ha. But this is a weekly interview podcast where Venetia and a special guest (including Lucy Watson, Gaz Oakley, Dolly Alderton) talk about all things food. Some guests are specialists and some are chefs, it is a real mix of people. Each discusses their thoughts behind food and wellbeing, as well as what food they eat, how they entered into this career, as well as their death row dinners. It is a really interesting listen. My favourite episode was Venetia’s Christmas special with Dr. Robin Hart, where they spoke about managing stress and anxiety at Christmas (plus his voice is the softest, most calming thing).

2. My Dad Wrote a Porno

Sounds a little weird, yes, I get that. But it is, basically, what it is called. The host Jamie Morton has found out that his dad, a.k.a Rocky has been writing erotic novels. You can only imagine how he would feel! After finding out, he felt it should be shared with his two friends, Alice Levine and James Cooper, as well as the rest of the world. And we are could not be happier because it is the funniest thing I have ever heard. I look like a crazy lady walking down the street as I am in fits of laughter whilst listening to this podcast. Give it a chance and I promise you, all you will be thinking is ‘oh my, what is going through this mans head!’

3. Happy Place

Fearne Cotton. Absolute babe. She interviews incredible people such as, Russell Brand, Dawn French and Matt Haig about life, love, loss and everything else. I really enjoy the way Fearne interviews each person and how all her guests share their journeys which are full of ups, downs and honesty. Plus, I love the little theme tune.

4. Deliciously Ella: The Podcast

Ella and her husband, Matthew Mills have bought us a podcast about the plant-based world and how this can benefit not only ourselves but also the planet. Not only this but they also discuss the realities behind the Deliciously Ella brand, whether that be the good or the bad, how they fit everything into their busy lives and how they became the one of the top vegan blogs in the world.

5. Table Manners with Jessie Ware

Directly from Jessie’s dinner table, well, or her mums, Jessie and Lennie bring in guests to have a taste of the food they have been cooking up and drink wine whilst discussing, well, pretty much anything. Whether they are from the music world or politics, this podcast is a mix of interesting topics with a touch of comedy. Especially, when there is small domestics between Jessie and her mum, Lennie over the stove.

6. The High Low

My two favourite journalists have only gone and bought out a podcast. Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton have created a weekly pop-culture and news podcast. Discussing everything from what they have been reading (I am always amazed by how much they read) to what people have been tweeting. If you want to keep up-to-date with what is happening in this world, this is the podcast for you.

7. On the Line with Estee Lalonde

So, I have found a theme here. If I am obsessed with them on Instagram and they bring out a podcast, I am the number 1 fan! And, my fashion favourite Estee also now has a podcast, which I am very happy about. She is such a cool girl and a complete girl gang ambassador. In her podcast, she discusses the shared experiences of women. It is like you are basically at a sleepover with your best friends talking about boys, dating, the pill, your sexuality, family. No topic is off the table! She includes specialist guests and listeners are able to call in and ask their questions.

PODCASTS I WANT TO LISTEN TOO: You’re Booked by Daisy Buchanan, Power Hour with Adrienne Herbert and The Glossy Project.

Now, stop reading this and get on the Acast, Apple or Podcast app and have a listen.

Stories of 2019 #4: Life Job Applying

“You’ll never please everyone, but you only have to please a few to get an offer.” – Harvey MacKay

Myself, apply for jobs. Featuring, M&S Horoscope mug // 3rd January 2019

The life of a graduate. Apply for a dream job of mine and do not even get shortlisted for an interview. It is safe to say I am a little bit disappointed but hey, clearly not the job for me.

I was embarrassed to share this with you but this is my story of 2019 and the job of searching for a job (or, at least finding some direction) is going to be the dominant story of my year. This is my space on the internet and others may be in the same situation of applying for jobs after university or needing a career change. So, I thought to share my journey may be of interest and this might show how having a Masters degree may not help you get a job as much as you would think. And, hey, I might be able to impart some words of wisdom later down the line. You never know, I am sure stranger things have happened!

When I watched Mary Poppins Returns before Christmas, I thought to myself how handy it would be to have my own Mary Poppins slightly leading you down the right track in life, as, at the moment, I am slightly off roading ha ha. I did seek to read my yearly horoscope for 2019, in the hope it will shed some light. And I know as you read this, you are probably thinking, oh no she only bloody believes in her horoscope! But yes, yes I do or I at least hope in some way it is true(ish).

Anyway, on to the next application…