Having been out of full time education for over two years and living back home with my parents for the last one, returning to the all too cosy world of university invokes a mixture of emotions.
On the one hand, I seem to have slipped back under the warm duvet of learning as readily as on a hungover Sunday morning. On the other, I can’t help but feel peripherally unnerved by the fact that my LinkedIn profile currently reads ‘no current position’ for the first time since I created it.
I retreated into education, among other reasons, to escape the perversely intimidating world of professionalism which, as I have come to discover, my body seems to actively reject by either gaining weight faster than a pre-season sumo, or by stolidly refusing to make proper toilet.
Even so, although I am relieved to have bought myself another year before being once again forced to board the 9-6 wage slave train, there’s still a little voice in the back of my mind (a bit like Rob Bryden’s ‘man in a box’) quietly wailing ‘GET A JOB! GET A JOB! YOU’RE ALMOST 24! GET A JOB!’
It is, then, at least partially reassuring that my course in MA Multimedia Journalism has an involved vocational component. The University of Sussex provides the degree in cooperation with Brighton Journalist Works (BJW), which is a professional journalism trainee centre based at The Argus – Brighton’s local newspaper. At BJW, we study to achieve our NCTJ qualification – the nationally recognised qualification for professional journalists – which includes such practical modules as shorthand and news writing.
The upshot of this is that we leave the programme not only with an internationally recognised Master’s, but also with more bespoke, vocational skills. This is the only way I could justify returning to education, seeing as my undergraduate degree in law left me not much better off than flat on my arse just outside Exeter in a puddle of tears.
And so, I embark upon university 2.0 with an increased optimism than I’ve learned from my mistakes and have made the correct decision. This blog will hopefully give some idea of what to expect for anyone interested in entering the profession, whilst also being an outlet for the inevitable woes and wonders that are surely destined to befall.
Watch this space.