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WORK experience is often a useful introduction to the real world of work – and sometimes a job. Bearsted graduate, BELLA FISH, tells the story of her placements

ahead of a post-graduate course in journalism…

IT WAS during university, I decided that I wanted to go into a journalism-based career, but I soon realised that I didn't have very much experience in the field to be 100% certain.

After speaking to some of my lecturers at Oxford Brookes, they advised me to apply for a few different work internships to ensure that I was going to begin the right career path.

So, I began to apply for a mixture of work experience in London, such as copywriting. After much research and what seemed like hundreds of applications, I was finally accepted onto a few internships. I was really surprised to find that Sky Sports, The Times newspaper and Take a Break magazine, had responded to me within a couple of days, inviting

me to spend several weeks at each of their London-based departments.

My time at all three companies provided me with very different opportunities, but I was given the chance to experience various different journalistic roles. I was able to provide the copy for some of the features and also help out with the social media pages. Whilst at Sky Sports I particularly enjoyed shadowing presenters Rob Wootton and Rachel Wyse, where I was given a first-hand insight into what goes on behind our television scenes and how a broadcast team functions efficiently.

During my final few weeks of university I received a call from my local newspaper, The Downs Mail, who kindly said that I would be able to have work experience with them, too. After just less than an hour in

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the office I felt a lot more comfortable being in a more close- knit environment.

From the first day, I was out reporting, copywriting, helping with social media and being asked for input with the newspaper. It didn't take long to notice how much more involved and hands-on you can be at a slightly smaller company. I would highly recommended starting from a smaller/local workplace environment - in any business! Throughout the past year, I have discovered just how important work experience is. Whether you want to stay in education or to get a job it shows people that you've thought about what you want to do and that you have a realistic idea of what working life is like.

The more experience you can get before you apply for your first full-time job, the better.

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