By KEITH ELLIOTT
There is nothing to beat learning on the job. Nowadays nearly every sports journalism degree on offer makes work experience a compulsory part of the course.
And if it is a training course you are after, then interviewers are likely to be far more impressed if you have demonstrated your determination with some time spent in the work place.
Internships can be hugely beneficial too, but be wary of any company who appears to offer limitless schemes and who is unwilling to at least pay expenses. There are employers out there who regard interns as cheap labour.
If in doubt, we encourage you to get in touch with us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will endeavour to help.
So, some pointers once you walk through the door of a sports department.
- It may be the oldest cliché in the book, but you have to be proactive
- Volunteer for everything you can
- Suggest articles, come up with ideas
Stuff like this makes you memorable and separates you from the hordes of other work experience students seeking employment in an increasingly competitive market.
These days most national newspapers, and large organisations like BBC, talkSPORT Sky, or BT Sport have work experience schemes.
Think local. Radio station, newspaper, media offices of sporting clubs (football, rugby, cricket). Media departments have been the growth industry of sports journalism in recent years and many of you will end up working in them.
If you have a specific sports speciality in mind, try governing bodies, specialist magazines and websites – niche speciality knowledge can sometimes be a way in.
Do not be afraid to pester lecturers who have been working journalists for their contacts in the industry. In this day and age there is no excuse not to get some sort of work experience.
Last, but by no means least, try to find a vehicle for your blogs, your podcasts, your video stories. There are lots of websites out there and not all of them are fly-by-night!