If you’re in your final year at university, it’s time to think about applying for graduate jobs, like it or not.
It may only be October, but there’s no time to waste hiding under your duvet – journalism graduate schemes start opening already and it’s time to start applying.
Journalism Grad Schemes
Perhaps seen as the pinnacle of journalism graduate jobs, journalism grad schemes have already started opening for applications at papers and stations up and down the country.
Getting onto a grad scheme is pretty hefty work and a massive achievement, so if you are planning on throwing your hat into the ring it’s best to plan ahead and try and make your application stand out.
Thankfully, you can find a full list of every journalism graduate scheme going, exclusively on the SPA website, so you can plan ahead for those important ones.
We also offer a reminder service too, which will ping you an email about upcoming schemes on the 20th of every month. We’ll also drop you a line one week and 24 hours before big schemes close.
As we’ve said though, getting onto a graduate scheme is pretty tough, and to be quite honest, not always the best option.
If you are going to go for it though do make sure to plan in advance and give yourself ample time to do forms. As a general rule, it will probably take about three times as long as you think it will.
Make sure to smarten up your online presence (though you should always keep a bit of personality in there), present yourself with a stellar portfolio, some solid work experience and find yourself a niche. Whether it’s Formula 1 or social media, get yourself a specialism and stick to it.
It’s also worth remembering that editors aren’t going to be looking for hefty comment pieces on how to improve the situation in Syria – they’d much rather you got stuck in and produced some meaningful local journalism that shows you really get your audience and have the ideas and get go to succeed.
If you are lucky enough to get an interview, it’s always worth checking out Glassdoor, where thousands of people leave reviews of their experiences of the hiring process.
Finally it’s always worth asking for advice, tracking down a few previous successful applicants will be able to shed much more than light than we can on how they got to where they are.
The other option…
While it’s true to say graduate schemes are undeniable amazing opportunities, there is a whole other world out there of very successful people who took a different route.
Consider setting up your own business, applying directly for trainee roles or looking at paid internships. We often mail out the best graduate jobs and paid opportunities too, so you should still totally sign up for our newsletter.
The SPA is also a great way to network with important people – okay, we know, we would say that, but seriously get involved.
To give you a bit of non-graduate scheme inspiration, why not see how some of our current officers are doing?
Jem Collins, Chair & Video Journalist at KMTV
“I was doing a journalism degree but wanted real life experience so started getting involved in student media. I became editor of my paper and then came into the SPA, which I’m now chair of (that still feels weird to say) and as well as giving me my best friends, has given me the contacts to get my next job.”
Megan Downing, Membership and Comms Officer & Digital Intern at MTV
“Talking about the work experience I have done (at NME & Woman’s Weekly) helped me during the interview for MTV, but as this was my first ever job interview I didn’t really have any experience with what to talk about. Overall I think if I hadn’t done so much with student media I wouldn’t have been confident enough to even go for a job at MTV, let alone get the job”
Bree Allegretti, Digital Media Officer & Reporter at Huffington Post
“My key bit of advice would be – Twitter. Know it, love it, breath it. The social network is a journalist’s best resource, and is filled with other reporters who are all following and talking to each other. Share links to articles written by those you admire, talk to them and you’ll eventually become part of the bubble it is so hard to permeate. Also, never write ‘aspiring’ journo in your bio!”