Monday, 6 April 2015

Tips for becoming a journalist from a trainee reporter

I realise I am extremely lucky to be able to say I'm currently in my dream job at the age of 22. It was first 'real job' - besides a brief stint as a waitress and time spent in retail - and I somehow managed to get my foot on the journalism ladder before I'd even graduated. 

In terms of my job, I still believe it was a case of being in the right place at the right time. In case you don't know... I started out on a six-week paid placement at the Nottingham Post in July. This was then extended for an extra month, and another month, then another six months, until in January I was offered a permanent position.

I was offered the initial placement after going for an interview to be a digital journalist at a new publication the paper was setting up. Despite technically being successful, the job fell through, but luckily I managed to secure the work experience.

I see numbers of work experience students coming through our doors daily, and I can remember the struggle and stress of realising university was soon ending and I needed a job. I could've stayed at Boots, but I knew that wasn't what I truly wanted to be doing.

So around this time last year, before I'd finished handing in my assignments, I started applying for jobs. When it comes to sending in your CV and covering letter, you need to tailor them to every job. It's time consuming, but it's definitely worth it. Make sure you show off your current skills and knowledge, and let the company know how you can benefit them.

In terms of where you should be looking for available positions. I'd recommend these websites:
Local World
Johnston Press
Journo Grads
Diary Directory
And remember - don't ever stop yourself from applying for a job because you don't think you're good enough or have enough experience. There is no harm in sending in an application.

I understand it's hard to get a job in journalism unless you have experience. My experience was my blog, plus a two-week placement at a magazine. But despite this, I understand the importance of getting yourself into an office environment. My first day at the Post wasn't that great at all as I had no idea what to expect due to my lack of experience. But luckily the editors were willing to work with me.

Secondly, whether you're a fresher, handing in your dissertation or are about to embark on a work placement, make sure you work hard. Journalism isn't a glamorous job - there are definitely perks - but it's mostly long hours and stress. The industry is extremely cut throat and filled to the brim with deadlines. And if you don't have passion, organisational skills or a good work ethic, you'll struggle.

Also it's worth working on your contact's list. After 10 months, mine is now nearly bursting at the seams but to start with it was awful having to ask the other reporters for their contacts. Writing a story is a lot easier when you know exactly who you should be speaking to and that by giving them a phone call they'll give you the comment you're after.

And finally, we're in the midst of the digital age so brushing up on your web skills is a must. They don't need to be extensive, but learning how to use Facebook, Twitter, Hootsuite and content management platforms and also teaching yourself SEO is beneficial. If you can, HTML is worth knowing too.

If you have any questions, or would like further advice then do contact me! Although I do realise I'm still very new to the industry and have a lot to learn.

It's best to either use or

Do you want to be a journalist?

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Life lately - where I've been

This is definitely the longest I've gone without writing on my blog, and I thought it was about time I did a little update. Since we last spoke I have turned 22, bought a new car, officially became a trainee reporter for the Nottingham Post (and interviewed McBusted), booked my first holiday abroad without my parents and got myself the loveliest boyfriend. As you can tell a lot has happened and sadly while I've managed to find the perfect work/life balance, this blog has taken a back seat. 

I'm not saying I'm going to stop writing on here because I'm not. Although I write for a living, sometimes it's nice to get my own thoughts out on paper, instead of other people's. It'll just be less frequent - probably once a month - and more lifestyle focused, rather than beauty.

What have you been up to over the past month?

Sunday, 11 January 2015

My current skin care routine incl. Korres, Superfacialist, Indeed Labs,Estee Lauder, Origins, Clinique and Nip + Fab

Hello! I hope you're all well? It's been a while, hasn't it. Safe to say that a lot has happened since my last post. First of all, it's my 22nd birthday today. It's been a lovely day, except my car has pretty much broke. But it's bittersweet because I'm going to be getting a new one. I'd been planning to get one anyway (because I've been taken on permanently at the Nottingham Post - I'm now a trainee reporter... Told you it'd been an exciting couple of weeks).

Anyway, this is without a doubt my favourite post to write - even though they don't seem to pop up that often. I used to be one of those people who tried absolutely everything PRs sent me. My skin is quite temperamental and I've suffered with spots and scarring for around nine years now, so I should've known better. Over the past three-or-so months, I've stuck to a skin care routine religiously and it's almost hard to believe how much my skin has loved me for it.  

I've tried them all - balms, milks, gels - but I always come back to this cleansing oil. When it comes to make up removal, it's safe to say I'm an oil-person. This one by Superfacialist immediately melts away make up, leaves the skin feeling silky smooth and best of all? It smells like oranges. It's very affordable, and it's almost always on offer.

I'm still on the look out for a perfect face wash and at the moment I'm mixing between these two (And the Good Things Manuka Honey Creamy Cleanser, which I think is going to make it in my skin care routine full time). The Korres Cleanser is a real treat to use and the exfoliating elements completely banishes any dry patches and leaves my skin feeling exceptionally soft. 

I'm still not sure about this one. It's definitely a treat to use and a proper bargain but I think it might be a bit too heavy for my skin. It's a thick cream that's great for removing any last scraps of make up and eliminating dry patches, but I can only use it a couple of times a week when my skin is feeling extra parched and in need of a bit of love. 

Serums and treatments
As I've mentioned, I have combination skin which means it's oily in places, yet dehydrated and I'm prone to dry patches. I use either this Moisture Jelly or the Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Facial Serum* - £24.99 in the morning before I apply my moisturiser. I'm undecided on which one I prefer as of yet but they both leave my skin feeling hydrated throughout the day.

I've used this for many years now, but I've never invested in a bottle - it's always been sachets. But my dad bought it me for Christmas and I'm obsessed. This is a miracle in a bottle. It does everything you'd possible want a skin care item to do, and more. It's pricey, but an absolute gem and something I'll continue to repurchase because it works wonders on scarring.

I've been switching between this and the Origins GinZing eye cream for a while but I've finally settled on this one from Superfacialist. Despite its more affordable price tag, it's a lot better. It instantly awakens the eye area, keeps it moisturised and perfectly preps your peepers for eye make up.

Epiduo Gel - prescription only
I used to have severely blemished skin but now my hormones have settled down, it's rare that I get spots. I probably get a couple every month or so, if that. I use this gel whenever I feel a corker coming on and it immediately stops it in its tracks. I must also mention the Yasmin pill because that's helped my skin no end. 

Origins Ginzing Moisturizer - £23.00
I bought this on a whim with my first proper wage and I'm very glad I did. First of all, it smells delicious. And yes, that's the reason why I first purchased it. It's a gel consistency that instantly sinks into the skin and leaves it hydrated, balanced and soft. It's been a saviour throughout the winter as it's lightweight enough to use under foundation, yet moisturising enough to eliminate my dry patches.

Clinique Turnaround Overnight Radiance Moisturizer - £36.00
This is quite new to my collection and sadly I've fallen in love with it. I say sadly because it is being discontinued (or reformulated) but I'm sure the new version will be even better. It's a dream to use and I wake up to beautifully radiant skin. I haven't been using it long enough to comment on the affect it's having on my scarring, but I can't fault it at the moment. 

What products do you use in your skin care routine?
*PR Sample

Friday, 2 January 2015

Reflecting on 2014, and looking forward to the next 12 months

My first blog post of 2015 was supposed to be my current skin care routine - but seeing as I'm currently laid in bed, off work and ill, I decided I would reflect on the past year. It's been a strange one; the past 12 months have been dominated by some of the most amazing moments of my life, and for me personally it's been a successful one.

After three years hard graft, lots of partying and a whole host of fun, I somehow managed to graduate with a first class honours degree in journalism. Looking back to my first year, I never imagined I'd get a first. I completed both my first years with a 2:1, and I was always set to get that grade. But somehow towards the end I managed to pull it out of the bag and get the highest mark possible. I couldn't be happier with what I achieved at university.

It's still hard for me to believe I'm a real life reporter. I see my byline in the paper almost everyday and it's still crazy. I can't believe that I got my dream job before I'd even graduated. I go to sleep excited to go to work. It's stressful, it's hard and it's long hours, but I wouldn't change a thing. I could talk about my job all day long - but I don't want to bore you. However if you are thinking about going down the journalism route and would like a post on tips, let me know.

When you grow older you learn that it isn't about the amount of friends you have - it's the quality. I'd say I have four best friends: my sister, her best friend, and two of my friends from university. Although I don't get to see them as often as I like, I know they're always going to be there for me and I can't thank them enough. Staying in touch is hard when you all work full time, but if it's something you manage to do, and you make time for them, you know they're keepers. When I was going through my break up my two friends from university couldn't physically be there for me, but despite that they still had a massive presence in my life at that time. 

I ended this year happy and content with myself. Since being a teenager my confidence seems to have plummeted an awful lot, year by year. I actually think being cheated on was one of the best things to happen to me. It wasn't nice at the time, but it put things into perspective and I'm a very strong and independent person because of it. It made me learn a lot about myself, and I finally feel comfortable with who I am.

I ended 2014 in the best way possible. I wasn't partying away and I wasn't getting hammered. In fact I was drinking Coca Cola and eating a korma with someone quite special. And I hope the happiness I'm feeling right now continues on in the next year. So, Happy New Year Bamboozle Beauty readers. This year will be my fifth year as a blogger, so let's make it a good one. 

How was your 2014?

Thursday, 25 December 2014

My favourite beauty products in 2014: Bourjois, Paco Rabanne, Estee Lauder

L-R Peach Club, Nude-ist, Happy Nude Year

Hello! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas? I certainly did. I decided to pick out three of my favourite beauty products from this year. In terms of beauty, the past 12 months have been good to me. I've experimented, invested and discovered lots of brands (my favourite being KIKO). The biggest 'thing' for me has to be my skin care routine. I'm comfortable with it and it's doing me a lot of good. I'll be uploading a post on that soon. But for now, enjoy! 

No matter how many foundations I try I always end up going back to this one. It provides buildable medium to full coverage, lasts all day, balances the skin nicely and applies evenly. It's very dreamy and I doubt I'll move on to another foundation any time soon.

My sister bought me this perfume for my graduation and I'm very thankful. It's without a doubt my favourite scent but because it's pricey it's something I've never purchased myself. Now I don't think I'll be able to be without it. Paco Rabanne knows how to do fragrance - they're all delicious. 

These lipsticks have changed the game. I've always found lipsticks tricky because they tend to cling to dry patches and be high maintenance, but these ones are a dream. They're pigmented, long lasting, creamy and the most beautiful finish. I have four in my collection (I didn't photograph the red one, but you can see a swatch here) and I know I'll soon own the entire range.

What products have you loved this year?
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