Annie DarlingJournalism Undergraduate
The true benefits of studying journalism at City are felt long after you graduate.
What do you do now? What do you enjoy about what you do?
I'm responsible for the in-depth lifestyle and cultural articles that are published in the UAE's leading monthly fashion magazine. Although our publication is primarily fashion-focused, I love how diverse and varied my job is. I'm able to explore, research and write about a variety of topics and this has always been important to me because I've always been very interested in current affairs. It's intellectually stimulating, engaging and informative; all of which are reasons why I pursued a journalism career.
What path have you taken to get there? Were there any particular areas of interest that lead to you specialising?
After graduating I wanted to report on news and politics for national, regional and local press. I even accepted a job at a local newspaper so I could start working up the career ladder in the hope of becoming a broadcast news journalist. However, a few days afterwards I was approached by a Dubai-based contract publisher who offered me an exciting and attractive opportunity to live abroad and fast track my career.
Why did you choose to study at City, University of London and how has it helped you?
When I first started looking into universities in 2010, I soon found that City’s journalism course gives students all the necessary skills, confidence and experience that's needed to enjoy a successful career in the media. In my opinion, the department’s unrivalled thanks to its wide-ranging and in-depth modules, exceptional facilities and the university’s excellent location. Its phenomenal reputation is recognised throughout the world, which I’ve found to be useful when networking and applying for vacancies. Although I enjoyed my course and reaped those rewards while studying at City, the true benefits of studying journalism at this institution are felt long after you graduate.
What did you enjoy most about your course?
I studied in Boston for one year as a part of the university's student exchange programme. Being able to live abroad as a student was absolutely incredible and I have no doubt this experience has already been a deciding factor for many employers when they've compared my CV to other applicants. I also enjoyed using the high-tech facilities in City’s journalism department, which have been completely updated and enhanced. Not only are students exceptionally well educated academically, but practically as well.
What was the hardest part of your course?
At times I found it difficult to balance my course with other responsibilities and placements I took on outside of university. It’s essential that aspiring journalists gain as much work experience as possible while at university and I took this very seriously. Finding that balance was challenging, but thankfully lecturers were often very understanding and supportive.
What are your plans for the future?
I hope to remain in Dubai for the foreseeable future, with the intention of returning to the UK having accumulated a wealth of experience, abilities and skills that'll put me ahead of my counterparts. Until then, I plan to enjoy the sunshine and strengthen my company's already sterling reputation.
If you could give one piece of advice to a prospective City BA Journalism student, what would it be?
To never underestimate the value of work experience and travel. I’d also advise students to embrace university as an exciting opportunity for them to gain some independence and enjoy themselves. Although university life can be daunting and challenging, it’s also a precursor to your career. It’s important that you’re able to strike the right balance between your academic studies and personal life.