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That Student Media Life

Alrighty, folks, it's been a while since I've blogged, but if you've been following me on social media you'll know I've been keeping myself busy. I'm back at the University of Newcastle studying a Master of Creative Industries (Marketing) online after finishing from my Bachelor of Creative Industries (Writing and Publishing). After my year with Yak Media, I realised that marketing was what I wanted to get into as a career - because let's be honest, the likelihood I can survive of my earnings as a writer are slim, so most of us writers need a day job, and why not have one in a field you love?

Yak's IGM 2020
Yak's IGM 2020

Since I was returning to UON, I decided to hang around Yak Media for another year. I was already working with the 2019 Promo Team to transform Yak into an independent student media publication, and being around to see it through has been a rewarding experience after the hours we volunteered over the break to put it all together. Plus, on February 28, at Yak's Inaugural General Meeting to formally separate from the University of Newcastle's communication department, I was officially elected in to become their next Managing Editor. I'll be spending the next year with my managing teammates Ryan Reece (Public Relations Coordinator), Leanne Elliot (Deputy Managing Editor), and Josie Small (Financial Officer/Promo Team Member) to help bring UON the new Yak. While I'm not specifically working on promotions anymore, my new role entails further skill development in writing, publishing, and editorial, in addition to managing all aspects of the publication and team.

Meanwhile, I have also taken on the volunteer position of Public Relations Officer at The Monthly OPUS. I manage their social media channels and occasionally help out with mag content and design. And yes, I still write for them. I am loving having the opportunity to play around their platforms to help spread the word about what is the oldest media publication at UON while experimenting with promotional techniques to further develop my skills and expertise. In addition, I am now the Student Communications Officer at NUPSA where I'll be helping out a few hours a month writing monthly newsletter content for postgraduates at UON (along with a few other tasks). NUPSA is the postgraduate student association that's free for all UON postgrads to get involved with, either by using their resources, attending their events, or contributing to their monthly newsletter.

Student media is great for developing your skillsets and yes, boosting your resume. Regularly contributing or even managing a publication (and let's extend that to clubs/societies as well), gives you leadership qualities and skills that simply studying in a classroom cannot give you, as well as helps you develop a portfolio to show to your future employers that you know what you're talking about when it comes to your area of expertise. Learning how to make budgets isn't the same as putting them into practice and seeing how they work in a real-life situation; risk assessments covering 'minor' occurrences may seem tedious, but just you wait until that 'highly unlikely, near impossible' risk actually comes to life. These are just some of the examples that putting your knowledge into practice can deeper your understanding and assist in making you workforce ready. That's on top of your snazzy portfolio to show your future employer, proving you know what you're talking about when it comes to your area of expertise.

If you're a student interested in developing your portfolio, I recommend getting involved and checking out your campus student media publications - and don't leave it until your final year if you can avoid it. If you're really passionate about your field, get in early and show that dedication! AT UON OPUS takes submissions for online content year-round, as well as has deadlines for magazine issues. Yak takes on new recruits from O-Week and has a social membership for those who'd like to 'dip' their feet in the content curation. NUPSA accepts monthly themed submissions by all postgraduates. And SWAMP Writing has themed-issues of prose and poetry by postgraduates, its deadlines various.

There are plenty of opportunities for you to develop your portfolio, and while most of them do unfortunately require you to volunteer your time, it'll be worth it in the long run.

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