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A week in the life of a work experience student at J&PR
22 Jul 2022
Arabella Gennard Gardner has been one of our many work experience students this year at J&PR. As she has wrapped up her week, she has also reflected on her time here and the skills she has developed.

Here’s what she had to say:

Going into a new work environment can always be daunting, but here at J&PR I received a warm welcome from the get go.

Tell us a bit about yourself!

I am a 22 year old from Bridgnorth and I have been studying journalism at university for three years. 

I am now at Sheffield Hallam University, but originally I studied at the University of Wolverhampton. After studying from home during COVID, I was desperate to get out of the house, so I decided to transfer to Sheffield to finish my degree. 

Currently, I am back home with my parents but I am also in the process of moving to Manchester within the next month or so.

How was your experience studying from home during lockdown?

It actually made me far more focused, as I was away from any distractions. But, that’s not to say that it didn’t get tedious towards the end. 

My biggest challenge was not being able to communicate with my lecturers as clearly. I never realised how important eye contact and body language is within learning until it was gone.

How did you secure your work experience at J&PR?

I went to school with Sophie and she got in touch with me in January after seeing some of my work on social media, and asked if I would like to come in and get to know the workplace a bit more. 

Of course, I was ecstatic, so the answer was an immediate yes. I had seen Sophie love her time here at J&PR for the last two and a half years, so I had no doubt I would love it, too. 

What made you want to do work experience?

As a journalism student, I am eager to get some industry experience that involves blogging and digital marketing under my belt, so this previous week has been perfect for me. 

On Monday morning as I rang the doorbell for J&PR, I was nursing an array of emotions. I was extremely nervous, but luckily that feeling was outweighed by excitement and ambition. 

The second I sat down at the desk I had been assigned to, all my nerves fizzled away and the reality of a whole new experience kicked in. I was absolutely over the moon.

I also think it is important to meet people who have more experience than yourself, as it is a really good way to motivate you and also keep your eye on the prize.

What have you enjoyed most about your work experience?

I have absolutely loved hearing about other people’s experiences and what they have achieved. Dani has some great stories which have been very entertaining.

This week has also really helped with my confidence as it has helped me get out of my comfort zone and try new tasks that I may have avoided before. I think confidence is a key factor when it comes to becoming a great journalist. 

Being around people who have far more experience than I do is also really useful as there is plenty of jargon I can now pick up on and understand, rather than feeling in the dark.

I also got to see Kirsty’s portfolio of her first newspaper cuttings from when she was a crime correspondent! There were some strong headlines and exclusives in there!

What is your next move?

I have one more year of uni, so I will finish that and also keep blogging in my free time to keep my head in the game and improve my writing. 

My next year of university has modules I am most looking forward to such as ‘moral panics’, ‘magazine creation’ and ‘magazine publication’. So, this coming year should be where I flourish the most. 

Then, after graduation, I will search for some journalistic jobs at fashion and lifestyle magazines and then eventually head towards world domination - no big deal!