Post Journalism Exam and Interview

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This week marks an incredibly sad point of my blogging existence, as it is the first week since I began, that I have not blogged on Tuesday. Sometimes life gets in the way and I can honestly say that it was for a very good reason which I will write about next week.

But on a happier note, I GOT IN TO THE UNIVERSITY OF KENT! I was told at my interview that I would hear back in a week and it was not until the evening of the last day that I found out I was offered a place. I have now been offered a place at all four of my choices which I am extremely grateful for but am still undecided as to which will be my top 2.

My trip occurred as follows:

Because I live quite a distance from Kent, we decided to travel down the day before as my University day began at 9:30 the following morning and with a limited amount of sleep, I do not think I would have been able to function. Once we arrived at a hotel, just a five minute walk from the University, we visited the nearby down of Rochester. For those of you that are not familiar with the area (which is probably everyone) the site where the Centre of Journalism is based is in a town called Chatham, to sum up the feel for the place here is a fitting quote from the Urban Dictionary :

Chav: Someone from Chatham

It is the kind of town that if you were walking through a street, you would carry some mint spray and hope your non-existent karate skills would help you survive. The University itself consists of beautiful red brick buildings and a safe atmosphere, alongside the nearby marina with a whole host of restaurants and a cinema. But Chatham is a no-go. My mum suggested, for my peace of mind, that we go galavanting in Rochester which is only a 10 minute drive from the campus.

Rochester is a cosy, oldy worldly town filled with a plethora of independent stores and a historic castle as well as a train station which means you have access to quick transport to larger cities.

The following morning, I arrived at the campus for my applicant day where I would first sit my pre-entry exam. Months of revision and hardwork boiled down to this test and I decided that even if the University wasn’t for me, I still had to pass the exam out of principle. Thankfully this paid off and the current affairs questions were much more generous than they had been in recent years, and I somehow achieved 71%. If only it constituted as part of my A-Levels. The other two applicants were incredibly lovely and seemed just as apprehensive as I had, and it felt strange to think that they could be my friends in a years time, providing we all studied at Kent.

After the the exam, we had a portion of spare time before our tour by some of the current students so we picked up a newspaper (naturally I picked The Guardian) and just settled down to read which gave the process a much more relaxed nature. The tour by the students was inciteful and we learned a lot more about the student life and a fact that the Drill Hall Library was the longest library in Europe. I do love a good library.

As part of the day, we also had an opportunity to host a 30 second news snippet where we each had to read autocue and be a “presenter” on the show. We were told that if were successful in being accepted, a memory stick with the clip would be sent to us and it was delivered to me yesterday. When you graduate, they will collate all of our years clips to show how far we have come since our daunting day and already I am dreading it. My face looks ghostly pale and I stumble on a few words, but hey-ho I’m an amateur.

The last part of the day was the dreaded interview and it was not easy. My interviewer had in his hand my printed UCAS application  with all of my past grades, predicted grades, references and my personal statement. Despite having the confidence that I had nothing to hide on that sheet and I did not embellish any stories, not knowing what he thought of it was terrifying. He asked me questions about what newspapers I read and what radio shows I had not listened to, my political views and I proceeded to ramble to the point where I told him that both my mother and nana had voted to remain. I rambled and talked about pointless things and finished every point I made with “and yeah” followed by a silence. To make up for my awful conduct and to save face, I handed him my portfolio of some of my best work which included many blog posts. This seemed to make a difference so I would definitely recommend bringing one to an interview if you are thinking of studying journalism.

Feeling quite low about my performance, I then left the office and I saw one of the applicants outside. He then (metaphorically) punched me in the gut when he told me that his interviewer had told him he had an offer right there on the spot. However, I now know that so do I but at the time I was feeling deflated and felt guilty that my family had travelled all this way for nothing.

The moral of this anecdote is that you should remain positive. I passed the test and must not have flunked the interview so badly that they didn’t want to give me a place.  Not every interview I go to will be successful but as long as you “try your best” and keep a smile on your face while it is happening, you can at least say that you couldn’t have done any better.

Emily Simms: 16:18 (A day late)






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