For many students, the final semester of university is daunting. You’re left wondering what you are going to do once your last assignment is submitted.
Will you get your dream job?
Will you be successful in your chosen industry?
What will you do with the rest of your life?
Marnie Cohen is 24 years old, completed her Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) in 2017 at Deakin University in Melbourne and is now a cadet journalist for the Daily Telegraph in Sydney.
For all the journalism and communications students who are struggling with the thought of world outside university, Cohen has plenty of handy advice for you post university.
“My practical advice would be never say no. There was one period last year I was doing two official internships, writing for a football blog and writing for Dscribe as a part of uni.
“I said yes to doing all of those things and about five weeks in I realised I couldn’t keep up and I took a step away from the one I was least enjoying. But at least I gave it a go and that’s what I’d encourage everyone to do.
“One night I said yes to staying back half an hour to organise an interview (for The Geelong Advertiser) and next thing I knew I was going to interview Patrick Dangerfield on my day off and a preview of the story made the front page that weekend. Little things will go a long way.
“In terms of emotional advice all I can say to you is, there is a spot in the industry for every young journalist who wants it bad enough,” she said.
“I put in the hard yards for a very long time and although it took a while, I have come out at the end with a cracking job in my dream field” – Marnie Cohen
It’s known in the media that journalism is a tough industry to crack which can by worrying for beginning or currently studying or looking to work in the field. For potential employers to be impressed with you, Cohen talks how she built her portfolio.
“Six months ago I would have breakdown after breakdown that I couldn’t find something in the field. Now that I am here in Sydney and my mum constantly reminds me of that.
“It can be really daunting at times because I would speak to someone and their immediate reaction would be, ‘oh… journalism is a dying industry, you won’t be able to get a job’.
“I was thinking about how many internships I could juggle at once and was there anything more I could do to get my name out there. You have to do all of this while trying to balance a part time job, studies and family but that all really comes together for that main goal of landing a job,” Cohen said.
With Cohen’s passion for writing and wanting to succeed in the journalism industry, she found herself with a Quill nomination representing Deakin University and The Geelong Advertiser. That goes to show, with hardwork and determination you can accomplish what you dream of doing.
— Marnie Cohen (@marniecohen) March 1, 2018
“I think it’s natural for young journalists to put a lot of pressure on themselves and potentially doubt themselves and their work because the standard of the industry is so high.
“I had no idea I was even nominated for the Quill until someone I worked with at the Geelong Advertiser sent me a congratulatory message and I was so confused I had to Google the press release with all the nominations. The awards night was great and I felt like a winner just being there surrounded by the best in the business. I am proud of myself and the work I put forward,” Cohen said.
For what it’s worth, don’t let any opportunities slip away. Cohen has worked tirelessly over the years and she jumped at the chance to move interstate for her career. Her position at the Daily Telegraph is the first place someone has paid her for her writing in seven years.
“Every single thing I have ever published, whether it be online, printed in the paper, video or audio was all voluntarily done in my own time.”
“Not everything worked out the way I planned however it has all lead me here. I had never lived more than half an hour out of the Melbourne CBD my entire life, so the thought of moving to a regional or rural town for a job freaked me out so much.
“I was happy to move interstate, I understand that’s most likely part of the job however I was really focused on landing something big straight away.”
“I am incredibly fortunate that the Daily Telegraph hired me and instilled faith in me to do this job and do it well but it didn’t come easy. There was still a lot of hard work involved,” she said.
Cohen is living proof that aspiring journalists can have the chance out in the real world in the industry. From starting her own blog in 2011 called ‘The North Melbourne Opinion‘ at 17 years old and being able to establish herself through the likes of twitter, her passion for writing has only continued to grow and develop.
“Since then it has just grown and I have always found a way to incorporate my interests with my writing.”