How joining Forge Press changed my future career

Back when I was in sixth form, anxiously shifting through a mountain of university prospectus trying to decide which university was for me; I had no idea what I wanted to do with my future career.

All I knew was that I loved politics. I lived and breathed it. I used to read all the newspapers, watch all the political shows and share tonnes of online posts and blogs about recent political events.

Despite this, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I knew I was fascinated by the idea of politics and wished to study it further, but I didn’t want to pursue it as a future career. In the back of my mind I thought that maybe I could do the law conversion course (Graduate Diploma in Law) and become a lawyer or do the Postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) and become a teacher but neither of them really lit the spark inside of me.

During the blurry daze of fresher’s week, I remember attending the activities fair. I must have signed up for at least 50 societies that I have never attended since, ranging from the tea society to online gaming as well as the historical reenactment society. I didn’t really think at that moment in time that joining one of these societies would give me the inspiration of what I wanted to do in life, but then I saw Forge Press.

Forge Press was the only society that really stuck out to me on that day. For those of you who don’t know, Forge Press is the University of Sheffield’s student newspaper that was founded in 1950 as DARTS. I signed up for it like I did for many societies but that was the only one I actively liked. After getting back to my accommodation in Endcliffe, I read previous articles online, I researched the history of the paper and made a clear mental note of the date of the first contributor meeting, sandwiched between my course welcome meeting and give it a go barista training.

I attended the first contributor meeting and put my name forward to write an article about comedian Russell Brand and his appearance on Question Time. I got to interview one of the professors in my department Professor Matthew Flinders about Brand’s lunge into the political arena and immensely enjoyed myself.

It wasn’t until I picked up the first issue of that term, turned to page seven and saw my name in print that I realised I finally knew what I wanted to be. I wanted to be a journalist.

Since then, I have actively begun pursuing a future career in journalism. I regularly contributed to the paper during my first two years at university, and at the start of this year, I became one of the sports editors. I also worked as a sports reporter for the British University and College Sport (BUCS) National Championships that were held in Sheffield in February of this year and have begun the scary yet exciting task of applying for a masters degree in journalism.

So my advice to any potential students reading this who still have absolutely no clue what they want to do in life, always keep an eye out and try to get involved in as many things as possible at university. Joining a society at university may bring into view a future career that you never even considered and you will make tonnes of friends in the process.

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