Theory into Practice: How uni prepared me for World Cup Journalism
Calum Rice-Coates, a journalism graduate from Wrexham Glyndŵr University, has been following the World Cup for the last few weeks – as a journalist on an internship for sports website Real Sport.
He talked to us about his experiences – and how his studies helped prepare him for the role.
What’s the experience been like, and how has it been working for Real Sport?
It has been valuable and allowed me an insight into the day-to-day workings of a sports website. It's a small office but it's relaxed, and I've been doing something I enjoy: writing about football during the World Cup.
The people are helpful and I've learned more about the editorial side of things. I've also taken part in the podcast, which is different. But it's given me the experience of something else which may prove useful in the future.
How did you get the internship? Any advice for others looking to do similar?
The website advertised the internship via social media and there seemed to be quite a bit of interest. I'd already been doing freelance work for the site, though, and I knew the editor, so that certainly gave me an advantage. I think, particularly in a field so competitive as sports writing/journalism, that you need to have contacts.
You need to put your name out there and write for as many sites as possible. You might not get paid at first - I didn't - but the early stages are about improving and finding an audience for your work. I don't think I'm in a position yet to pretend I know exactly how to make it, because I haven't. And everyone's circumstances are different. But it always helps to have a foot in the door when opportunities arise.
How did your studies at Glyndwr help equip you for the experience?
My studies at Glyndwr helped in many ways: it improved my writing, made it more concise. It gave me a knowledge of media law and ethics. All of this has been valuable during the internship.
Most importantly, though, I think my studies helped me build confidence as a journalist. Janet and Jon's advice and guidance was important and helped me go further with my work away from university.
What are you planning next?
I'm probably going to focus on freelance work for the next few months. It's difficult, but I'm in a position now where I can build on what I've done and start - hopefully - writing for more sites and making more money. I'll also be keeping an eye on job opportunities that come up.
There may be potential for some work with RealSport, and I haven't ruled out taking a more general journalism route. So there's plenty of options and I'm optimistic about the future.
Finally - who’s your tip for the winner of the World Cup this year?
I tipped Brazil at the start and I don't think there's any reason to change that, particularly now that every other favourite has gone out.
They'll almost certainly lose to Mexico now though!