Waking the dead – in Wakefield?
“The best group we’ve ever had” – that was the verdict from the police trainer after a group of our second years gave West Yorkshire police a hard time at a press conference set up as a training exercise for officers. The students quizzed the police about a dramatic scenario involving the discovery of two mutilated bodies and the kidnap and rape of two schoolgirls in Wakefield. Questions were asked about weapons, blood-stained clothing, CCTV pictures – it was like being in an episode of CSI. Sean says he was most impressed with their incisive questioning.

Election night special
It was a victory for Irish Dave at the Student Union elections last week, but some of you also had a starring role on results night. Emily-Jane Smith (L5) was one of the anchors for the live Met TV programme, interviewing all the candidates before and after the results. Danielle Smith (L5) was also presenting (go about five minutes in to see her with our own Jess Balme, L5), and Emma Harris (L5) was a floor manager. Jenny went along too with a small group from her Newsdays 2 radio module, including Kat Shaw (L6).


Separated at birth?
We’re wondering whether Emily-Jane might be the new Sophie Raworth? And several of you have commented on the similarities between Sean and Kasper, the spin doctor from Borgen. Separated at birth? Take a look for yourselves.

It’s not what you know
A few of our graduates from last year have been in touch with some tips for our final year students on how to get a job. One of them, Emma Leech, is now in a position where she’s interviewing our students for possible placements at the agency, Adfero, where she works; great to think that she’s on the other side of the interviewing desk, just months after graduating.
In fact, two out of four of the graduates we’ve recently been in touch with both ended up in their current jobs because they’d done work experience there. So in fact, they never had to apply for the jobs they’re doing, which sends a powerful message to you all about the importance of work experience.

Robyn Vinter was recently appointed Business Reporter with Reid Publishing, purely on the basis that they’d remembered her from her placement – that was after some 150 job applications elsewhere. The same goes for Emma at Adfero, and Emily Sexton-Brown has a similar story about the importance of networking.

Emily had been working in the Body Shop whilst applying for jobs; one regular customer clearly saw Emily’s potential and put her husband in touch – who turned out to be a global director for one of the biggest oil companies. Emily was asked in for an interview: “I kept relating everything back to my degree that was solely based on good communications and being able to understand and converse with all different types of people.” She got the job and is now working in Communications, liaising with clients around the world. Proof that it’s not always what you know, but who you meet.

Unlock your talents
If you want to get ahead in journalism, you need to get published. It does wonders for your confidence and gets you a book full of contacts. Luke Connolly, an ex-student of Sean’s at the University of Worcester, is now deputy editor of Shadlowlocked, a games and cult TV website. Ever on the lookout for fresh talent, Luke has approached us to help recruit contributors to the site. So if you fancy chancing it in the world of games and entertainment journalism this could be your entry to the next level.

Adam Jeffreson and Ryan McMurtry, two of our dandy third-years are already regulars on the site. Here’s what they have to say:

Ryan McMurtry: “In January last year I was convinced I had no hope of getting worked published anywhere. Since emailing Luke at Shadowlocked, I have written features, games reviews, and attended press events on Shadowlocked’s behalf. It has resulted in a lot of perks, including free Xbox games and free tickets to big events such as Gadget Show Live in Birmingham. On top of this I have gained confidence in my ability as a writer and in my ability to get worked published in other places. I would recommend anyone to contact him as he is a great guy and the website is a great platform to have work produced.”

Adam Jeffreson: “Luke is a great editor, and always keen to help you out and talk about what you have written. The perks of the work are pretty good too, all you need to do is put your name forward.”

If you’re interested please email connolly DOT freelance AT gmail DOT com and say you are a Leeds Metropolitan student.

Work Experience
Sarah Cox (L5) has secured a four-week placement on the fashion desk at the Daily Express – a fantastic achievement. Jack Carter (L5) has had articles published by Wireless, as has Joanne Davies (L5) who’s also writing for lovescene magazine online and the national student magazine. But a special mention for L4 student Bec McEvoy who’s been asked to work as fashion editor for netvouchers.co.uk – all on the basis of her blog. Bec’s experience reinforces another message from Robyn – you must, must, must have a blog.

Louise Van Weezel (L6) has got in ahead of the pack by getting a job with Clear New Media as Affiliate Manager in charge of SEO and advertisement sales – that’s even before she’s graduated. No wonder she got an “Excellent” for her career prospects at her work placement.

During his placement with the Dewsbury Reporter, Ismail Mulla (L6) not only supplied some “top stories” – says Series Ed Hannah Ridgeway – but stepped in as an Urdu interpreter when the paper needed someone to talk to a robbery victim. Hannah says he was “brilliant” with the victim, putting him at his ease.

Sophie Bambra (L6) showed “excellent” communication skills on her placement with Welcome to Yorkshire, whilst Natalie Werner (L6) was a popular member of the team at the Rugby Advertiser, we’re told – and “skilled at many things that are hard to teach”. Well done, to all.

Magazine journalism
The Dean, Barbara Colledge, was impressed with the two Leeds Metropolitan Business Review magazines produced by the Newsdays 1 groups (L6). She’s working on trying to find a sponsor for future editions, and will be showing them a combined version of the two magazines that Tanya Harris and Kat Shaw (L6) are editing together. So your work will be showcased to the wider business community.

We’ve enjoyed reading the other magazines produced by all third years as part of their Magazine Project – a selection of front covers shown here. These ranged from a mag for young mums to an ambitious exploration of the architectural history of Leeds. One memorable true-life article was Mel’s story – “I risked my life for £50” – in the magazine produced by Amy Solomon, Gemma Revill, Jessica Irwin and Annabelle Rosario-Tulloch. Read it here.


Climb every mountain
So what’s a picture of Everest doing in our newsletter, we hear you ask? Perhaps it’s how you feel when you’re approaching your Media Law coursework? In fact, if you think you’ve got a mountain to climb, speak to Anja Swan (H4) because she actually IS off to climb Everest. Well, to base camp at any rate. Anja’s raising money for Child Reach International and if you fancy helping her, do click here to donate.

Asked if she’d done much training, Anja replied: “I’ve done a session on the step machine at the gym.” Feel sure it was the same for Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing – but no pressure, Anja.

Student radio
Met Air is looking for fresh recruits to help run the student radio station. We know of Dan Rosney (L6), Francesca Done (L6) and Jenny Gibbon (L4) who are already following this up. For more information, email met DOT air AT leedsmetsu DOT co DOT uk

Dates for your diary
Second years, please come to the Options event on Tues 13th March (1330-1430) where you will be able to grill 3rd year students and get the low-down on which electives you should choose next year.

Don’t forget the talk by Cosmo editor Louise Court on Weds 28th March (12 til 1pm, lecture theatre A) – PR students have also been invited, so we suggest you get there really early to guarantee yourselves seat. There’s a chance that a couple of you might be able to do a quick interview with Louise afterwards to go on the university’s YouTube channel, so we’ll be in touch about that.

Remembering Tim Barraud
Some of you will have heard about the tragic death of one of our second year students, Tim Barraud. Tim had broken new ground on the journalism course by arranging to spend a year abroad – in the States in fact – as part of his degree; he was killed in a car accident on Boxing Day in Arizona.

Tim was one of our brightest students, and had everything to look forward to. We are all shaken by his death. Our thoughts go out to his family and his friends amongst you here at Leeds Met. “Funny, genuine and smart” is how one friend who knew him – albeit briefly – in the States puts it. His tribute shows what an impact Tim had already made. RIP “Britain” as he was apparently affectionately known.