By Stephen Ashby
Lauren May decided early on that she wanted to be a journalist, but it took a little push in the right direction.
“I was probably about 14 and I was on the bus home with my friend. She said, ‘I think you’d be good as a journalist,’” said the 22 year-old from Broadstone, in Poole.
“I just ran with it and found that I really enjoyed it.”
She hasn’t looked back since, and as she is now on a fast-track NCTJ course, it seems that she is getting ever closer to her goal.
“I know it’s the most respected course in the industry, and it’s just something you need if you want to make it as a journalist,” said Lauren. For her, this is just the latest step on the road to becoming a journalist. “I wanted to learn shorthand because no matter how horrible it is, you just have to do it! I’m really enjoying the course so far, it’s been really interesting and I’m looking forward to putting it into practice in the future.”
Lauren attended Parkstone Grammar School, before studying Culture, Media and Communication with Professional English for three years at the University of Surrey. She says the course was quite broad in its scope, which she hopes will benefit her in the future.
“I really enjoyed it; I met a lot of friends too, and lived in my own house away from home which was really exciting.”
She has already had plenty of work experience. Originally starting to write when she was 14 for an online music magazine called Glitzine, she relished the challenge of writing reviews.
“It was great. I used to get sent random music CDs by my editor, who was actually called Spice, and I reviewed them. It was my first experience of getting my work published, which was a great experience.”
Since then, she has gained placements in a regional newspaper, as well as a specialist website and a London magazine, and Lauren said there were huge differences between them.
“In London, it was a lot more impersonal, everyone was so competitive. I had much more fun at the local newspaper; there were a more close-knit group and they gave me some useful advice,” Lauren explained.
So what is her dream job in the future?
“Ideally I would prefer to be writing features for a newspaper, although news reporting is also very appealing.”
Finally, I asked Lauren where she thought she would be in 10 years time, and whether she thinks she will have achieved her goals that early.
“Hopefully I’ll be in a secure job, perhaps as a senior editor, anywhere that will have me! I’d also love to own my own home.”
FACT FILE: Lauren May
Education: Parkstone Grammar School – 2001-2007
University of Surrey – 2007-2010
Up To Speed Journalism – 2010-2011
Experience: Glitzine – 2005-2006
Southern Daily Echo – 2008
Wessex Muse Magazine – 2008
Food and Travel Magazine – 2009
Southern Daily Echo – 2010