As my academic teaching year draws to a close, I wanted to grab a rare moment of calm (before I start marking dissertations) to reflect on the past months of tutoring journalism and pitching training.
It’s been an absolute blast.
It’s also been the busiest year ever, from a teaching point of view: five university journalism modules, six Bauer Academy courses, three dissertation supervisees, one amazing pitching workshop for travel PRs and three learners on my 1-2-1 journalism and pitching training course.
Somehow I managed to fit in co-curating the Colour-in Fashion show and ethical debate at London Met which – in a classic crossover – featured one of my Bauer Academy superstars on the panel.
Between May 2017 and April 2018 I’ve taught, trained and mentored over 200 individuals. It’s a privilege to meet and work with so many people who care about – and passionately want to work in – the media, creative industries and/or journalism.
But lists and figures are one thing: testimonials are another.
Above all else, the reason I love teaching is because it helps unlock individual and collective creativity and confidence: it kick starts change.
To celebrate that fact, I caught-up with some of my amazing learners to find out the most important thing they learned from the journalism and pitching training we did together over the past 12-months:
“The course has changed the way I think about generating ideas – it’s given me a better idea of what editors are looking for from a freelancer, and how to come up with the kind of ideas they want. I think you said it best on the course, I’m starting to think like a freelance journalist now – I wasn’t before, because I just didn’t have the information I needed. Thanks to you, I now feel that it’s perfectly possible for me to have the freelance writing career I want, and I’m really looking forward to getting out there and pitching some of my new ideas.” Felicity Day, journalism and pitching 1-2-1 course, April 2018
“The most important thing you taught me was that I already had all the skills to make it as a freelancer, I just needed the practical advice and confidence boost – which you were excellent at dishing out! You’ve been a great mentor.” Katherine Lavender, Making Creativity Work training at Bauer Academy, October 2017
“It’s very hard to pick one single thing, but the most important thing you taught me has to be the value of blogging. Your teaching on The Making Creativity Work course came at a time when I was at my lowest level of confidence after graduating. I was rejected from many jobs, had some ill-fitting work placements and felt frustrated. You encouraged me to think about my niche and consider what area I could really make my own. I realised I had a heap of information about life after graduating. You inspired me to turn my negative experiences into a positive outlet. I came up with the idea to create ‘grad life crisis’, a platform for grads to share their stories and publicise their projects. The blog has been an endless source of joy and pride for me. I love talking to people about their graduate experiences, having an outlet for my creativity and a project to keep me focused. I can’t express how wonderful it feels when people approach me to compliment the idea, and I feel greatly indebted to you for the sense of accomplishment grad life crisis has brought me.” Elena Angelides, Making Creativity Work training at Bauer Academy, November 2017
“It is important to believe in yourself, because if you don’t believe then no one else will. You also taught me that trying can be the easiest and the hardest thing at the same time.” Anthony Lewis, Making Creativity Work training at Bauer Academy, October 2017
“I took away the importance of personalising. A little bit of research before sending a pitch goes a long way. Also not wasting time with ‘hope this email finds you well’ in the first sentence, and maximising the subject of the email for the hook.” Reana Herchenhan, pitching workshop for travel PRs, August 2017
“One of the most important things you taught me was that when it comes to writing, it’s good to ‘think outside the box’! For example, it’s not always about setting up a blog, it could be writing for someone else’s blog or website. It’s really about getting our work (out of our heads) out there by whatever means necessary.” Troy Fairclough, Making Creativity Work training at Bauer Academy, September 2017
“I’d say the most important thing I learnt was to research a topic throughly, make it current, engage people and write things you’re passionate about. But obviously you’ve helped with my style and making me write more to the point.” Jennifer Allen aka Lady Pub Diaries, bespoke 1-2-1 mentoring course, September 2017
“I think the most important thing you taught me was to have more confidence in putting my ideas across in a streamlined, well-targeted pitch. This has been incredibly important to me as its helped to get my ideas flowing again – renewing that excitement and motivation!” Alexandra Kohut-Cole, journalism and pitching 1-2-1 course, October 2017
“Even though I have been on pitching workshops before they didn’t leave me with the necessary skills and confidence to even attempt any pitches. Your course did and made me feel really enthusiastic about going for it! I can apply everything to how I pitch as a photographer and I think it has improved my business skills also. It is hard as a freelance to not take rejections personally, this course helped change my mindset about that. Some of my ideas will land in the right place at the right time, I just need to keep getting them out there.” Natasha Hirst, journalism and pitching 1-2-1 course, September 2017
If you want to join this illustrious list of happy customers, through individual or group journalism and pitching training, drop me a line anytime.