When Carrie Ann Wilcox left drama school her acting career was off to a good start, with offers of work rolling in. Until one day, Carrie Ann had a complete change of heart and decided, instead, to pursue a career in writing.
“Even though I love acting and was getting lots of offers of work, most of it was in London, which wasn't feasible for me,” she said.
With that, in 2007 Carrie Ann, 27, enrolled to study English Language Studies and Journalism at the University of Worcester.
“My dad worked on a newspaper and I've always been interested in journalism,” she said. “I thought, ‘let’s give it a shot’.”
The University of Worcester was the only university to which Carrie Ann applied, having heard many good reports of the standard of its courses.
“The course was brilliant. I loved every second of it,” she said. “I loved how practical it was; it wasn't sitting in a classroom and being talked at. It was a case of 'get out there and do it.'”
During her course, Carrie Ann completed a work experience module which meant undertaking two work experience placements, at the Worcester Standard and Now magazine, based in London.
Despite majoring in English, Carrie Ann's work experience made her realise that journalism was the sector in which she wanted to be employed, and she therefore enrolled on a postgraduate course in Broadcast Journalism at Birmingham City University. Since completing her Masters degree, Carrie Ann has undertaken freelance work for Beacon Radio and is currently writing for a new Birmingham-based magazine called Mesh. Although Carrie Ann has a busy journalism career in hand, she also works part-time in a jeweller’s to supplement her main income. Working as a freelance journalist from her home in Brierley Hill is the aspect of her career that Carrie Ann enjoys most, and she would like to write more and grittier features for magazines in the future. Carrie Ann is confident that the skills that she learned during her time at Worcester have and will continue to boost her prospects considerably.
“The skills that I acquired while studying for my journalism degree have proved invaluable,” she said. “Since graduating I have worked as a freelance journalist, written for various magazines and made good use of the interviewing techniques and news gathering skills that I gained”
Carrie Ann would recommend Worcester's course to any prospective student wishing to study journalism to degree level.
“It provides students with a wealth of knowledge - knowledge that has proved invaluable to me working in the world of media,” she said. “The course equips students with a great variety of journalism skills that will definitely make them stand out from the crowd.”
It is testament to the range and quality of teaching that Carrie Ann received that she has already been able successfully to compete in the journalism job market.
“Strong emphasis is placed on the importance of work experience,” said Carrie Ann. “This, together with personable and thorough teaching, has ensured that I have entered the world of work with the skills and knowledge needed to begin a successful career as a journalist.”