By Kayley Hardiman, BA in Journalism and New Media
Wow what a whirlwind of a semester it has been so far. It’s week 9 already. How did that happen? Time has just flown by this semester. I have been so busy ever since I came back to UL in January. This semester is crazy for all the 2nd year Journalism and New Media students as we have to find co-op and decide where we want to go on Erasmus. As our co-op is unpaid I opted to go for a split placement.
At first, I looked for co-op at home as it was preferable for me to live and work at home for 7 months prior to my Erasmus. After numerous emails, phone calls and co-op interviews with newspapers and radio stations in the midlands I could not be accommodated anywhere for full-time work over 7 months.
However, I would not trade my experiences as I learned a lot and gained valuable interview experience and skills from doing all the interviews and being in correspondence with these media outlets which could potentially employ me in the future. That said, I was offered co-op from the 4 media outlets that I was interviewed by which was very exciting and made me feel that I was accomplishing something as a journalist. I will be working in the Westmeath Independent for the summer and from September to December I will be working in Clare FM as a researcher on the news and current affairs show Morning Focus.
I am also very thrilled about the prospect of going on Erasmus to study Journalism at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. The thought of studying abroad for 5 months is amazing and propels me to study hard for the rest of the semester in UL. Studying abroad will open up so many more opportunities for me and I will have be able to study different, exciting modules that I would not get to study here at UL. I am quite lucky because three other students on my course are also going to Barcelona on Erasmus which makes the idea of moving country for 5 months a lot less daunting and it is comforting to know that I will be around people that I know very well already.