Soupe de l’année: A year on

Hello and welcome to post #100 of Soup du Journalism!

Incidentally, the weekend just passed saw the first birthday of this blog. Aww! So, to commemorate these two excellent events colliding at once, I’m going to run you through a year in the life of Soup du Journalism and its owner (me).

OK, so I started this blog last year before I embarked on my journalism training journey. I wrote some mini interviews and I bought all the books and I was basically being a massive keeno. In case you don’t remember/ are a relatively recent follower, I did my NCTJ course in between years 2 and 3 of my degree in a massive crisis of character. I hated my degree and I didn’t know if I’d continue, so I decided to do an intensive journalism course (well, wouldn’t anyone?) to see if that would help me decide.

I finished second year in March 2012, went to Copenhagen a few days later and then started at Journalist Works in April. It was a steep learning curve and there were times I felt overwhelmed (looking at you, shorthand) but the course FLEW by and they were honestly some of the best months of my life. My proudest moments were getting the 100wpm in shorthand (insane) and first seeing my name in the local paper on work experience.

Once I’d finished the course (which I was genuinely very sad about as I met some of the nicest people, and we’ve all gone on to do great things so I feel extremely proud of us all) I went off to Oslo which was AMAZING, and then I had about two weeks of summer before I went off to work experience. First I went to The Argus (my local newspaper) which suddenly made everything feel very real. I spent all my days on the phone desperately chasing up quotes, writing in a terrifying shorthand-longhand hybrid in my constant screaming panic and merrily typing up my stories and getting a little buzz as I uploaded each one to the system. I bought every single copy of the paper that week in my excitement.

Soup du Journalism
I’ve never been in the Metro, but this snap fits the theme of the blog like a glove so there you go

The next work experience (we’re in September now) was at Harrington McDermott, a marketing and design firm, and that was two weeks of creativity and fun. I was given free reign to write blogs about anything related to marketing and design which I LOVED. Then it was onto a few days of (paid) freelance sub-editing at Financial Express, and then I was back to uni… for literally a day.

On 4th October I was supposed to have a Philosophy of Language lecture but didn’t feel quite right so went back to Brighton a day earlier than I’d planned for what I thought would be a weekend visit. I knew I was quite ill but I didn’t know why. I was drifting in and out of sleep on the train and was suffering with what I later found out was severe tonsillitis. The honey and lemon tea I’d been drinking was no match for the fury going on in my throat. The next morning I woke up – sort of – almost delirious, unable to stand, unable to breathe properly and dehydrated beyond belief. I don’t remember the paramedics arriving, the ambulance ride, A&E or arriving in Intensive Care, but I stayed there for three days before moving onto the ward, having been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and being in a severe state of diabetic ketoacidosis which nearly killed me.

When I was out of hospital I didn’t go back to uni for another month as I was incredibly weak, had blurred vision and was too scared to be in London on my own. I kept up with everything and it was fine and it didn’t seem to damage my performance. I finally returned in November to finish the term, and I also completed the Diabetes UK Bridges Challenge which involved walking across 12 of the bridges across the Thames, which was surprisingly not too challenging, and we raised a few hundred pounds for the charity. Then, in true Tanner multitasking style I took on a couple of weeks of work experience at Men’s Health as an Editorial Assistant in December which was GREAT fun, writing up the product information for the Christmas gift guide and working with the web team to sort out the website.

Christmas was manic and hectic and busy as I had A LOT of work to do, but I managed to have fun too and it wasn’t as blighted by diabetes as I’d expected. I used my cross-trainer every day which made me feel a bit better (including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day – really sociable, I agree).

New Year hit and I went a bit manic on the jobhunting front. Applications were fired off left, right and centre, from 8am to 2:30am, and I was offered various interviews. Obviously I attended them all, as it’s excellent practice. I was lucky enough to do pretty well out of them, and I was offered full-time work on a self-employed basis at the end of January, which I accepted. I’ve been working part-time since then, and will pick up some more hours once lectures are over. I’m a marketing executive, and my job is basically blogging and article writing. Right up my street, right?

I have also accepted the offer of some extra part-time writing work, which looks very exciting and I’m looking forward to starting that. Therefore, I can now call myself a Marketing Executive and a Digital Assistant, both on a self-employed, freelance basis, which is good for me. This, along with my restaurant reviews and other freelancing bits and pieces, leaves me busy but happy about that. I need the money and it’s all good experience!

ANYWAY. That’s been my year. What have you been up to in the year SdJ has been in action?



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