Persistence pays with job at LFC TV

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Joel Richards and his proud mum on JMU Journalism graduation day 2013

Joel Richards and his proud mum on JMU Journalism graduation day 2013

More than three years ago, I decided that I wanted to go to university to study journalism.

Although my application was initially rejected by John Moores University, I persisted and asked the admissions office why I was unsuccessful. It turns out that they mistakenly thought I wouldn’t attain enough UCAS points and as a result I was belatedly offered a place onto the journalism course.

Not only had my persistence paid off, but I learnt a valuable lesson that I should never give up no matter how long the odds are against me.

Over the next three years, I lived by that mantra as I chased news stories and battled through the less glamorous stuff such as exams and essays. Admittedly there were occasions when I questioned myself as to whether I’d made the right decisions, and if I’d even complete the degree during the dark times, but I eventually overcame those fears to go out and obtain work experience placements when I wasn’t at university.

I spent varying amounts of time working at LFC TV, where I wrote for their official website as well as secure paid work on live TV shows, also at Radio City, for whom I helped with their match day coverage and also the Liverpool Echo, where I managed to get a number of stories published in print and online.

Despite the danger of losing focus of my studies, I somehow managed to juggle my time effectively even it meant countless late nights and days where it felt like I was rushed off my feet!

However, there was more to university life than just work. I met some great people and potential friends for life through the course and this was crucial when it came to final year and the dreaded long days in Advanced Journalism Practice!

If that wasn’t enough to contend with, I discovered half way through final year that I had a rare heart condition and admittedly it played on my mind a fair bit towards the end. But I successfully managed to cross the finishing line and received a 2:1 classification for my degree.

Joel Richards at Liverpool FC TV

Joel Richards at Liverpool FC TV

Since leaving university, my life has changed a lot as I began to adapt to the real world. Having lost count of the number of jobs I applied for (and failed to get interviews for) I eventually secured a full time job at LFC TV, which I have recently started.

My new role is a researcher and as part of my job I have to work alongside the producer on live broadcasts for U18, U21 and first team matches, as well as assist with generating content for the shows. I’m really excited to be doing it and I hope that it’s the start of what will hopefully be a long and successful career in the media world.

My advice to any current or future students is to try and enjoy every minute of your time in university and to make as many friends as possible. Being a local lad, I could have easily kept myself to myself, but I wanted to get to know people who came from different backgrounds and it was one of the best decisions I could have made.

Part of that was signing up to the website team and I enjoyed getting to know people better.

Another piece of advice is if you’re determined enough, never give up on your hopes and dreams even if you have any setbacks along the way. There will be times when things, be it uni work or life in general, will stress you out and make you constantly worry, but as long as you talk to friends, family or even a lecturer, you’ll be fine.

About Joel Richards, JMU Journalism