What they said: Class of 2013 quotes

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Natalie Romero on JMU Journalism graduation day 2013

Natalie Romero on JMU Journalism graduation day 2013

Natalie Romero:
I didn’t realise I could be happy and sad at the same time, it’s so weird! I’m so excited, even though I have no idea what’s going to happen next. Over this last year, AJP [Advanced Journalism Practice] has been the most exceptional experience – being able to do the career I’ve chosen while I’m still ‘being looked after’ has been a really good thing.

Phoebe Au:
I feel like I’ve come down from a really high rollercoaster! You know when you go on a rollercoaster and you get to the peak but suddenly it’s all over. It feels great but then at the same time it’s sad that it’s done. I don’t want this to sound like a cliché but it is definitely all about the people that you meet. I know it’s probably been said a thousand times before, but you get to meet these people that become your life-long friends, and you’re never going to forget that.

Josh Parry:
It’s been a nice day at the cathedral; it’s nice to see everyone again. With everyone’s hard work that they’ve put in over the last three years, to finally get here is a great achievement. My plan is to do more work experience in broadcast because that’s what I want to go into so I think I’ll have to do more placements and internships to get more experience, and then hopefully I can go into that side of journalism.

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

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

Joel Richards:
I’ve got mixed emotions, to be honest. On the one hand I’m glad to be graduating and proud to be here today with all my family and seeing how pleased they are, but on the other hand it’s the end of one chapter and the start of another: we’ve got to go into the big bad world! The JMU Journalism World Cup Final was one of my greatest memories; just seeing Rory O’Reilly picking up a flag and waving it round when we won! I’ve met people who I’ll keep in touch with for the rest of my life.

Sara Ainsworth:
I’m really happy, it’s been a long three years but hopefully it’ll be worth all the hard work. I’m most proud of what it’s like to do it as a single mum, but I’ve come here and done it all. I didn’t think I’d get this far to be honest, but I did it!

Scott Rumsey:
It feels fantastic to have finished. It’s been a long three years but a good end result, and it’s a great day to have everyone here. It’s been a really good course with insightful teachers that have helped us all the way. I really feel I’ve taken everything out of it that I could have done.

Scott Fitzpatrick on JMU Journalism graduation day 2013

Scott Fitzpatrick on JMU Journalism graduation day 2013

Scott Fitzpatrick:
I’m far better at communicating my ideas than I was. I used to find it a lot easier to sit back and just take in what was going on but now I’m a lot more forthright in putting my views forward and not hiding in the background.

Joe Barnes:
I’m really relieved. It’s been a long slog but to have this day with all of our mates is great. I’m pleased to have got to this stage; I didn’t think I was going to get here at one point! There were days when I’d get in at five in the morning after working on the dissertation and dread having to start again first thing in the morning, but it was all worth it in the end.

Ian Bolland:
I loved getting to meet people, going to different events and speaking to people you would never really have spoken to, both on the course and with interviewing people for stories. I’m not as shy as I was, but that might be down to the drink as well. I’ve made friends for life though and they know who they are.

Emma Callum:
My favourite part? The end… I was that excited to finish! I was pretty pleased in the end – surprised that I succeeded and did so well, and that I didn’t fall over in the ceremony.

Jamie Allen on JMU Journalism graduation day 2013

Jamie Allen on JMU Journalism graduation day 2013

Jamie Allen:
I’m hoping to get some kind of employment in journalism; I know it’s going to be tough but I have to keep plugging away and I’ll get somewhere in the end! I think the course has stood me in good stead to do that, especially third year with making a paper every week and working on the website. It’s been a great experience, and work placements helped us prepare really well for when we finish.

Sinead Cunningham:
It was worth all the hard work. Three years of stress but now it’s a nice sunny day to graduate on. When I went up on the stage, the Vice Chancellor said: “Well done and goodbye..” to me so I got a little bit emotional!

Karina Galli:
I’m not too sure what I want to do in the future just yet, but I’m concentrating on today and throwing our hats in the air! I’m pleased with my result though, I honestly put my hand on my heart and say I gave my best this year.

Jess Etherington on JMU Journalism graduation day 2013

Jess Etherington on JMU Journalism graduation day 2013

Jess Etherington:
Graduating after three years of hard work is such an achievement. During the third year we all got to know each other really well and I think we will all take away so many skills to use in the world of work, as well as friends that we’ll keep in touch with in the future.

Michaela Routledge:
My favourite part of the course was finishing it! Honestly though, I’ve really enjoyed meeting the people I’ve met and learning new things about myself along the way. I’ve got so much better at mingling with people and my confidence has grown a lot. It’s all about the confidence.

Josh Killner:
I’ll never forget winning the JMU Journalism World Cup. Getting all the lads together really united us, it was good fun and all in good spirits. I think I’ve got a lot better at communicating with people over the course, with interviewees especially. It’s about confidence really. In the three years I think we all learnt some important things, not just academically but in terms of life lessons.

David Williamson:
I feel awesome! A 2:1 was a higher degree than I thought I was going to get so I’m really pleased, but just too hot! My favourite memory? The Titanic re-enactment for our website advent calendar. I think getting called the ‘Mersey Ferry perv’ sums it up!

Madelaine Cornforth:
It feels swell to get a first! I didn’t expect to get it so I’m really happy and surprised. It was a lot of hard work; nights in the library tearing my hair out. I’ve just got too many memories of good times and laughs to pick my favourite.

Jonathan Bridge and his proud dad on graduation day 2013

Jonathan Bridge and his proud dad on graduation day 2013

Jonathan Bridge:
I’m over the moon; chuffed to be done but sad that we’re leaving. I’m hoping to go into some graphic design in magazines because that’s what I’ve really enjoyed doing, but I’m pursuing avenues to get more experience right now. Getting your work critiqued and listening to other people to see where you went wrong improves your self-confidence massively.

Rory O’Reilly:
The JMU Journalism World Cup Final is the best day I’ve had in three years, it was so funny, I couldn’t have picked a better day! I feel like my public speaking has improved most over the course too. The presentation exercise after coming back from work experience was the first bit of public speaking I’ve done really and I was quite pleased with how it turned out.

Rory Kelly:
I’m on the job hunt just at the minute, I’m applying everywhere! I think the course has stood me in really good stead to get a job as a reporter somewhere, so fingers crossed.

Report: Graduation day for the Class of 2013 >>

Report: Prizes for JMU Journalism high achievers >>

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YouTube: JMU Journalism graduation day 2013 slideshow

About Sam McDonnell, JMU Journalism