I’d love to say that I’m highly educated in the ins and outs of the media industry. That I’ve had twenty years experience and know all the tricks of the trade. Truth is, I’ve not even had twenty years of life experience yet.
I’m a second year Linguistics students who is, unsurprisingly, scared of the graduate job market and wanting to do something productive with my free time.
I’ve been building up work experience in the media industry since I was sixteen in the hope that it’ll work in my favour when it comes to applying for jobs. I’ve gained placements in the normal ways (family connections, emails of blind hope and genuinely approaching people on the street) but I’ve also gained work experience through Twitter.
I guess the first time I did so I wasn’t even aware of what I was doing. I’d been tweeting a teen website for a while, engaging in general nonchalant conversation and banter when one day they tweeted offering the Style Boutique Nintendo DS game for review. With zero interest in Style or Nintendo DS games I replied (I was going through a “Oooh, free stuff” phase). I got the game, played it on my younger brother’s sticker-covered console and a few days later submitted my review. It got published, became the site’s most commented on article and I had a foot in the door. When the same site tweeted they were thinking of starting an events calendar, I tweeted interest and within a few weeks had been given sole responsibility for that section of the site and been put in charge of a Twitter account for it.
In April 2010 I went to a Nerina Pallot gig and reviewed it on my personal music blog review site. I promoted my post on Twitter (purposely mentioning the artist in question and following other fans who’d been there) and received a Direct Message asking if I’d be interested in writing for a National music site. Not one to say no to an opportunity (something that will probably become apparent over time*) I jumped at the chance and now, a year and a half later I’m the Sub-Editor of the same site.
Another writing position that I gained through Twitter came after a chance tweet to a PR company about the Elephant Parade in London. The PR girl tweeted she liked it, I replied saying I’d spent the previous Saturday walking all around London trying to find as many as possible. It was genuine pointless Twitter talk. But it made her notice me and, after seeing my blog linked to from my profile, she offered me a writing position with one of her clients. As such I spent eight months contributing two fashion posts a week to an ethical fashion site and even wound up on the front row at London Fashion Week – a few seats along from Livia Firth!
So yes, Twitter’s done me some favours over the past few years. And I feel a lot of other young people just don’t know the opportunities that are available on there. This is my way of highlighting how Twitter helped me and how it may well be able to help you too.
*I’m always open to hearing about new opportunities so get in touch!