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Former Lancaster University student Rhian Jones has recently been selected to work alongside Janet Murray, a freelance education journalist for the Guardian, as her personal apprentice.
Murray advertised for the position after becoming frustrated with the increasing difficulties facing young people that want to break into the industry, expressing her strong desire for “more routes into journalism.”
The winning candidate was to partake in a forty-week period interviewing, researching, developing story ideas and learning tricks of the trade from a true journalism expert.
Jones, who had just completed her first year at Lancaster studying English Language in the Media, explained that “the on-the-job training side of the apprenticeship really appealed to [her]” particularly as it was “a chance to avoid two more years of academic misery and be taught in an environment where [she] could reach [her] full potential,” prompting her to apply for the position.
At the end of last month, along with 13 other candidates who had been shortlisted, Rhian attended a “two-day Alan Sugar-style assessment”’ at Harlow College in Essex.
After a demanding half an hour interview on day two, Jones was awarded with the life-changing opportunity, something she described as being “a foot in the door of a notoriously competitive industry.”
Murray later explained that Jones’ winning attributes, securing her the prize, were her “drive, determination and interpersonal skills” which she believes are characteristics that cannot “be learned in a lecture theatre.”
Opting for an apprenticeship rather than following her original degree path seems to be a promising step for Jones, “this is the first rung of my career ladder and I aim to use it to prove we ‘do-ers’ can hack it with the academics” she said, adding that “this is my chance to use my skills to prove that anyone with determination and talent can succeed – even in the toughest of industries.”
Jones will work with Murray for four days each week and will also spend a day at Harlow College working towards her apprenticeship.
“I can’t wait to get stuck into the job and start becoming the best that I can possibly be,” Jones told SCAN, going on to say that “during my year with Janet I expect to encounter as many challenges as there are successes, but am looking forward to learning how to survive.”
You can follow Jones’s progress during her year as an apprentice on Twitter – @journapprentice – and on her Facebook page, ‘journoapprentice’.