Journalism students at London College of Communication met key experts from the BBC, Russia Today, Capitol Radio and more as part of a ‘Meet the Experts’ industry event.

Run by Simon Hinde, Programme Director of Journalism and Publishing and organised by Aurore Kaddachi, a graduate of BA (Hons) Journalism, ‘Meet the Experts’ invited over 60 students from across LCC’s Journalism and Publishing programme to meet with 25 key industry experts and put to them their questions about getting started in the field.

The networking event provided students from BA (Hons) JournalismBA (Hons) Magazine Journalism and Publishing, BA (Hons) Sports Journalism, MA Arts and Lifestyle Journalism and MA Publishing with a unique opportunity to get first-hand insider knowledge, gain practical tips, secure placements and learn how to pitch as a freelancer in a casual, intimate setting.

Simon Hinde, who has run the event consecutively for 3 years, find students gain “confidence to go out and approach people, pitch to them, get work experience or even land themselves jobs”.

Simon Hinde portrait

Simon Hinde, Programme Director for Journalism and Publishing at London College of Communication

Simon said: “The best thing about this event is that it gives students the opportunity to find that people in the industry are nice and approachable and aren’t these distant and frightening figures they may have thought.”

Among many of the experts that joined us for the evening were BBC journalist Julian Joyce; Russia Today reporter Claire Gilbody Dickerson; Capital Radio’s newsreader Tim Johns; and Editor-in-Chief of Thomson Reuters Foundation, Belinda Goldsmiths.

Lila Allen, a freelance broadcast journalist, shared her experience of getting work experience and overcoming the barriers of rejection. She said: “I was tactical about gaining work experience; so rather than go for things I thought were cool and I wanted to work on, I went after the things that were a little less competitive.

“It’s about having confidence, networking and keeping in contact with people. Learn how they work and don’t be afraid to suggest ideas.” — Mark Hooper, Editor of Hole and Corner

“I did stuff like Newsround, a BBC Children’s news program, rather than Newsnight or Panorama and had the opportunity to learn and do more. If I watch something I think is brilliant, I make an effort to message the makers, ask to go for a coffee and see what they have coming up. People love flattery and it can get you everywhere in this industry”.

Mark Hooper, Editor of Hole and Corner, added: “It’s about having confidence, networking and keeping in contact with people. Learn how they work and don’t be afraid to suggest ideas”.

Students and experts networking at the ‘Meet the Experts’ event

Teresa Gottein, a third year BA (Hons) Journalism student told us: “It’s very useful to see people from different backgrounds all related to the communication industry. It’s been eye opening as well to see the reality of what is to come after university and to get some tips on how to get into companies that we like.”

Tom Hale from IFL Science said: “It’s important to have events like this to bridge the gap between students and industry experts and to forge links. It is equally as good for us to gain insight into how courses work and what kind of journalism students are in. Hopefully they will get a good understanding of what the industry is like today.”

“I enjoyed learning about their different paths and how they made it. This has been the most interesting networking event I have been to by far.” — Kristina Corova, BA (Hons) Journalism student

Paula Wik, the Editorial Project Coordinator at Disegno Magazine, graduated from LCC 3 years ago. She recalled her experience of attending her first networking event as a student: “I remember it being very nice to be able to direct questions to people that work in the field at the time and I found it very useful to be given that chance.”

Kristina Corova, also on the BA (Hons) Journalism course, said: “It’s been great to meet and speak with professionals because you don’t quite know what to expect beforehand. We have our own preconceptions of what the industry is like but to speak to people directly from there is very interesting. I enjoyed learning about their different paths and how they made it. This has been the most interesting networking event I have been to by far.”

Check out some of our upcoming events.