Hard work and enthusiasm are two major traits of a successful university student.
And it seems that Andrew Jones has both of those in spades, as he spoke about winning the Matthew Hesketh Award for Sports Journalism at UCLan.
The award was inaugurated in 2007 after BA (Hons) Sports Journalism student, Matthew Hesketh, was tragically killed in a car accident. With the support of Matthew’s favourite football club; Chelsea FC, the award is presented to the best performing student over the first two years of the course with the ultimate prize being a two week placement at the club during summer.
“We were told about the Matthew Hesketh Award for Sports Journalism during our 1st year, so for me it was a goal to aim for from early on,” Andrew said.
“You can’t get two weeks work experience at Chelsea just like that. So when I was putting the work in, I was making sure that it was of good quality.
“Every year, Matthew’s dad presents the award to the student, which was a really nice experience.
“I’m looking forward to gaining a clearer understanding of working in a Club environment. I’ll be starting at Chelsea just as the new season begins – so I’m hoping to gain a more in-depth experience with them.”
Andrew was also grateful to the support he’s received from the course lecturers.
“They’ve had similar experiences to me through their education, so really there’s no-one better to ask for advice and feedback than academics who have also worked in the industry,” he continued.
“My marks improved significantly between 1st and 2nd year based on the feedback I received from my tutors. Often its simple things like what to look for when sourcing a story, but they’re always there for you to go to.”
Moving forward, Andrew is targeting even more development of his skills in the final year of his studies in order to achieve his goals.
“One thing I have learnt from the course is to be open-minded,” he stated. “When I started my course, I felt dead-set on producing print because I didn’t feel confident in front of cameras.
“But once you’re immersed in the course and make use of the facilities, you get to try things that are outside your comfort zone. I’m a lot more open to different avenues of Sports Journalism now. It’s such a competitive industry – so it’s good to have a diversity of skills.
“UCLan gets you out there into real world scenarios. The lectures and free workshops gives you a good idea of how the world of journalism works, but you don’t fully experience it until you get out there.”
30 May 2018