BACHELOR OF JOURNALISM
Tom, a former NSW Police Officer, came to Macleay for a career change. Just shy of his final trimester, and only a week into his internship at news.com.au, Tom landed a job as a casual reporter. We caught up with Tom to see how he's enjoyed the course and how his new role is going!
Tell us a bit about yourself
I live in South Sydney with my wife Anita. No kids, but we have a cat, Mindi. I am currently in my 2nd last trimester of a Bachelor of Journalism at Macleay College, Sydney.
What are your aspirations?
Being at Macleay, I’ve learned the more strings you have in your bow, the better your prospects. I don’t have a specific end goal in mind, but want to experience as many aspects of the industry as possible. Digital, radio, television, the whole lot.
Why did you choose the course?
I used to be a first response officer with the NSW Police. That was a fairly straight forward role and the occasional adrenalin rush was fun, but seeing what the job turned senior officers into, I didn’t want to burn out like that. I wanted to do journalism when I was in high school and thought with the police qualifications already under my belt, it was an obvious choice.
What was the Macleay experience like?
I am so thankful I found Macleay College. I knew I wanted to work in the journalism industry and didn’t have the patience to study for four years. With Macleay, I could get qualified in two years, so as soon as I finished with the police, I met the Head of Journalism, Monica Attard and got stuck into the course as soon as possible.
Macleay is a boutique college. Every teacher is an industry professional and with the small classes, the learning experience is fantastic. My best advice to anyone who studies at Macleay is to get involved! Ask questions, converse with your lecturers and make the most of the resources on hand! The effort you put in to understanding the course and the industry while you study, will absolutely benefit you when you graduate.
Where have you interned during your studies?
Interning is a compulsory part of the course structure and thank goodness for that. It gives you hands on experience, allows you to make connections in the industry and even helps you narrow down where you want your career to go.
I interned with the online lifestyle site, Hunter and Bligh for six months. I went to events, plays and product launches and was published numerous times with them. The team are lovely and it was a great experience.
I got to photograph the Walkley Foundation’s ‘Storyology’ event in 2017, and that was an amazing experience. I got to meet some of the industry’s finest (including award-winning photographer Andrew Quilty). Again this was a great opportunity, organised through Macleay.
I was also lucky enough to do a radio internship with Nova 96.9, writing radio scripts and fine tuning my ‘radio voice.’
The newsroom manager Michelle Stephenson teaches at Macleay and she is a fantastic person to learn from on the job too. That’s a perfect example of how great Macleay is. I was introduced to Michelle through the college, enjoyed the radio journalism subject, wanted to learn more and reached out.
I also interned with news.com.au for one week and this ultimately turned into a casual reporter job with them.
What is a typical day like at news.com.au?
The newsroom is great. They are a part of News Corp and are the most read news site in the country. A typical day involves scanning Twitter and news sites beforehand, for what news is happening that day and familiarising myself with it all.
As soon as I come in, I speak with the editor about what’s happening and discuss any ideas I have on pitch ideas. It’s important not to come in empty handed, so having both barrels ready to go means I can get straight into writing. It’s a busy news room so that chaos is exciting especially if breaking news happens mid-shift.
Read more about the Bachelor of Journalism here