Interview with a graduate

My mission today is simple…. to help showcase a talented young person’s quest for success and communicate to the public how challenging it is for the youths of today to secure their future.

In order to make this real, I chose to interview a promising soon-to-be graduate (Caroline),who will leave University this summer with a BA (Hons) degree in Journalism and enter our world as an independent adult professional.  Caroline has dreams… BIG ones I might add and as we spoke I couldn’t help thinking to myself, “I’m glad I grew up during the time that I did”.

Caroline is really passionate about helping other peers benefit from what she has learned too….  so let the interview begin!

Hands-on: Caroline, “what are your dreams and aspirations”?

Caroline: “I’d like to be a reporter for network or regional TV news like the BBC and have a particular interest in crime reporting and covering police investigations”.  “I also enjoy the travelling aspect of the job and would LOVE the opportunity to gain some experience as a news correspondent in the United States”.

Hands-on: “What do you feel are your biggest challenges”?

Caroline: “Well, my voice or rather my local Northern accent is probably number one on my list and I’m working hard on that”. “My other challenges would have to be the transition from young adult to professional, gaining trust and respect in my chosen field and getting rid of the stigma attached to the term student or recent graduate”.

Hands-on: “Caroline, what would you say are the pros and cons of your chosen industry”?

Caroline: Pro’s would be:

  • Variety of work, meeting different people from high-profile to local resident and even criminals in some cases
  • Providing a necessary service
  • The thrill and excitement of capturing a new story


  • It’s not very well paid, considering the heavy workload
  • Being away from home a lot
  • People tend to stereotype and avoid the press

Hands-on: “What would you change to provide more graduates with an opportunity?

Caroline: “The government should provide better support for graduates”. “At the end of the day, I’ve invested in my career and future and would like to get paid back for my investment”.  “There also should be more opportunities for lesser skilled people, who don’t have the means to go to university or the experience to get a good job”.

Hands-on: “What would your message be to potential employer’s”?

Caroline: “I’ve studied non-stop, have taken the time to develop my work experience profile and I’m willing to work hard and learn as much as I can to prove that I am worthy of an opportunity”.

Hands-on: “Do you have any tips for your peers”?

Caroline: ” Yes, make sure that your work experience is based on your field of study and not just retail jobs for cash”. If your CV shows that you are passionate about your chosen study field, you’ll probably have a better chance at getting a job when you graduate”.  “Also, networking online and offline and keeping in touch with previous employer’s raises your profile and may open up other opportunities”.

Caroline: “Always be polite and courteous, regardless of the type of company you’re dealing with”.

Thanks Caroline, with your dreams in tact and a determination to succeed, I’m sure I’m not alone in saying we wish you all the best for the future!


Tune in or tune out?

My morning commute to work is pretty much the same every day, but today I decided to observe people behaviour instead of checking my Twitter account for updates.  I scanned the area in front of me and found many similarities and many differences.

In the distance, a well dressed man was crying and I couldn’t help but watch carefully to make sure he was okay.  Did anyone else notice this?  Probably not… because most of us “tune out”.  Tuning out is a skill I think.. some of us just stare straight ahead into nothingness and focus so hard on nothing, which makes us feel invisible I suppose. Others “plug-in” to devices to drown out the travel noise and to avoid interacting.  A small percentage of us chatter to the person we’re travelling with and the rest us either read a book, paper or engage in a phone conversation for business or personal reasons.

I also noticed a guy smiling and talking to himself, but was he talking to himself or someone who wasn’t visible to me? What was going through his mind I wondered? Was he lonely, confused, lost?  At the end of the day, my observations disturbed me because there were far more people tuning out than in.

Remember the guy I mentioned who was crying?  I wondered what happened and thought to myself, would anyone muster up enough courage to ask if he was okay?  I didn’t and It bothered me.

The point is… how many of us engage with people in a public but non-social environment?  Do we help an older person when they’re struggling to lift a suitcase into the hold section? Do we say good morning or hello to the person we’re seated next to or in front of us?  How about offering the paper you’ve just read to a stranger?  In most cases… we stare straight ahead and “tune out”.

I don’t want to tune out… I want to tune in! Tuning in is even harder to do these days.  How can we as a society learn how to do this again, after we’ve been reconditioned by technology and modern behaviours?

We share this world with one another after all… we are thinking, feeling, responsive people… Let’s try to tune into the world just for one day and see what happens.

Thanks for reading,


“The Tick Factor”

What makes you tick?

It could be personal or business related ticking, but everyone ticks in some way, shape or form.

What do I mean?  Okay… humour me here… ticking can be associated with an action, passion or purpose that makes you get out of bed in the morning.

Do you:

  • Enjoy helping people?
  • Love technology?
  • Get excited with the sheer thought of numbers, forms and charts?
  • Are you a serial net-worker and good at it?

Whatever your passion is… that’s the answer I’m looking for.

I’m not going to make this all about me or advise you on what the best “tick” is, because each of you have your own gift and purpose.

What I AM going to say is that it’s important to do what you love or what you’re really good at.  Also, life is too short to worry about what others think.  If you’re a people person, don’t let yourself get tangled in a life or career where there’s no social interaction.  The same goes for all the technical folk out there… some of you might not feel comfortable in an active social environment and that’s okay.

As long as YOU feel fulfilled and content, that’s all that matters.

I’d  like to mention that I have used all of my will power to avoid attaching links to the wonderful people I know who fit into the above categories! You know who you are and you should be very proud.

What makes you tick?

I’d love to know!

Thanks for reading,


This blog is dedicated to the memory of my mother, whose birthday is today.  One of the last things she said to me is: ” whatever you do, just make sure you’re happy.”