Breaking into media – S4C presenter Melanie Owen shares her experiences…

Media students were pleased to welcome Melanie Owen as a guest speaker within their 2nd year module focusing on preparing for the world of employment...

Currently a freelance journalist, comedienne and presenter, Melanie has extensive knowledge of the industry, but like many young professionals, her journey was not linear.

With a bachelor’s degree in Law and French, Melanie initially had few connections to the world of media but gained a passion for journalism through an EU internship.

“I applied for a job with a Cabinet Minister and was completely under-qualified” she explains. She was “writing press releases” and “doing journalistic research” in order to predict what the newspapers would be writing about.

Melanie didn’t become a lawyer, but this experience enabled her to better understand what career she really did want to pursue after graduation. Disliking the “lack of autonomy” within her previous role, she quit her job and began her own business and website for bloggers whilst simultaneously promoting her work on the platform.

When explaining how she marketed herself to local radio stations and news publications, Melanie explained how important it was to identify your own particular strengths since everyone has their own “unique niche”.

Emphasizing the importance of persistence, she reflected on the multiple rejections she received while seeking her dream job, knowing full well that it only takes “one yes” for all those negative responses to become “completely irrelevant”.

Melanie’s experiences provided some fascinating insight into the world of freelance journalism, and shone a light on how to get involved.  Reflecting afterwards, a number of us realised the value of applying for roles even when you might not be convinced yourself that you have all the necessary skills or qualifications.

After listening to Melanie, we all felt better equipped to market ourselves appropriately to employers, to handle rejection by remaining persistent, and take comfort in the fact that it is fine not to know exactly what you might want to do after university.

A valuable lesson for many undergraduates indeed – thank you Melanie!

Melanie is a presenter, comedienne and journalist