Yesterday a 22-year old graduate impressed me more than anyone has in a while. Wondering into the Guardian offices (where I am drafted in semi-frequently as a freelance writer on the Travel section) a smartly-dressed Tom Gockelen-Kozlowski handed me a small business card printed on thin paper. He did the same to every person who passed through the revolving doors on York Way and into the Guardian.
The card introduced him as an “unemployed graduate” looking for “work experience and employment”, and included his email address, his blog address, and his phone number. I sought out Graham Snowden, who edits the Guardian’s Work and Graduate sections, and suggested that it could be a decent story for him. I wasn’t the first. Graham dashed downstairs and walked him into the building, and by the end of the day Tom had written his first blog for the Guardian. Good on him.
I get a lot of emails from people asking if I have any tips on getting into professional journalism, and Tom’s chutzpah has nudged me into writing this post. The following will by no means guarantee entry into a profession that is currently firing a lot more than it is hiring, but hopefully it helps someone.