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Where Are You Now?

Michael Lowdon

Michael Lowdon             

BA (Hons) Sports Journalism 2013

Digital Content Executive Michael Lowdon, from Newcastle, works for the UK's leading football price comparison site, FOOTY.COM. His main responsibilities include creating blog posts, writing product descriptions, controlling social media channels and overseeing all of the copy which is posted on the site and email newsletters.

“A large part of my role also includes affiliate marketing and corresponding with dozens of brands, retailers and club shops,” he added.

For Michael, getting his hands on his finished dissertation project was his proudest moment so far.

“I created a 72 page sports and lifestyle magazine from scratch, producing all the content and carrying out all of the design.

“The project gave me a great chance to display the skills I’d learnt throughout my time at Sunderland and tackle a number of challenges independently and head on. When applying for jobs, it was also a great tool to have in interview settings too.

“I’ve continued to put the same amount of planning, detail and energy into all of the work I’ve had published as a freelance and at FOOTY.COM.”

After visiting the Media Centre during an Open Day, Michael knew he wanted to study journalism at Sunderland.

The 24-year-old said: “The facilities available and passion from the teaching staff won me over. With it being close to home it also meant I could afford to live out and keep my part-time job.

“After learning the fundamentals in first year, I grew into my own in the last two years and threw myself at any opportunity that came my way. Through the BA (Hons) Sports Journalism course there was a number of opportunities and contacts available to us, meaning we could get a lot out of the course if we made the effort.”

He continued: “The tutors on my course were a big influence throughout my degree. Not only were they experienced and skilled in their areas of journalism, but they were all very approachable too.

“Their advice and suggestions on what to do in certain situations and which jobs to go for (even after graduating too) were extremely helpful and made you get more out of the course.”

The journalism graduate also had one piece of advice for anyone looking to make a break in the industry. After having to face a few rejections when applying for jobs, Michael advises others in his same situation to be patient and persistent.

He said: “A select few will have jobs lined up as soon as they graduate, but just focus on yourself and keep knocking on those doors and improving your interview skills until it pays off.

“It’s easier said than done, but you can’t let job rejections get you down. If you do, you’ll struggle to progress. Plus, just because you’ve finished your degree doesn’t mean you’re the complete package and can stop learning.

“When I graduated, and couldn’t get a job in media, I knew I had to keep my finger on the pulse by blogging and writing as a freelance. In such a competitive and crowded industry, you can’t afford to stand still for too long or somebody more motivated and enthusiastic will take your place.”

For the future, Michael is planning on helping FOOTY.COM grow and establish itself as major brand in the football e-commerce industry.

He concluded: “Within my first year at the company I’ve been presented with some fantastic opportunities and given a lot of responsibility to help the company develop. I aim to continue to develop my writing ability, along with gaining more experience and contacts in the industry.”

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