School of the Arts student, Woon Yen Loi, talks to BBC Radio Merseyside’s sports reporter and Liverpool graduate, Mike Hughes.
Mike Hughes, Radio Merseyside producer and Liverpool politics graduate, is supporting the University’s Careers and Employability Service through its mentoring scheme, which offers students advice on how to progress in their chosen career.
Mike has always wanted to become a journalist. Through his active involvement in the then student newspaper, The Gazette, where he wrote a special column on football reports and featured interviews with local footballers, he was able to develop his passion and hone his journalistic skills.
After graduation, Mike entered the BBC trainee reporter scheme where he learnt how to become a professional journalist.
He found that the University societies and groups, such as the student newspaper, opened doors to meeting like-minded people, accepting responsibilities, and developing new skills. Students gain insight on how a particular area works by organising events, leading campaigns and liaising with stakeholders independently. For Mike, writing for The Gazette enabled him to develop his interests in journalism and build an impressive portfolio.
With his persistence and resourcefulness in using key city contacts, Mike went on to interview some of the world’s most famous football figures, such as Sammy Lee and Bobby Robson. Albeit an amateur journalist, the interview with Bobby Robson was a successful one.
Mike said: “I remember Bobby saying he would give me 10 minutes of his time, but in the end the interview went on for an hour. He asked my views about football and we just chatted the whole time.”
It really is crucial, he says, that students actively participate in societies to achieve balance in both their academic and extra-curricular activities.
When asked about his perspective on university life today, Mike advised that students should ‘seize the day:’
“I’ve always wanted to be a journalist. I really believe that if I hadn’t chosen to go to university, I wouldn’t be sitting here in the BBC studios today; university is not to be endured, but to be enjoyed,” he said.
“Focusing on academic studies is an important aspect, but a very substantial part of university life is meeting new acquaintances and learning from other people.
“Students should be confident in the abilities and not be intimidated by jargon used in job applications because students, particularly from research-led universities such as Liverpool, will mostly likely have the skills to be a valued asset to any company.”
For more information about the University’s mentor scheme please visit: www.liverpool.ac.uk/careers/contact-us.