One single mum faced a struggle when she decided to become qualified in the industry she loved, by giving up singing and working in sales and signing up as a full time student.
Lauren Myatt, 29, lived in Trentham with her eight year old son, and was working as a sales manager for a prestigious company, had a company car and a steady income, and spent her spare time performing as a musician and professional singer.
She had always worked with bands and had dealt with the media many times as a singer. After a soul searching chat with her mum, she decided it was time to find direction in her life and retrain to pursue her dream of becoming a journalist.
She said: “I thought it was time to get a proper job that I was passionate about. I had thought about becoming a journalist before so I thought it was time to stop doing performances and to write about them instead!”
So Lauren gave up work and signed up to a three year Ba(Hons) Journalism degree at Staffordshire University. As a full time student, it meant that Lauren still had to cope with childcare and providing for her family while studying full time, but without the support of a regular income.
“It was such a gamble but it has paid off!” She said. “It was very difficult at times to fit in going to lectures, doing coursework and looking after my son, but I had a great support network and my Mum and my Nan were brilliant, offering me childcare and some financial aid, to make it easier for me to do well in my degree.”
Now a graduate, Lauren can look back and see just how well she has done. Not only has she worked as a Producer of popular Channel Five chat show Trisha Goddard for three months, but also she was awarded a First Class Honours Degree and has also launched her own magazine, which was originally designed for her dissertation project.
Instead of just coming up with the concept and design for a new magazine, Lauren took another chance and decided to launch the magazine for real, and once again, the gamble paid off.
Her creation - Sole Magazine - is a local entertainment title that gives reviews of local places, including bars,restaurants and venues, a variety of interviews with bands such as Kasabian, information on what is going on in the area and many other features.
“It took a lot of hard work to pull it all together.” said Lauren.
“It takes time to get a publication established, you have to find advertisers that depend on you, make the public aware of you and keep giving them something that makes them pick it up when the next issue is out.”
“So far it’s going well. It’s not making an awful lot of money at the moment as I am still establishing myself, but we are doing well enough to launch another issue in Birmingham, which will be happening very soon!”
“It was really entertaining working on Trisha. I mixed with so many different people, Trisha was a lovely woman and it was a fantastic experience, but it made me certain that I didn’t want to work in television, ultimately I am a journalist and I want to run successful magazines as my work!”
“I have got a First Class degree for my course, I feel I have worked really hard and my son is proud of me. I am so glad I did it and became a student. I ‘um’ed’ and ‘ah’ed’ for ages before taking the plunge, but the University were great in supporting me through it and now I couldn’t be happier.”
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