Katharine C.

Reviews Editor
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Katharine C.
English and Related Literature
United Kingdom

My employment

Reviews Editor
Dennis Publishing
United Kingdom
Journalism and publishing
Large business (250+ employees)

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A day in the life of a Reviews Editor in the United Kingdom

From English to Law and back again - getting into journalism the long way round.

How I looked for work

After finishing post-graduate law qualifications, I realised I wanted to write instead of be a solicitor, so I started looking for any type of journalist role I could find. I mainly applied for Editorial Assistant roles, but also general copy writer positions. After freelancing for some video game magazines for a while, I found a Staff Writer role for Expert Reviews on an online job board.

How I found out about the job

Online jobs board

The recruitment process

Initially, I had to send in my CV and covering letter, including a short paragraph on my favourite gadget. I was then invited to do a writing test, which involved describing two different types of projector technology. After successfully making it to the next round, I was then invited to interview, where I had another short writing test after a face-to-face chat.

My career goals when I graduated

I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do when I graduated, so I ended up going into further study to pursue a career in law. However, I didn't find that as interesting as I thought I would, and realised that I did want to be a writer after all.

My career history

My first job was in a Japanese news agency, which mainly involved making phone calls for comments on daily financial movements. I then freelanced for a while, writing reviews of video games for various magazines, before landing an entry-level position at Expert Reviews. I've been there ever since.

What has helped my career to progress

Being good at what I do, and always being keen to step up to new challenges.

Courses taken since graduation

I completed the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) conversion course, and then went on to do the Legal Practice Course (LPC). I then combined my two qualifications in a second LLB (Legal Practice) degree.

How my studies have helped my career

Studying English played a crucial role in developing both my skills as a writer and as an editor. It's been absolutely invaluable.

What surprised me about my career so far

Having been a bit of a phone technophobe for many years, I now know everything there is about smartphones!

Where I hope to be in 5 years

I hope to be in a similar role, possibly at a larger online publication, but still staying within tech journalism.

My advice to students considering work

Write as much as you can to build up a portfolio of work, even if it's just on your own blog or website. Find what you're interested in and just go for it. If you're feeling brave, try getting in touch with local papers or smaller websites and send them samples of your work. You might have to write for free (always try and get paid work if you can), but it's all good practice and it shows future employers that you're willing to put yourself out there.

My advice about working in my industry

It doesn't pay very well, but applying for entry level roles is the best way to get your foot in the door.

Other advice

Freelancing can be a tricky gig - try and line up regular work with publications that know you well and have liked the work you've given them in the past. This will help provide you with a semi-regular income, which you can then expand on by pitching to other publications. Reviews writing is very popular and oversubscribed in my field, but if you concentrate on coming up with interesting feature ideas, you stand a much better chance. Just make sure you can deliver on the work!

Contacting me

I'm happy to answer any questions about magazine or online journalism, particularly if it's related to technology or video games.

What I do

I'm Reviews Editor for a large consumer technology website called Expert Reviews, which is published by Dennis Publishing. My main duties include editing every review that goes up online and reviewing all the latest smartphones, video games, wearable devices and home appliances.

Skills I use and how I developed them

Writing articles and forming critical opinions about the latest technology is a key part of my job. As Reviews Editor, I also need to proof, edit and restructure copy provided by the rest of my team.

To develop these, you've just got to keep doing them on a regular basis!

What I like most

Making reviews the best they can be is one of my favourite parts of my job - as well as being able to play all the latest games in my spare time!

What surprised me most

How different online audiences can be to magazine readers, and the way you need to tailor your content and your writing style to fit each category.

Next steps...

If you like the look of Katharine’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Katharine a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Katharine to be your mentor.

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