As part of an ongoing series on recent graduates who have gone into online journalism, Sonderborg portal web editor Kasper Sorensen talks about what got him the job, what it involves, and where it might go next. (Disclosure: I taught Kasper)
As with most jobs, experience is always a problem for new graduates. Everyone has a degree, but what sets you apart is your experience. I was lucky enough to study in an environment where engagement with the professionals in my area was a priority. We were encouraged to share our work outside the walls of the university and make it available for everyone to see/use.
Doing that in my first year with web design, meant that I got web design jobs all the way through university to support my studies, and most importantly, honour my skills in the area.
Birmingham City University was actively engaging in the local web scene. This helped in two ways: students always knew what was going on, and in most cases, teachers and lecturers would attend the same events, so students didn’t feel like the odd one out in a room full of professionals.
Attending these meetups, conferences etc. and sharing my experiences online on blogs, Twitter, Facebook etc. led to having two jobs lined up after I finished my studies: one in Birmingham working as an editor at BeVocal.org.uk and the other one in Denmark writing a book for the Danish School of Journalism.
Following that, I worked freelance speaking and doing web design until I got the job as Web Editor for a new citywide online portal.
The portal is a big investment in the council’s plans for branding the city of Sonderborg. The portal is just a part of a bigger re-branding masterplan for the city: it has been under development for nearly two years.
My job is to oversee the development of the portal which will launch in September and of course write/record content. The portal covers four big areas: Education, Tourism, Business, Events/Sport – all of which need topical articles and features published regularly. That would be my job.
It’s hard to say how I see it developing. I have fairly free hands when it comes to development of the portal, features etc., so hopefully I will get a chance to develop the portal in the way I see best. There are many challenges, especially when it comes to user engagement, social media practices etc. All stuff which haven’t been given much thought in the first two years of the process.