Laura Riaz | Our Graduates

What did you study and what do you do now?

I’m Laura, I graduated with a degree in Journalism and Creative Writing in 2015. I run my own business as a Copywriter and Social Media Manager, I teach English online to Chinese kids and I also tutor GCSE Media at an education centre. Having just one job never appealed to me – I prefer having more than one string to my bow!

What made you want to study Journalism and Creative Writing?

I’ve loved writing for as long as I can remember, but I deviated slightly at college when I studied Performing Arts, wanting to become an actress. That all changed when I realised I enjoyed writing about acting, more than I actually enjoyed doing it! So, when it came to choosing my degree, I thought Journalism and Creative Writing made a good choice that would allow me to find my niche.

What was your journey like from Graduation to setting up a business?

After graduation, I did a couple of Digital Marketing internships, which included a lot of copywriting. This sparked a passion that I hadn’t yet discovered – I thought to be a writer you could only write books or for a magazine if you were lucky enough. On realising that I could write for a job in a variety of disciplines, I joined a few creative agencies. The industry was booming at that time, so I ended up working for loads of big brands like Deliveroo and Barclaycard. After that, through contacts I made, I set up on my own and developed my current specialism – small businesses. I prefer the independence and variety freelancing offers and it has allowed me to build up a lot of experience fairly quickly.

How did Roehampton support you throughout the process?

I learnt that my degree wouldn’t necessarily guarantee me a job in my industry, but I was determined to make it happen. I worked in retail throughout my studies and could have stayed in that job for security, but I left for a two month internship and I don’t regret it! I had some support from lecturers who suggested where we could find work – Alison McClintock in particular was helpful (and still is).

What are your goals for the future?

I’ve just completed a TEFL certificate (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and I would like to pursue a Masters degree in the future, probably in the education sector as I’ve discovered a love for this through my teaching/tutoring work. I would like to continue growing my copywriting business and find another loyal client, or two!

What is your advice to Roehampton students studying Journalism?

So cliché, but don’t give up! You don’t have to end up in a dead end job like loads of graduates do. If you don’t like a job, leave. There are so many opportunities out there and if you show true determination, you’ll be able to find something you’re happy with. Getting into traditional journalism is hard, but if you write a blog or run an interesting social media account, you can use that at interviews as an example of your work.

The University of Roehampton changes lives by helping our students to develop the confidence, knowledge and values they need for a successful and fulfilling life. We produce world-class research that helps us understand the world and change it for the better.

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