Seoirse Mulgrew – BA (Hons) in Writing and Literature

Name: Seoirse Mulgrew

From: Sligo

School: St. Attracta’s Community School, Tubbercurry

Current Job: Fast News Editor at the Irish Independent

After completing my Leaving Cert, I went to Maynooth University to study Law and Business but soon realised it wasn’t the right choice for me. I always loved English in school and when I discovered Writing and Literature in ATU Sligo, I thought it was the ideal degree for me. The fact that it was so close to home was also a bonus.

I thoroughly enjoyed modules such as Digital Storytelling, Writing and Practice, Screenwriting, Film Studies and Publishing and Professional Practice. I found Greek Theatre fascinating as well. Digital Storytelling introduced me to the world of creating online content which really sparked an interest in me. I found Screenwriting really interesting and enjoyed learning about everything that’s involved in producing a script that is then brought to life on screen. I also really enjoyed Film Studies, it allowed me to view film in a completely different way. It also helped me to have more of a critical eye and to ask questions about why a certain scene is filmed in such a way.

The degree is really varied which is brilliant. We got to study a range of modules and there was something for everyone. I also enjoyed how the course allowed you to be creative and imaginative throughout your studies. Learning from my classmates was also a big bonus as we all came from different backgrounds with varying levels of experience. Our lecturers were always so helpful and accommodating and couldn’t do enough for us, which is all you can ask for.

I think the best thing about the degree is that it covers a wide range of subjects, some of the modules might not be for you, but you will find the ones that are. The opportunity to learn from working professionals with a wealth of experience was also a privilege, picking their brains is a must! The degree is also not heavily exam-focused, which was a bonus. The continual assessment aspect was really beneficial and meant you had the space to experiment with your writing style.

The degree really introduced me to the world of writing after school and made me realise that I could carve a career out of it as I hadn’t considered it a possibility before then. For one module we had to conduct an interview, which was my very first one, and this really got the ball rolling for me. The work experience aspect of the degree also heavily influenced my decision to pursue journalism. I got to complete a three-week work placement with Image Magazine in Dublin, which wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Tommy Weir. Gaining this type of experience in a working environment was essential.

After completing the BA (Hons) in Writing and Literature at ATU Sligo, I then went on to University of Galway to study a MA in Journalism. It was a very hands-on experience and we had access to the university’s radio and TV studios. We got to volunteer at the on-campus radio station and created several short TV and radio documentaries throughout our studies. We also created an online news website and published several articles daily. At the end of the year, our class published a newspaper with a variety of stories ranging from news to human interest stories and opinion pieces.

As a Fast News Reporter with the Irish Independent, I covered breaking news in a timely and accurate fashion. I was tasked with writing several articles per day in a fast-paced environment. I covered anything that is newsworthy, topics varied from light-hearted stories to more serious issues and human-interest pieces. I worked closely with the Newsdesk and Assistant News Editors to develop relevant and engaging content for online and print. I conducted interviews, attended press events and reported on a variety of issues which involved interviewing a government minister and attending a protest.

I have now progressed my career within the Irish Independent and work as a Fast News Editor.

I’m still in the early stages of my career but there are many different pathways into journalism, try to get some experience if you can at a local paper or radio station and see what sparks your interest. Try to find what topics you like to talk about whether it be sport, climate or entertainment and start there. Start an online portfolio where you can showcase your work to date and what you’re proud of.

Find out more about AU929 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Writing and Literature

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