By Gemma Hirst and Clarissa Jackson-Murphy
The Sunderland University Movers and Shakers event introduced students to their potential future employers last night.
The event has been successful for the last seven years, helping students to get their foot in the door of the media industry.
It brings together national, regional and local leading journalism and PR companies, with third-year and MA media students.
Carole Machin, industry engagement manager at the University, and one of the organisers of Movers and Shakers, said: “This year’s events is bigger and better than before and is a great opportunity for students.
“My advice to them would be: do not be afraid to talk to people and do your homework on the people attending, because they can all have contacts that are useful to you.”
From producers to journalists, this year’s event has secured several well-known media companies across the country and North East such as the BBC, ITV News, North News, The Sunderland Echo and more.
Ex Sunderland University magazine journalism student Jessica Laing, now feature writer for Accent Magazine, said: “When I was a student the University, opportunities like this were not always available and when they were I did not always pay attention to them.
“I have learnt that, especially in this industry, it is not what you know but who you know as well.
“I gained employment through my work experience, I really enjoyed writing for the magazine and managed to work my way up as a feature writer.”
With drinks, finger food and light entertainment, students were networking, getting advice and tips of how to get a job in the desired field.
Third-year Broadcast Journalism student Emma Ford, 21, said: “The highlight of the night was meeting the managing team from Orion TV, who asked me to send some of my work, so they can give me some advice on it. And they promised to show it to the people from the BBC who they are in contact with as well.
“I would encourage the next graduates to go by telling them how important it is to get as much professional help and advice as they can get as it is so hard to get into the media world.
“I am feeling more confident in myself after going to this event, as it is really daunting thinking about how I will enter the world of journalism.”
The event has previously led to long-term jobs and internships but it also helps to build on contacts.
Movers and Shakers gave the students a platform to promote themselves in the hope of gaining an internship, work experience or even a job.
The event took place at the Quayside Exchange, High Street East, in Sunderland, at 6pm on Wednesday, February 5.