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Domenico Sansalone

BA Journalism and Media

Domenico Sansalone was already working in the theatre industry, but felt that he would like to redirect his career towards journalism. He looked at various options, including full-time study, but decided that the best option for him was to study part-time. He had heard about Birkbeck’s good reputation and so decided to enrol.

When he started the programme, Domenico was motivated by his desire to work in journalism. However, as the course progressed he found that he was increasingly interested in the academic study of the subject.

Domenico says: 'The tutors had a very good balance of academic and industry backgrounds, so we were exposed to leading research academics, and practicing journalists.

'I had a very good relationship with the tutors. They were incredibly helpful and accommodating, which is important when you are working full-time alongside your study.'

His fellow classmates had a range of backgrounds: some already had years of experience in journalism or media, others were new to the sector and Domenico comments: 'There was a really good mix of students which gave a great cross-section of perspectives and different life experiences. It really helped to be studying alongside people that were working in the industry as it meant you could really draw on their experiences.'

When he began the course, Domenico was planning to use it as a way to start a career in journalism. He says: 'It’s been great to meet lots of people within the industry. I’ve also had the chance to work on the Birkbeck student magazine which was a hugely valuable experience as we had to do everything from budgeting, to layout, to commissioning content.'

However, after studying how the media works and comparing British and international media, Domenico decided that he was interested in pursuing his academic interests further. He explains: 'While it was great to get experience and to build contacts within the industry, I really enjoyed the academic side and have decided to pursue this with a full-time Master’s in media studies next year. The great thing is that, with the skills I’ve gained, I can also do some freelance journalism work during my Master’s.'

Domenico reflects: 'Studying at Birkbeck given me better writing skills and I have a much better understanding of the media than I would ever have been able to achieve without the course.

'Also, looking back at the last four years, I can say that I was able to work full-time and study part-time and still do my job well and do well studying. I thought my grades might suffer, but in fact, that wasn’t the case, and I learned that if I apply myself then anything’s possible.'

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'It was great to get experience and to build contacts within the industry.'