Fingers crossed for my son

Good morning (and a bright sunny one here in Hunny)

My son is completing his second day at a local newspaper today. They invited him to spend 2 days there following his blanket emails to all the local papers and radio stations with his CV and a small selection of his published articles and link to his online blog. He’s an aspiring journalist who has already has a handful of articles published but elected not to go to Uni as the only one that accepted him was too far away and he didn’t want to be so far removed from friends and family.

He didn’t quite achieve his required grades at A level for his chosen Uni because, when mum died, he became quite stressed and bottled up his grief. These things have a way of coming out anyway and his came out in his psoriasis which flared up very badly. Consequently he had to have UVA therapy at the local hospital for 3 months and missed a lot of A level lessons. He is still on oral medication as it is the only way to keep his psoriasis under control and he still uses creams, lotions, specialist shampoos etc. I know he was worried about what others would think if he had gone to Uni as he gets very embarrassed about it and never bares his arms or legs in summer.

Anyway, back to journalism. They have mentioned that they need a part-time reporter, they aren’t bothered that he doesn’t have a degree as, even with one, he would need to pass further exams (which they said they would help him get through) and he needs to learn shorthand to report from Court. It all sounds very promising so I told him to actually broach the subject today and see IF there is a job available and ask if it is a paid job or if they are just looking for a volunteer. Obviously he at least needs to cover his transport costs and I’m sure they would understand that.

So please keep your fingers crossed for him. He wrote an article yesterday and the Editor approved it for publication on Friday and it will have his name on it. She is going to let him tackle another one today. He discovered that they use one piece of software that he hadn’t come across before so he spent all yesterday evening learning his way around that in the hopes of impressing the Editor today.

It’s only a small local newspaper but it would be the ideal start to his career as they are prepared to give him the guidance he needs. It would also give him a break away from the supermarket where he is working now and where he is soooooo bored lol! I’m like a cat on a hot tin roof today and I’m dying to know where this is going to end up for him :slight_smile:

Tracey x

He sounds like he has a great attitude Tracey (wonder where he gets it from ;-))

I really hope it leads to some work for him, young adults have it so hard at the moment - sounds like he needs a break.

Good luck to him - let us know how he gets on? x

Hi Tracey, I found your post really interesting! Good luck to your son today. My 14ry old daughter is very interested in journalism. This just goes to show that uni is not always the answer. My daughter is obviously young yet but we have looked into it and internships are also a way into this career. I don’t think it matters HOW you get your foot in the door - just work hard and impress when you do get that foot in!! I would say from my investigations that quite often internships are not paid work but the experience will be invaluable and brilliant to put on a cv of a future paid job. I wish him all the luck in the world. best wishes. Teresa.x

Teresa - thanks for your reply. Yes, he wondered if it was an internship they were offering but I couldn’t think of the darned word this morning! He has a job at Sainsbury’s so he could keep that on and at least he wouldn’t moan about it so much if he was using his brain elsewhere ;-). We have already said that even these two days are something he can add to his CV and portfolio. He follows some journalists on Twitter and very few of them have a degree; they just worked from the bottom up and a degree these days leaves you with £27,000+ of debt before you start earning.

Laura - why, thank you for your kind comments :-). I will definitely let you know how he gets on with bells on! He does deserve a lucky break, he has worked so hard towards this. Hopefully mum is looking down on him and giving him a helping hand. :heart:

Tracey x

I agree Tracey! - those student loans are a big worry. I’ve even looked into those as my daughter is pretty bright and i want to support her every way i can. They have to be earning a certain amount before starting to pay back but what if they cant get work after? Its like a cloud hanging over them. I always think offering to work for nothing and putting in extra hours when necessary shows commitment and enthusiasm so they know how serious you are about the job. (my return button wont work - sorry for this jumble!!). There is an assistant in my daughters class whose daughter works for Bliss magazine. Her daughter had no degree but has worked from A-levels upwards and has done an internship there and then offered a full- time position. As i said…get your foot in the door and prove yourself! lol! love Teresa.x

Good luck, son of Elmo !!! I had to go to uni to get the job I wanted but after 6 years had accumulated a debt of tens of thousands of pounds which took me 13 years to pay off. Would I do it again…probably because I loved my job…would I advise my kids (if I had any !!) to go…probably not. It’s been a slog.

Thanks Mrs H

If he absolutely needed the degree I think he would go and he has said if he cannot get into journalism in a few years’ time he may consider it again but as I said it doesn’t seem to be necessary. It’s certainly not like going into medicine for instance where the degree is an absolute must.

It’s such a shame now where students from poorer backgrounds are having to really consider their options. I’m on my own and his dad’s side of the family weren’t very supportive (quote “Aren’t you just going to leave school and get a job” and that was at A level standard!!). He would have had to take up maximum loan and apply for any grants, bursaries possible and still get a part-time job just to see him through.

Will let you know when he gets home later. It was just so nice to see him so enthusiastic about his day last night. He never comes home from Sainsbury’s like that (although he does have funny stories about some of the customers). Ha ha ha. Actually some of them remind me of me on a bad day - eg the one who asked where the All Bran was and then remembered it was already in his shopping basket - d’oh!

Tracey x

Mrs H - 13 years to pay it off and then you get ms? life is a bit*h!!! Tracey - not looked into this yet but perhaps there are ways to get English degree without uni? are there night courses or day release type of things that he could do as well as internship? not got that far yet with my investigations. lol! Teresa.x


Shall certainly keep fingers crossed for your lad. l hope he is not too disappointed about not going to UNI - lts not always the best route to go. So many leave uni - still with no prospect of a job - and with massive debts. At least he is working and getting good experience in the career he has chosen. Well done.

My mother [and Grandfather] and myself suffer with psoriasis. Poor mum was covered in it a couple of years ago. lt was after a rather frightening car accident where a chap pulled out of a pub car park straight into the side of her car - writing it off. lt broke out all over her body and face. None of the creams from GP or skin specialist helped. So in desperation l did take her to a hypnotherapist. After 4 sessions her psoriasis up and has never returned.

lf you google vitamin d3 deficiency psoriasis- you will see info relating it to lack of vitd3. This is why ultra-violet treatment is sometimes used. Psoriasis is a auto-immune disease - same as MS. l make sure mum has vitd3 supplement and vitb12.

And we do have a ‘sun-bed’ that we use occasionally. lts not a strong one - but it certainly helps with skin problems and aches and pains. l purchased it from a sun-bed rental shop. lts supposed to go over a bed - but l have it stood up - vertically and then we can just stand in front of it - and not too close. lts not strong enough to burn - and the control is ‘clockwork’ so you know it will turn itself off in however minutes l set it at. Usually, 10mins - and l do back front and sides in that time.

We have a lovely young vet who comes to our horses. He suffers with psoriasis - and l was talking to him about it. He said he worked in Australia for a while - and out in the sun it cleared up - even patches that the sun did not reach. So l advised him to start taking vitd3 - which is the sunshine vitamin.

Stress and worry is a triggger for setting off attacks of psoriasis as with MS. So the hynotherapy my mother had helped her get through an anxious time.

Mine skin has cleared up - apart from a patch on my scalp. Can’t get the sun to reach it.

All the best to you.

I missed him when he came in yesterday as I went to bed for my usual nap and by the time I awoke he had gone to his shift at Sainsbury’s so didn’t catch up with him until 10pm!

He had another good day, the Ed has taken it on herself to be his sort of mentor which is really sweet of her. He wrote another couple of articles and talked to some people on the telephone about forthcoming charity events (one of them went on and on and then put his wife on the phone and the Ed apologised to him for that lol!).

The Ed then said to phone him in a few days to let him know when he can go back to make it a more permanent arrangement and they would sort out a little bit of finance to cover his travelling costs and parking as it is a 32 mile round trip each time. So, it is an internship by the sounds of it. He is not being paid for the work but at least they will pay his expenses which is more than he was hoping for and seems very fair. They will also get him started on the exams and point him in the direction of the shorthand course. I think I may get roped into helping him with this as I was a bit of a star shorthand student at college but that was 30 years ago !!! I havent’s used it much in the past 25 years as everybody uses dictaphones now.

He will fit this in around his supermarket job and will gain much needed guidance and experience so he is really fired up now and I’m so pleased for him.

Teresa - it was a journalism degree he was going to take but the Ed was quite scathing about Uni’s as she said many graduates leave Uni with all the wrong info as many of the lecturers teach from the books and have never worked in the industry. Even with a degree they still need to pass these other exams. Jamie has a friend reading Eng Lit at Uni who doesn’t know what to do afterwards and she has been told probably the best career afterwards is journalism so now she is in competition with him :wink:

spacejacket - thank you for your reply. It’s so good to chat to someone who understands psoriasis. We are aware it is now treated as an auto immune condition. He takes methotrexate which dampens down the immune system but has to be careful with alcohol as the medication can affect his liver. He is no longer allowed to sunbathe after the UV treatment at the hospital as he is at risk of skin cancer. When he was very young and not so self aware, I used to bare his arms and legs in the sun (with sun cream on, of course) and his skin always improved in summer. That’s when the GP finally realised it wasn’t eczema but psoriasis. He has had it since he was 3 months old and it was incorrectly diagnosed as eczema for the first 4 years. I kept hoping he would outgrow it but at 19 years old and the fact that he stresses about everything, I think he has it for life. He will take my vitamin B tablets but I cannot get him to take the vitamin D even though he appreciates it would help to protect him against the risk of getting MS. He’s also a stubborn little s o d - he comes from a long line of them!!

Well - remember his name - Jamie Read - one day in the future he could be the Editor of the Telegraph or some other illustrious newspaper. This is just the start of his journey …

Tracey xx

Fantastic news Tracey! Your son has got that foot well and truly in the door! I am so pleased for him and i hope this leads to a full-time paid job in the future. Teresa.x

Yey !!!