Chandni Sembhi works as a content editor for Channel 5 and is the founder of @SoYouWantToBeAJournalist on Instagram. She graduated from Kent with a BA degree in Journalism in 2018.
What attracted you to your course, and to Kent?
I’d always been interested in journalism, and I thought a degree would be the best route into the industry for me. When I was researching different journalism courses, I’d seen that Kent was ranked #1, so it was pretty much a no-brainer for me, I decided that it’s where I would be going!
Can you describe your time at CfJ?
My time at CfJ was amazing, I made some friends for life and had a lot of fun, all alongside a brilliant degree! Obviously, it wasn’t all fun and games, deadline stress is very real and a lot of hard work goes into getting a degree – but the other students and lecturers made it a really positive environment.
You run an Instagram page helping young people get into media careers, what inspired you to do this and can you tell us a little more about it?
I decided to start SoYouWantToBeAJournalist after getting messages from graduates asking for advice around media job applications, I thought it would be helpful having all my advice and tips in one place. I post every weekday, and content ranges from practical journalism advice from myself and others, to more sensitive issues around diversity in the industry, and of course, journalism memes because we all need a laugh!
How important do you think it is for aspiring journalists to have their own independent presence on social media? Do you think it is important to have a specific focus (such as yours)?
I don’t think it’s always necessary to have a huge online or social media presence. If you’re applying for jobs in video journalism or digital journalism, it can help to have social profiles or a website where you show off your skills, but if you want to have your personal social media accounts as just personal pages, that’s okay.
Could you describe a typical day in your current role as a Content Editor?
My job can vary day-to-day, which is what I love about it! But mostly I’m editing content for our social media pages, and having lots of meetings at the moment. But when we’re not in the middle of a global pandemic, I can also be creating content with talent, or even behind the scenes on shoots!
What do you like most about your job?
As I said, the variety in my job is great, I get to work across lots of different things that’ll be seen by millions of people.
What are your future plans/ aspirations? How do you see your career progressing?
I think I’ll always be working in digital media – it’s definitely where I feel most comfortable. I’ve also got some exciting things in the pipeline, which hopefully will mean me getting to do more of what I love: interviewing and chatting to people, and presenting!
How would you describe your time at Kent in three words?
If I could describe my time at Kent in three words, they’d be: fun, challenging, useful.
Anything else you would like to add, or to tell our students?
To anyone currently on the course, or considering taking the course, I’d say you get out what you put in. The opportunities to succeed and do your best work are there, you just have to look for them! The lecturers are always so willing to help, and that’s true even beyond graduation.
Learn more about studying your Journalism BA at the University of Kent