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New chapter for budding journalist

Having reported news from London 2012 and Formula 1, a Bangor University student is looking forward to revisiting north Wales for her graduation ceremony this week. Former Alva Academy student, Stef Black, 22, from Sauchie, Clackmannanshire, Scotland will be graduating with an MA English Literature.Stef BlackStef Black

Stef said: “I’m from Scotland and I actually had never even been to Wales before I accepted my place at Bangor for my undergraduate course in 2009. I worked as a trainee journalist whilst I was still in high school and got a passion for journalism which is why I studied English Literature with Journalism as my BA. In first year I was the British finalist for a pan-European journalism competition and I spent time working with Bridgestone as a journalist covering Formula 1 and GP2. I have since went on to volunteer at the London 2012 Olympics as a Press Officer and will be volunteering again at Glasgow 2014 within the same role. I really love combining my two passions; volunteering and journalism.

“I chose Bangor as it was one of the very few UK institutes that combined English and journalism which is what I really wanted to do. It was also an opportunity to be truly independent as all my family were going to be 350 miles away - I would have to learn to rely on just myself. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, as the friends I made and the experience I had were brilliant. 

“I worked during my second, third and postgraduate years at University. At times it was difficult because I had a lot more responsibilities than most of my fellow students who didn’t have jobs. I couldn’t always do everything and go everywhere as I would have to work, but it was a good job and I was able to do my University work there which helped. Overall it was a great choice as I paid my own way through University rather than getting student loans, so I left University with a BA (Hons) and a Masters and best of debt!

“The Bridgestone Competition was a big deal during my first year and that came with a lot of continuation work that I kept up throughout University, writing articles and doing some freelance material for the motorsport industry. 

“I was heavily involved in Student Volunteering Bangor and RAG throughout University. I was on the Promotions Committee, Nightline, an eventually RAG co-ordinator. It was great fun and got to do some really interesting things, the best being organising the first ever Take Me Out event which was attended by over 700 people and raised over £1000 in one night for charity.

“My best memories are those with my housemates and fiancé; the trips to EVERY beach in Anglesey, all the BBQs in our back garden, the midnight trips to Tesco. They were all memorable and special and best of all, fun- they made my University experience. 

“I’m currently working at The University of Glasgow Students’ Representative Council and I’m really enjoying it. Some days, I feel like I am still a student myself because I work so closely with them. It’s a great environment and you can really see the impact you have on the student population. I would like to continue to work and progress with higher education, or maybe within the third sector, working press/publicity for a big UK charity. I really enjoy travelling so I hope to do a bit of that, and maybe, if I have time, do a bit of writing while I am at it- travel journalism is something that I have always wanted to do.”

Watch Stef's video interview on BangorTV

Publication date: 12 July 2013