Portrait of Sian BradleySian Bradley

Features writer, Take a Break magazine

MA Magazine Journalism, University of Sheffield, 2016–17

I absolutely wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for the Magazine Journalism course. It really helped me to understand the structure of magazines and the industry as a whole

I currently work for Take a Break magazine down in Camden. I spend my days speaking to a whole host of people, hearing their stories and putting them down into words for them. It's such fulfilling work and was my first full-time job since graduating. Before I started in March 2018, I was doing the odd freelancing job.

I absolutely wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for the Magazine Journalism course. I loved writing before starting it, but it really helped me to understand the structure of magazines and the industry as a whole.

Before starting, I mostly wrote articles based on what I'd read online, but the course really pushed me to go out and find my own stories – something which has helped me so much in my current job. I became much better at fitting my writing into different house styles and telling stories in an interesting way. I had a knack of rambling in my articles before starting at uni, and now I'm in charge of a page in Take a Break which doesn't have stories longer than 150 words.

Amazing support

But it isn't just the work that helped me start my journalism career. The support of the staff is absolutely amazing. Every time I panicked about the work, lecturers would be on hand to answer my many emails! And the support didn't end when the course did. Before my interview with Take a Break, I had a great chat with Yvonne [Illsley, course leader] who had worked there previously (and has worked in so many different genres of magazine). She helped me to prepare for the interview and was ecstatic when I told her I'd been given a role. It's that kind of support that really makes you feel like you can do anything after the course ends.

The best part of the course has to be making your own magazine. Writing the business plan was so much work, but it was all worth it in the end. I've been a fan of darts for a while, and being given free rein to work on a darts magazine was so much fun. I got to speak to people I admired, and it really hit home that I was a journalist. We may have still been going through uni at that point, but everything you do during the course is journalism. You're no longer just a student: you're heading out into the world and putting everything into practice.

I couldn't have asked for a better experience during my course.

MA Magazine Journalism More taught postgraduate degrees in journalism and communication