Two Coventry alumni, CJ Hubbard and Greg Keane, returned to their old stamping ground last Thursday to give students an insight into their careers so far and life after study at Coventry University.
CJ, a graduate from MA Automotive Journalism course in 2006, currently works for Motoring Research, an editorial agency that supplies distinguished and widely circulated publications such as Car magazine and MSN cars, with their automotive material.
A student on Automotive Journalism MA myself, it was particularly interesting to hear about CJ’s career progression so far and what studying the course could be a potential spring-board to. A prospective window as to what the future might hold. Writes Sean Carson…
Interestingly enough, CJ had the interview for his current job the day after his final deadline, actually hearing about the position through one of his course mates. “You’re all friends but you’re also all enemies”, said CJ when asked about his role and what it is like to work in the industry. This little insight reinforces the ultra-competitive nature of the industry and Steve Cropley’s point from a Coventry conversation earlier in the year, where he divulged to the assemblage that he still wakes up everyday filled with fear that he will “get the boot.”
CJ is a down-to-Earth guy and says of his job he enjoys the fact that it is not all driving Italian exotica and ruthlessly engineered and honed German metal – although he wouldn’t like to give that up completely! He enjoys reviewing everyday superminis, hatchbacks and saloons; the type of car the best part of the UK population will buy and drive everyday. ‘’A car does not have to be expensive to be good. It has to have character. It’s about the way it makes you feel’’. These thoughts from CJ are reassuring to me as a budding motoring hack as they directly echo my own.
When asked did he find it difficult writing for an editorial agency, to adapt his style relative to the publication he was writing for, CJ responded: “I personally don’t, but I can see why some people would.” Reasons for which he later went into and that I shall outline shortly.
CJ’s ex-Coventry compatriot delivering this snapshot to the future for Coventry journalism and media students is Greg Keane. A graduate of 2009 in Journalism/Media BA, Greg, or ‘Mr Niche’ as he should be known, currently works for Sky Sports News as an Ingest Operator.
Throughout his time at University, Greg reported on non-league football, creating his own niche product. From writing about his team, Luton Town, Greg soon landed a regular spot writing for http://www.nonleaguefootballlive.com which in turn obviously caught the eye of someone at the Beeb. Off the back of his non-league niche exploits came the invitation to write several pieces for the BBC’s online non-league football and local sport pages.
Listening to Greg for any more than thirty seconds, it’s clear his passion is for football. Greg puts his success in obtaining his current role at Sky Sports News down to his continuing contribution to his portfolio while at University – a point CJ reinforces, outlining that it was his aim to blog at least two times a week and as such, citing the familiarity with the key elements of writing as the reason why he doesn’t find it so difficult to adapt his style.
So, as I sit on the cusp of entering into a dog-eat-dog industry, both Greg and CJ offer the same piece of advice as the ever-present John Mair so aptly drums in to any unwary student that happens to ask: “portfolio, portfolio, portfolio,” a piece of advice so simple, yet so important to any aspiring journo.
Oh, and as an aside for all you Sky Sports News fans reading this, I did ask Greg the most obvious and important question any self-respecting male has to ask a man who works at Sky. I can therefore reveal that Georgie Thompson is as good looking off camera as she is in front of the lens!