12 October 2020
Prior to joining ARU last year it was always my intention to become involved with student societies, namely The Ruskin Journal. I had always loved writing so I knew that providing content for an online magazine would be up my street.
I am now in my second year of studies and I run The Ruskin Journal. Last year I wrote content for it and I was a part of the committee but to actually be in charge of everything was a step that I, admittedly, never intended to take.
For most people all that they see of the journal is the finished products. You see the posts that go up, the social media announcements and the wins that we achieve. However, what you don’t see is all of the hard work and management that occurs behind the scenes.
Being the President and Editor-in-Chief of a journal is amazing and by far one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done. I feel privileged to have the ability to publish people’s work and to assist them in showcasing their talents and stories. It’s additionally incredibly insightful to have access to the page’s WordPress statistics, seeing how posts perform and which countries view our content the most.
Another part of running The Ruskin Journal, or the RJ, that I enjoy is the ability to create things which others can interact with. For example, over the lockdown period some of you may remember that there was an #ARUnity hashtag floating around our social media. This was an idea that came to my mind one day all at once which then became an opening for the later publishing of The ARU Unity Zine. The hashtags asked students to submit their favourite moments and experiences of the academic year, and these were then published in the e-Zine alongside creative works.
Running a journal is hard work, as I’m sure the former RJ President would echo. Between bouts of editing, keeping four social media pages updated and scheduling posts, there is always something that you could be doing. It feels like a part-time job, minus the pay, but watching the magazine grow and evolve in a way is like a payment in itself. Not to mention all the real-world and relevant experience I’m getting for my CV.
It goes without saying that I have learned a lot, and I can say with certainty that I’m going to keep on learning as I continue to maintain the journal. I feel more confident in my abilities as a writer, especially in regards to producing articles, and I know a lot more about journalism after taking the time to run something myself. It has also been really beneficial to have had the chance to undergo extra training via the likes of seminars provided through the Students' Union, introducing media law.
As for the future? I’m currently doing what I can to keep the RJ performing in the best state that it can. And I’m also very excited to see how the print edition of our latest annual (yet to be released) turns out! If you’re joining ARU, I hope you considering contributing to The Ruskin Journal and joining our team one day in the near future.
At ARU, we're all about preparing you for the future. There are plenty of opportunities to gain practical, real-world experience – both as part of your course and through student-led societies such as The Ruskin Journal. Find out more at one of our Open Days.