Brooke McCord is Online Editor of Wonderland Magazine. She lives in London and graduated from the PG Cert Fashion & Lifestyle Journalism in 2014.
Why did you choose to study journalism at LCF?
There were various reasons why I wanted to study at LCF, but the deciding factors were location, reputation and the course structure and leader. I was desperate to move to London (the way I saw it there was no other place better to study journalism), I had always wanted to study at an establishment as well renowned for creativity as London College of Fashion, the course was the perfect mix of practical and class based sessions (and the list of guest lecturers was very impressive) and learning from someone with as much experience in the industry as course leader Glenn Waldron was another huge pull factor.
What were you doing before you applied for the PGCert?
I was actually studying Geography. A year in I realised that I was heading down a career path entirely wrong for me, so I started gaining as much work experience as I could during my university holidays. The placements I undertook include work with Harpers Bazar, Spindle Magazine, Fashion Scout, the BBC and my university newspaper. Collectively each placement made me realise where my true interest sat and I then pursued this avenue.
And what was it about the PGCert that particularly appealed?
Whilst I did consider applying for the Fashion Journalism MA, for me the PGCert was far more appealing due to its intensive nature, along with the shorter duration. I work best under pressure and the prospect of another year in education didn’t appeal to me as much – I was desperate to try my hand in the real working world and to apply my soon to be acquired skills.
How would you describe your experience of the course? Any particular memories?
I enjoyed every minute of the course from lectures on the print vs. online journalism debate, practical video classes and sessions with guest lecturers, to making my very own blog and online magazine. We also visited various exhibitions and the Time Out London office. Whilst there were a lot of late (and sleepless) nights when deadlines were looming, it was most definitely the best platform I could have possibly asked for in terms of launching my career. Whilst a lot of the lectures are classroom based, each project you undertake involves independent study that gradually immerses you into the industry.
Did you find London inspiring as a place to study and live?
Most definitely. I’m from Wales and whilst I love it there, nowhere can beat London when it comes to creativity. From exhibitions and shows to outdoor spaces, food markets and nightlife, there’s something you can be doing twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and I find it hard to find anything more inspiring than that. Even if you just spend an afternoon sat in a coffee shop staring out the window, it has the potential to be the most exciting people-watching session you ever partake in.
What particular skills or insight did the PGCert give you?
Practically the course taught me how to conduct successful well thought out research, interview etiquette (very important unless you enjoy making a fool out of yourself), how to make a feature or an interview the most engaging it can possibly be, the importance of social media and online journalism and how important it is that your story is well researched, interesting and relevant right now.
How did your role at Wonderland come about?
Upon leaving the course I started interning with Dazed and Confused for the duration of womenswear AW14 and I was then asked to stay on longer as an assistant to the Editor, Isabella. Whilst I was at Dazed I also wrote for some other print and online publications including Wonderland Magazine. I was really lucky to be informed when there was a vacancy at Wonderland, I came in for an interview and I was very lucky to get the job. I think it was a case of right place right time, but I’m here now and I love it!
What’s an average day at Wonderland consist of?
Where do I start? It’s very fast paced and there is a lot to think about, but typical things on my to do list include writing copy for online features, researching current stories of interest for our readership, commissioning editorials, liaising with freelance contributors, producing social media content for various channels, replying to hundreds and hundreds of emails. There are also plenty of fun things – events and press trips to name a few!
Where would you like to be in five years’ time?
I’d like to be the editor of a print magazine.
What do you think editors are looking for in interns and prospective employees?
Someone who is enthusiastic (even about the most mundane of tasks), a good-writer, a quick worker with attention to detail, creative and full of ideas, friendly, sociable and, most importantly, motivated. There is nothing worse than someone with no ambition.
Finally, what advice would you give to would-be journalists and editors thinking about applying for the course?
Demonstrate your enthusiasm for the course and all of your relevant experience. But most importantly, stop reading this and apply. It will be the best decision you ever make.