If you are a creative soul with a yearning to connect with others, learn new things and expand your academic opportunities, look no further than Bath Spa University’s Publishing and Journalism society (BSUPJ). Whether you want to gain the latest industry insights or simply network with other creatives (student and professional), this society is for you!
The BSUPJ society was launched in 2017 by Publishing second-year students Marielle Scholten and Louisa Hunter. As they realised that careers in creative subjects often require networking and experience besides a degree, they sought to help students connect with people from other courses and enrich their CVs.
The society offers talks with industry professionals, a lively social media presence informing members of the latest work experience opportunities and industry tips and, in the future, trips to subject-related places. Having recently received academic status, the society can now work closely with Bath Spa’s creative subject leaders to help students like you gain confidence in your current projects and future prospects.
Writer Lauren True spoke to Marielle Scholten about her role as President and what the future holds for the society.
How, and why, did you get involved with the society?
The short answer is, I fell into it. The long answer is a bit more complicated. In my second year at BSU I worked on milk magazine for a while and got to know the editor, Ruth Anderson (a third year at the time). She had been part of a journalism society in her second year, which unfortunately did not operate anymore due to lack of a committee and members. I thought this was a real shame. At the time, a few students were looking for a way to expand the publishing course experience. Together with one of our lecturers, Caroline Harris, we decided to relaunch the society for those interested in publishing as well as journalism.
Louisa Hunter and I started planning how the society would benefit potential members and our fellow students in general. Over the last term of our second year we renamed the society and organised the relaunch for Fresher’s Week 2017/18. When Ruth graduated, we took over as President and Vice-President of the society and found some really nice first years to help us with social media and events. All of it is about teamwork, which makes working for the society a real pleasure.
What kind of talks and activities have you helped to organise so far?
The BSUPJ society aims to connect members with industry figures, providing opportunities to further their careers. Therefore, we organise a variety of industry talks and workshops. I have helped to organise events such as InDesign and Photoshop workshops led by industry professionals (i.e. a magazine publisher and a graphic designer). I’ve also had the pleasure of hosting events with self-publishing professionals and the Art Editor from Parragon Publishing.
Any exciting events being planned for the next few months?
We’ve got some great events lined up, including a visit from Paul Bailey, Editor at Faber, a talk from Music Magazine Editor Gary Walker from Anthem Publishing, and many more. We are looking to offer more socials and trips this term, including a visit to an actual printing press in Corsham and perhaps some workshops with Bath City Library too.
Do members have to attend every society event?
No, all of the events are optional. But we would obviously love to have all our members come along to take advantage of these opportunities and network.
What, in your opinion, is the best thing about the Publishing and Journalism society?
For me the appeal of running this society has been its potential. I believe that we can do great things with this platform and that our recent move to Academic Society status will only make room for more exciting developments. Our vision for the society is to expand our members’ university experiences, provide opportunities and give everyone a great chance to network with other like-minded students and industry professionals.
To learn more about the BSUPJ society, contact them or become a member, visit their page on the SU website. Follow them on social media at @BSUPJSociety, and why not give us a follow whilst you’re at it?