29/08/2013 07:56 BST | Updated 26/10/2013 06:12 BST

Breaking Into the Media

There are many many journalism courses across the UK now - some argue too many - and obviously the quality varies greatly. For students wishing to embark on a career in the media, most people advise to get a degree. But you need to think about a number of things before you take the plunge. For example - what type of media career are you persuing? But most of all you need to be proactive and dynamic with work experience and establishing contacts.

You also need to answer this key question - what do you mean by media? Many people say they want to be 'in the media'. But what does that mean? Do you just want to be on TV? Or do you want to research and write stories? Are you excited and interested in news or sport? Maybe you would like to work in comedy or drama? The variety is huge and not just about being a celebrity - which sadly many people think about when talking about the media.

If the career you are looking for is in radio - there are many really good, high quality courses that you will hope to get on - but competition is tough.

If you fail to make one of the top universities - you might consider studying a more traditional and solid degree, that gives you a foundation in the basic journalism skills - research and writing - like History or English. At the same time as doing the course you should explore voluntary radio opportunities, such as student radio or community radio to advance your understanding and give you some proper practical knowledge.

Even if you get yourself on one of the top courses you should do this. Often universities don't have enough time to focus on certain aspects or skills - like voice training as example. Using your voice is obviously fundamental to radio and there is never enough voice training you can do to perfect your 'on air' sound. Sessions I have carried out with students have transformed their understanding and sound - and also helped with confidence.

Everyone is unique in what they need to work on and develop but practical training and experience cannot be beaten. Whether you dream of being a radio newsreader or a radio presenter, you will need to gain confidence in your 'sound'. Everyone can do it with a bit of help and advice. Whatever course you decide to do to try and achieve your goals - always think about what else you can do to help make yourself stand out. Remember - nothing beats practical experience. Nothing.