#GradStories Rebekah Connolly, Senior Online Content Producer, SpunOut.ie
What is your name, job title and employer?
My name is Rebekah Connolly, I’m a senior online content producer and I work for spunout.ie which is Ireland's youth information website.
What are the main tasks you do in your job in a normal week?
We run campaigns throughout the year, so we'll have six or seven different campaigns and they'll be based around things like mental health and well-being and (the safe use of) drugs and alcohol. We would have a long lead-in period of about 12 weeks for every campaign where we would research the topics, write the articles and then get them proofed by experts in the field just to make sure that we're giving the best, most factual information that we can give.
What skills do you need to be successful in your role?
With the way the media is now, it's all digital, it's all online and you have to have the confidence to create your own content. You're not always going to be told what to do and having a blog or coming up with ideas that you will then pitch to say the journal or the examiner or whoever you would like really is the best way for you to get your feet on the ground and feel comfortable in what you're doing because it's only through reading and writing that you really improve your skills being able to get feedback really helps you to improve as well.
What do you love about your job?
I guess the fact that we get to reach out to young people all across Ireland who can live in maybe isolated areas or come from backgrounds where they wouldn't be getting the sort of information that they're looking for. The fact that we're online means that we can reach so many different people and that we can also give really factual information that maybe they're not getting through their schools or their colleges around say sexual health or you know, drug and alcohol use because there's a lot of questions that people feel they can't ask their teachers or their parents so it really does make me feel good to know that there is someone in Mayo or Donegal or Tallaght or wherever and they can look at our work and get advice that I know is giving them the best information that they can get.
How did you get into your job?
Originally, I went UCD and I did a bachelor’s in arts, so I studied Irish and politics which was a learning experience. It was completely different from being in secondary school and I took some time off after I'd finished and then I did my masters in Griffith College and I studied journalism and PR which I really loved and then after that I did an internship in a PR company and took some time out again while I was just looking for the work and then I got the interview at spunout.ie.
What is the number one skill students should develop if interested in this career?
Being a good writer is obviously important and having good IT skills. I mean I still struggle with some of the basics. Start to learn how to use a content management system which would be similar to WordPress when you're in college. It just makes that a little bit easier than if you go for a job and you can say, “oh yeah I've used this system before”. It will help you to be able to mould into a new system that you need to learn about.