National Careers Week: Ollie Lewis

National Careers Week is taking place between the 2nd and 7th March, and the NCTJ is proud to support the campaign. Throughtout the week, we will be sharing first-hand accounts from NCTJ graduates now working in a range of roles.

Ollie Lewis studied the MA news journalism course at Cardiff University and graduated last year. He now works as a journalist for the MailOnline Sport.


Tell us about your job, what does a typical day entail?

It varies, I work day shifts, night shifts and weekend shifts. During the day, I work on the sports news agenda so if there is a big game coming up or a press conference, then everything revolves around that.

On a weekend, there are a lot of games going on so I build match reports.

Last Sunday morning, I was working on a live blog for the Tyson Fury Deontay Wilder fight. As soon as it was over, you have to get a report live.

How did your NCTJ training prepare you for a job in journalism?

The NCTJ training is important for when you are working on a story from scratch, by going out and interviewing people, which is different to what I’m doing now.

It might take longer at the Mail, but when the time comes, I will be well placed.

Having the NCTJ diploma makes you employable too. I got offered three jobs in news when I left Cardiff and that’s down to the NCTJ.

What did you enjoy about the course?

I really enjoyed the creative side of things, and the hands-on stuff in production days, such as laying out pages.

Plus, things like picking up the phone. This really helped me grow in confidence as I was just used to emailing someone.

What advice would you give for prospective students?

If you are really passionate about being a journalist, get out there and do it. Try and get as much experience as you can, by writing blogs and for your student newspaper.

Put yourself out there and give it a go, it’s not going to come to you. I would love to do my NCTJ course all over again.