UCFB Wembley students recently enjoyed an honest and insightful guest speaker session from the Daily Mail’s Chief Sports Reporter, Matt Lawton, recognised across the industry for high profile stories such as the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

After graduating with a degree in English and a Masters in Journalism, Matt’s first job was on the Daily Express’ sports desk where he spent five years as a Junior Football Writer. Matt then went on to spend two years at the Telegraph, finally spending the last 14 years of his career at the Daily Mail. Matt has had a dynamic, fulfilling and at many times challenging career, which he was proud to share with the students; covering both the highlights and the more difficult times he has endured throughout his career in media.

One of great things about journalism that excited Matt is that there is no set route in, and ability is the key factor in success. He spoke about his colleagues who have had no higher education, but persevered down the local paper route and ended up in extremely well respected jobs within the industry. Matt did however go on to explain that the industry has now changed as the eradication of local newspapers has meant that budding sports journalists have to aim high from the offset. He alluded to social media being a brilliant platform to make a name for yourself.

The successful sports reporter provided the students with some sound advice, emphasising the importance of keeping up to date with topical issues and stressing that knowledge is crucial when working within the media. Matt also encouraged the students to do as much work experience as possible, paid and unpaid, showing future employers that you are willing to go above and beyond to achieve what you want in life.

We caught up with Matt after the session to find out his impressions of UCFB:

“Sport is a brilliant and exciting industry to get involved in and the students here really have the chance to make an impression on those at the top of the sports and leisure industries, as they have so much exposure to influential people at UCFB. I’ve already recommended UCFB to young people asking for my advice about finding work within Sports Journalism as the organisation ticks so many boxes.”