Platform alumni: Where are they now?

Here at Platform Magazine, it’s our goal as a society and a publication to give you a platform – excuse the pun – to write for and let your creative flares run wild. But once you graduate and leave university, who knows where you’ll end up?

We searched far and wide to track down some of our previous Platform alumni, and maybe one day we’ll be writing about you!

David Baird, 36

Before Platform Magazine became the responsibility of students, Nottingham Trent’s Students’ Union was in charge of collecting articles and publishing the magazine, which led to people like David becoming heavily involved in its publication.

What year(s) did you work at NTU?

I was the Editor-in-Chief of Platform Magazine as part of my role of Media Operations Officer on the SU Executive Committee from 2007 – 2008.

Do you have any standout memories from your time working on Platform?

Each time the new edition would arrive back from the printers was a special moment. Seeing staff and students around campus with the magazine was great.

What are you up to now?

I’m heading into my 10th year as a freelance photographer. One of my stand-out assignments was joining Paralympic gold medallist and Nottingham legend Richard Whitehead when he ran 40 marathons in 40 days from John O’Groats to Lands’ End.

What advice would you give to current NTU students and Platform writers?

Work hard and experiment with your style, it’s harder to make time to do those things when you have less control in the real world. Keep in touch with each other – you are building up an amazing contact book for the future!

Andrew Trendell, 31

After graduating from NTU in 2009 with his undergraduate degree in English literature, Andrew completed an MA in Print Journalism the following year before setting off into the world of work. Now, he works as NME’s news editor.

What was your role within Platform?

I started as a music writer, then became Music Editor, and then Deputy Editor.

Do you have any standout memories of your time writing for Platform?

We got some pretty big names into the mag back then. I didn’t realise that the relationships that I’d form with artists way back then would still matter so many years later. It’s also where I learned how to blag my way into festivals that I had no business being at.

What are you up to now?

I’m currently News Editor for NME – Europe’s biggest and longest running music magazine and website. Before this, I worked at BBC 6 Music as a producer and consultant, I was Deputy Editor and Editor of Gigwise.com, worked as a reporter at The Gainsborough Standard and Worksop Guardian, and wrote entertainment pieces for Metro and Nottingham Post.

What advice would you give to current NTU students and Platform writers?

Say yes to everything. Nothing is irrelevant to the plot when it comes to building up journalism experience. When I found myself interviewing WWE wrestlers, testing out segways, talking to Paul Daniels at the Nottingham final of the British Sausage Competition or covering a murder trial, I often questioned what was going on – but it all adds up.

Sophie Davis, 27

Sophie is currently living every writer’s dream and blogging about her travels across the world whilst balancing her job in PR. We have to admit, we’re very jealous!

What year(s) did you attend NTU?

I attended NTU from 2011-2014 graduating in the summer with a degree in International Relations.

What was your role within Platform?

I was a writer and then News Editor for a year from 2011-2012, before going on to become Editor-in-Chief for two years from 2012-2014. I then stepped down after I graduated, which was incredibly hard for me as Platform had been my everything whilst I was at university and I was incredibly proud
to have represented the magazine for three years at university.

Do you have any standout memories of your time writing for Platform?

The entire three years of my university life was dedicated to Platform and I am so proud to have been part of it. My most standout memory though has to be taking Platform back into print when I became editor. It had been out of print for a few years previously, but I was determined and within my first term as Editor we published our first print edition. I was so pleased and happy and it was amazing to see everyone’s hard work in print version.

What are you up to now?

Since leaving university I have gone on to do many jobs, some I loved and some I hated. It’s been a case of trying everything and seeing what felt right. I have worked in PR agencies all across the country, newspapers and now I work for a charity in Milton Keynes. I also run the award-winning blog Sophie’s Suitcase, where I write about my travels around the world. Travel is in my DNA and I am so passionate about sharing my experiences, advice and top tips for travelling the world with a full-time job. I have also recently launched a YouTube channel where I published vlogs from my travels so check that out!

What advice would you give to current NTU students and Platform writers?

Try everything! Put yourself out there, outside of your comfort zone, and even though you may not like every job or opportunity that comes your way, you will realise that it’s not for you. There’s a lesson in everything you do, and despite going through hardships over the past decade I have learnt
so much and I love the job I am in now, and being able to also work for myself.

Sayuri Standing, 27

Sayuri Standing worked as Platform’s Editor-in-Chief and Head of Design before graduating, and now works as Topshop’s social media manager.

What year(s) did you study at NTU?

I attended NTU from 2012 to 2015, studying BA (Hons) Fashion Communication and Promotion.

Do you have any standout memories from your time at Platform?

I was at Platform from freshers to graduation and I really went through the motions, from the highs to the lows. I met some of the brightest people (some who I’m close with today), worked on fun projects and experienced the perks (press passes at Hideout festival was the peak for me). But I also
pulled an all-nighter to create cover artwork (the opposing peak) and got stressed with print deadlines, budgets and mobilising a team. At the time it was primarily a print and online mag with a dire social media presence and branding, but it was my baby and brought me a lot of opportunities that have helped me today.

Do you have any advice for current Platform writers and editors?

My advice to NTU students working on Platform… it’s not that deep. It’s quite literally the PLATFORM for you to experiment, fail and learn. Make the most of the opportunities NTU grants you. Do work experience, a part time job, volunteer, a project, ANYTHING. As someone who was recently worked in recruiting, it’s the stuff you do outside of your course that gets your CV noticed more so than the final grade on your degree. But most importantly, enjoy it, because you’ll never get this time back.

Ryan Johns, 24

Ryan was the Editor-in-Chief of Platform Magazine from 2015-2016. After graduating with a degree in Print Journalism in 2016 his career has seen him work in television, radio and print. Ryan is now creating international PR campaigns for Visit Manchester, the official tourism board for Greater
Manchester.

What was Platform like when you were at NTU?

I joined platform in my second year of university as News Editor, joining at time where print was declining and digital was growing in popularity. When I became Editor in Chief the following year, we decided to completely revamp the website and magazine taking Platform into a new digital era with cool new design and a different feel, this launched with our Freshers edition which featured a powerful ‘Trent Army’ front cover produced by our amazing design and photography team. It was a real struggle back then because we had our funding cut so could only manage one issue per term, so our focus was to make great features online to keep students informed and entertained. We had so many plans for Platform Magazine, and fought ferociously to stop it being taken out of print so it’s really exciting to see it continue to have a strong presence on campus today.

What stands out most from your experience?

Trying to juggle final year studies, an internship and being editor of the magazine (and attempting to have a social life) was a challenge in itself! The magazine was successful thanks to a team of great editors and student writers who all put great work into Platform and are now reaping the rewards in careers across fashion, design, journalism and PR, Platform has a long list of successful creatives working in the media and it was great to work with them. Whilst it was at times stressful trying to pull together pages of great, design-led content for the magazine, seeing it hit shelves around campus was a great feeling knowing something that started as a scribble on paper in editorial meeting turned into a great student-led magazine read across campus.

Do you have any advice for current NTU students?

Get involved with as much as you can – being Editor of Platform Magazine really helped me to secure jobs after graduating and is a great way to show employers you’re committed. Joining a social committee, playing a sport and attending events outside of lectures will be great for your CV and will
give you lasting memories that will let you look back on university knowing you made the most of your experience.

Eve Smallman, 22

After Platform Magazine shut down temporarily, Eve decided to reignite the publication and took the reigns as Editor-in-Chief for two years. In that time she won and was nominated for various awards on a regional and national level.

What years did you attend NTU?

2016-2019 (so not too long ago!)

Do you have any standout memories of your time writing for Platform?

I have so many standout memories of my time at Platform! But writing-wise, being shortlisted for Best News Story at the Student Publication Association awards and winning the regional SPA Best Impact award. I also got to interview my favourite music artist of all time, a Scottish singer called Roddy Woomble. Then, from having the awards under my belt, I was able to get work experience at The Guardian and BBC Good Food, and my work at Platform is what got me my current job! 

What are you up to now?

I’m the Events and Food Editor at LeftLion, so I look after the calendar of events in the magazine (when there are events anyway), and curate recipes and editorial for the food section. I also edit the Welcome to Nottingham student guide and do the social media for the Nottingham Young Creative Awards.

What advice would you give to current NTU students and Platform writers?

Make the most out of your time, and don’t be scared to get involved with anything that looks interesting to you. When I took over Platform I wanted it to be a way for people to nurture their passion and their craft, and I’m so proud that it has become that. Use your university experience to thrive as much as possible! 

By Faith Pring

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