LSJ

LONDON SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM


Student case study - Rachna S

For Indian businesswoman and housewife Rachna, a home study course with the LSJ provided not just a dramatic career switch and confidence boost, but a chance to have an impact on other people’s lives. 

“When I look back, I think the decision to take up the course was one of the good decisions that I took in life, “ she recalls.

After working for several years with the corporate sector, she quit to take care of her three-year-old child and began working with her husband, an architect.

Seven years on, she had become something of a name in landscape design but there was still part of her that longed to do something “constructive” and create a new identity for herself.

Having to juggle home, work and marriage commitments meant that she took some time to complete the distance-learning course, finally gaining her diploma with distinction in March 2005.

Aware that journalism in India was poorly paid, she nonetheless took the plunge and, with her husband’s support, walked into the offices of The Times of India with a profile interview she had written about a promising young politician who was beginning to gain media attention.

“I was instantly hired on a freelance basis to contribute articles,” she says – initially on consumer rights and later on careers and education. Almost 15 months later her contract was regularised and she was offered a new property remit.

“Beginning two years back with no idea of square feet and square yards, I am looked upon as the TOI’s real estate consultant,” she laughs. “Amazingly even the top management today gets in touch with me when they consider buying a property in that region.

“Needless to say immense hard work and sleepless nights contributed to it. I was reading a lot on real estate and developed good personal contacts with those in the industry. My stories on were always beating those of other publications.”

After a short spell with a non-governmental organisation, she now works as a freelance.

“While with the TOI, I was committed to my social responsibility, being associated with the leading media group, to make a change for the better, do stories that would have an impact.

“Many a time the situations used to be similar to what I studied at LSJ. My tutor’s notes always came in handy as a quick reference and guide."

The highest complement she received was during a visit to her old paper when her editor told her: "Rachna. it's been six months. Nobody has been able to take up your beat. People did try..but we don't want rejoinders the next day."
 
”Come February 2008, the TOI plans to launch in Jaipur, the city that I have
relocated to. And the management is already in touch with me, waiting
for me to come back!” she says.

It has not been an easy journey, she admits, but today she has no regrets about her decision.

“Journalism has been the most satisfying career, even if it does not pay too well. When I go back and visit the people my stories impacted, I love to see them smile. They put me on a pedestal with immense love and respect. I really wonder ‘Is that me?’ I had simply no confidence in myself before. Today, what I say makes a difference. I could go on and
on...because the LSJ has led me on to a new me.”

 

STUDENT COMMENTS

...I received an e-mail from a publisher who is going to publish one of my stories. I must say that it was quite a strange feeling. I still can't really even believe it now.
Rikki P..

...please pass my best wishes to her and let her know that she has been an inspiration to me. ...
Lou M..

...I would like you to know that you have played a phenomenally helpful role in my quest to become a (better) writer..
Janet K..

I am thrilled, and would like to thank you for all of your encouragement and advice, which has been invaluable in getting me this far...
Jane P..