With this year's Young Financial Journalist of the Year competition open, we hear from Rosalind Carvell, last year's winner of the most original entry category. She lets us know about her experience of the competition and how she wrote a successful entry.
How did you hear about the competition and what motivated you to enter?
Rosalind: I heard about the competition through my finance teacher at school, it was his suggestion to enter – even if I was entering just for fun. I think I was motivated to enter mainly by the question itself, (How will financial education help me to meet the financial challenges I will face throughout my life). I figured it would be quite interesting to look back and think about how the course I was taking was benefiting me in the long term. I was in year 11 at the time and about halfway through my final year of the course, so it was the perfect time for me to reflect on where I had come in my financial education.
What was your planning process?
Rosalind: In terms of planning, the first thing I did was actually think about the external factors I was facing. By this I mean the changes that were going on in both the political and economic climate that I felt for sure were going to have an effect on me and my future. I think in the planning process the most important thing to do is to find something to write about that you are going to be inspired by.
What sort of background reading did you do?
Rosalind: I didn’t do too much reading into any financial journals or magazines as I wanted what I was writing to come from me rather than be too influenced by what else was being said on the subject. However, I did do some reading of random journals and magazines just to give me some idea of how I should best structure my article more than anything.
Did you spend long on your essay?
Rosalind: In the end, I probably only did 1 hour a week on actually writing my article. Once I started, I knew what I was writing so a lot of the process was just adapting and proof-reading. However, alongside my writing I was also doing constant research into what was happening in the news so that I stayed up to date and so my article could reflect that.
Did you have an interest in Finance or Journalism before?
Rosalind: I had been interested in Finance since I started the LIBF course when I was in year 10 but I was never really sure what I wanted to do in the sector. I had never even considered journalism as a career or interest prior to the competition but during the competition process it did make me consider it as something which I might pursue.
How did it feel when you found out you won?
Rosalind: Obviously, it was an amazing feeling, I hadn’t entered the competition to even get shortlisted so to find out I had wonwas shocking to say the least.
What are you up to now? And how do you feel taking part has benefited you for your future?
Rosalind: I’m currently in year 12 at sixth form and studying the level 3 course at the LIBF. Taking part in the competition really helped my awareness of what it is I’m studying and the financial world as a whole. The competition made me so much more confident in my achievements.
In one sentence, what advice would you give our budding young journalists ahead of this year’s competition?
Rosalind: Write about what inspires you, you have to find what you’re writing interesting otherwise chances are no one else will!