MA accelerates your career, says car writer James

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Motoring writer James Taylor returned to Coventry University in February 2015 to tell students how his MA Automotive Journalism course helped launch his career.
JAN CONESA reports.  

 

James Taylor grew up reading copies of Autocar from the library of his school. Now he is a staff writer at Car magazine. How has he made his dreams come true?

James Taylor with students from the 2014/15 MA Automotive Journalism course. Click the pic for a larger image

James Taylor with students from the 2014/15 MA Automotive Journalism course. Click the pic for a larger image

“There is no definite path to become an auto journalist, but I can tell you that being able to write and tackle stories is more important than loving cars,” he said during his visit to the current MA students.

In 2011 James joined the course after graduating in Automotive Design at Coventry University. At that point he had already done some placements, but that wasn’t enough. “You can learn many things by doing work experience, but the MA accelerates all that learning,” he said.

Shortly after finishing the course James got a job at Parkers, one of the biggest consumer car websites in England. “I did a placement during that year in which I did some painful work”, he said to the students. “But it proved to be very important to get the job because I could tell them more about my experience.”

James Taylor now writes for Car magazine. Picture by Eric Becker

James Taylor now writes for Car magazine. Picture by Eric Becker

For three years James had to write about car taxes, deal with PR contacts and drive hundreds of different vehicles. But it gave him the knowledge he needed to get the job of his dreams.

A few months ago he was hired by Car, the kind of magazine that he enjoyed reading as a kid. There, he has met three former students from the MA course. “Automotive journalism is a small world and this MA is recognized in the industry,” he said.

When asked about where he sees himself in the future, James said: “It would be nice to write more features like the ones I used to read when I was at school.”

Despite his meteoric career rise James stills wants more. His passion for automotive journalism is still alive.

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SEE ALSO: MA Automotive Journalism

Simon Pipe is a former print and BBC journalist, now a member of the Journalism teaching team at Coventry University. He also runs an experimental website, St Helena Online, about one of the world's most remote inhabited islands, at www.sthelenaonline.org On Twitter, when he has something to say, he is @simonpipe

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