More about Rob
Rob Garratt is currently the music and nightlife editor of Time Out Dubai. Prior to this he worked as a news reporter for the Croydon Advertiser, Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News, as well as writing freelance music journalism for the Daily Express and Press Association.
Rob graduated from Nottingham Trent University's PgDip Newspaper Journalism in 2008, qualifying as a senior reporter in 2010 and winning the Society of Editor's award for Best Interview. Rob was also a highly commended Newcomer of the Year at the EDF Energy East of England Media Awards in 2009, and was the only non-national journalist to be nominated for the German tourism board's annual Travel Writer of the Year award in 2010.
Rob says: "Despite the fact I now work in magazines, I always knew my priority was to qualify as a news reporter first. Any newspaper writer has the skills necessary to switch to any other publication at any point in their career; very, very few magazine writers have the necessary skills, like shorthand and a decent grasp of media law, needed to make the switch the other way.
"For this reason, I've never for a second regretted taking the course at NTU. It taught me all kinds of things about the world of journalism, but primarily it was a great preparation for the newsroom. The hands-on experience you gain on newsdays is invaluable, and tutor Dave Welford's no-nonsense approach gives you a taste of dealing head on with the caustic news editors you will encounter.
"Elsewhere Mandy Ball's impassioned tuition in media law managed to make a potentially dull subject quite enthralling, and Dora Johnson’s shorthand lessons were the thing that got me my first job. In fact that's my one piece of advice – sorry, you've heard it before – but just knuckle down and get your shorthand.
"If you do find yourself on this course, make every effort to throw yourself into it. While you can come in with tosh for your weekly story, you're doing yourself no favours whatsoever. Get yourself stuck in, find some decent tales, and then when you're actually working on a paper you might find you've got the skills and tenacity to turn some copy around.
"Being a journalist really is one of the best jobs in the world – but you'll have to work hard for little appreciation and minimal financial reward. Don't expect any encouragement along the way; realise early on that you're working for your own self-satisfaction and pride, and you'll go a long way."