Rachel Gasparini

American student Rachel Gasparini tells us why she crossed the pond in search of London Met's Journalism BA (Hons) course and a taste of London life.

Why did you choose to study at London Met?

I chose London Met for the superior facilities and top-notch liberal arts modules offered. I was immediately attracted to the unique education opportunities offered with successful professors in my industry.

What made you choose London in particular?

Simply put, I had always dreamed of living in London. The city has the appeal of lively energy, beautiful parks, shopping and events, and a diverse population. Let’s just say it lived up to all my dreams and more.

What are the facilities like here?

At the Holloway campus, the facilities are welcoming and full of resources. The classrooms are modern and well-kept. The library is a great place to study for modules, write essays and conduct research. I also enjoyed that there was food easily available at the Students' Union. However, there are also great restaurants around the Holloway campus that make for a delicious lunch.

The Holloway Campus is also right across the street from the tube, making it very easy and convenient to reach.  

The overall campus has a very modern feel which I was a fan of.

Can you tell us about the practical work on the course?

For fashion journalism, I created a full portfolio to demonstrate my industry knowledge on fashion trends and my ability to write in a journalistic manner. In this portfolio, I wrote a mock-article tailored for Marie Claire on London Fashion Week. I also conducted qualitative and quantitative data on a controversial side of the beauty industry: the dangerous chemicals found in everyday cosmetics. I produced a research paper with actionable recommendations on how to personally avoid these products, and how to reform the industry as a whole. 

After learning how to properly sift and analyse data, I produced an investigative blog post for Data Journalism. I learned how to develop deep insights for vast amounts of databases. In a nutshell, this required searching for the needle in the haystack. For my final portfolio, I explored failing air quality standards in California through analysing extensive data to craft a compelling story on the issue.

What did you like best about your course?

My favorite aspect of my course was my London Met professors. I feel incredibly grateful to have had professors with such relevant and laudable working experience. As a journalism major, I was awestruck by my professors’ past careers. Both of my journalism professors have worked at massive and reputable media sources such as The Guardian. They also ran successful blogs, acting as role models for me to start my own.

I was grateful to leave with portfolios in both fashion journalism and data journalism that I could use to show future employers regarding my specialised abilities.

Did anything surprise you about your course or London Met?

I was surprised to experience an incredible amount of diversity at London Met. It was really humbling and engaging to interact with other students from different backgrounds and different locations. I met people from all over the world – Switzerland, Romania, New Zealand, Germany… just to name a few.  It was an incredible opportunity to interact with such worldly perspectives. I learned a lot about their education compared to mine in America, as well as lifestyle and cultural differences.

What do you like about life in London?

London life is cutting edge and exciting. There’s always somewhere new to try out for dinner, exciting markets and shopping areas to explore, fun and novel nightlife activities, and an abundance of rich history as you walk the streets of this beautiful city. Its endless charm makes London a lovely place to live in your twenties.

I also love the convenience of the tube. You can get nearly anywhere around London in an efficient and timely manner. Plus it’s quite fun to people-watch while riding the tube.

What are your career plans?

I am looking to enter the field of integrated marketing communications – with a special interest in content creation and branding. Within the field of marketing, I’m exploring working for tech companies keen on sustainability and innovation.

I’m striving to utilise my education to make real change in this world. We live in a revolutionary era where technology and innovation have opened up so many doors ­– and I plan on capitalising on that.