Worldwide Trends, Events and Training - International Student Blogger, Maria Bortnovskaya - title image

London is undoubtedly one of the top university cities in the world. Through studying in London I’ve been able to follow worldwide trends and to not miss out on workshops, training courses and other events relevant to my career goals. The city is well-known for its high level of education, the cultural diversity and great career opportunities.

Studying at the University of Westminster helps you to create links with industries relevant to your interests. You can count on free access to support which also includes services provided by The Creative Enterprise centre and Careers and Employability Service. The latter helps students with choosing a career path, getting mentoring, finding volunteering and job opportunities, etc. In addition, they deliver networking sessions, career fairs and other events. The university also designed a quick guide for attendees on how to prepare for a meeting with potential employees.

Prioritise wisely

Worldwide Trends, Events and Training - International Student Blogger, Maria Bortnovskaya - Maria at work

London, a very welcoming city for students from all over the world, provides a wide range of career-focused courses. There are so many interesting things happening around you, that you need to plan how to find time for everything.

As I mentioned in my last blog, I am currently doing a Master’s course in Media Management at the University of Westminster. It is a very good option for experienced journalists & PR specialists. My course in Media Management develops creative thinking, strategic planning, leadership, project management and other skills through a variety of interesting subjects. It includes modules, such as Media Management, Media Markets, Digital Media: Development and Production and many others. As a result, it gives you a well-balanced view on a worldwide media landscape and provides you with skills which are required for a successful career in media industry nowadays. Innovative techniques and multi-cultural faculty and students will help you to enhance your skillset and make it applicable to an international environment. It is more intensive in comparison with a Bachelor’s degree, but at the same time, you have fewer lectures.

Studying a Master’s course means doing a large amount of work on your own through research, reading but through also working on collaborative team projects. On one hand, this requires more mature skills in time-management. However, on the other hand, this provides an excellent opportunity to create a schedule that works around your interests.

For example, I decided to deploy my time and resources in the most efficient way. When I had breaks between classes during the week, I used that time to obtain deeper knowledge in areas that also interested me, but that are not specifically covered in detail in my MA Media Management course.

Worldwide Trends in Journalism – Exploring data visualisation

 Worldwide Trends, Events and Training - International Student Blogger, Maria Bortnovskaya - Data Visualisation coursebook - projector with graphics

I have always been interested in the synthesis of traditional journalism and data analysis & visualisation; therefore, I always made sure to incorporate the latter in my day-to-day work.

That is why one of the priorities during my studies in London has been to enhance these skills.  As I’ve mentioned above, studying at The University of Westminster provides you with opportunities to design a schedule that works around your interests. At the same time, the course in Media Management gave me additional inspiration to enhance my skills in various areas of journalism.

If you look at the UK and other countries, you will see that data visualisation is an important emerging trend in the media industry. Nowadays many media organisations across the world create data visualisation teams and work in close collaboration with graphic/data visualization designers and developers. You can often see interesting infographics on social media accounts of leading media organisations like the Financial Times or Bloomberg. Some experts say that the use of data visualisation across newsrooms is growing consistently and will become a driving force for storytelling in the digital age.

In this post I will give you some tips on using services provided by the university and affordable sources in London to enhance your data analysis & visualisation skills.

Affordable ways to enhance your data analysis and visualisation skills

Worldwide Trends, Events and Training - International Student Blogger, Maria Bortnovskaya - Data Visualisation presentation

Option 1 – Lynda Tutorials is an online learning library that provides more than 6000 courses. You can learn software, education, business, creative and other skills.

It is available for free to the University of Westminster undergraduate and postgraduate students on UK-based programmes. Otherwise the subscription costs about £250.

There you can find courses in such areas as video production, photography, design, animation, and many others. You can not only to develop skills, but also receive a certificate of completion.

As for me, I am currently undertaking a professional course on data visualisation. The founder of an information design and data visualisation consultancy located in Boston delivers the course. He teaches how to think more strategically, about ways to present data to an audience and to tell the best story you can.

Option 2 – Workshops

Westminster promotes a lot of career-focused events. By subscribing to newsletters and checking the university’s website and internal systems for students, you won’t miss them. The university staff also motivate you to explore opportunities provided by living and studying in London. They also inspired me to monitor external sources as well.

Over the last year, I personally have attended a variety of workshops organised by the university and by other UK educational institutions, organisations, and news media companies. Recently, I have attended an interesting one on data analysis & data visualisation. It was called “How to make infographics”. No design experience was required, and all the practical work was performed with paper and pens.

The event was delivered by the team who taught at the Guardian and at the University of Oxford as well. This class took place in a magnificent 19th-century lecture theatre at King’s College London. The lecturer explained to us the key principles of infographic design and how to tell compelling stories with data. Attendants also had an option to analyse examples of best and worst practices all together. We received some great insights into the future of data visualisation.

There was also a practical part to the workshop. It was interesting to participate in a brainstorming activity in a small group and create our own infographic. Our team drew a graph with significant historical events which took place in the UK in 18th-20th centuries and political parties which were in power during that period of time. We also tried to find out whether there was correlation between the former and the latter.

Option 3 – Join a national union

If you fancy trying something more advanced, I recommend you join a national union or membership in your subject area. I personally am a member of the National Union of Journalists . You can apply for a student membership during your studies at The University of Westminster. After that you receive access to events available to members of the union only. Some of them are dedicated specifically to data journalism.


All in all, when you live in London, it’s hard not to follow key worldwide trends.

Living in this city and studying in the University of Westminster gives you access to so many professional worldwide trends, events and training courses, which all help to enhance your professional skills.

You just need to start your exciting university journey!


For this post and other blogs from International Students at Westminster please visit International Student Blogs.

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