We are delighted to hear that OF Georgina McKenzie Smith (Ar 2011-2016) has been shortlisted for Young Journalist of the Year at the PPA Scottish Magazine Awards 2020. This is a wonderful achievement so early in her journalism career. During her time at Fettes, Georgina won many prizes including the Governor’s Prize for English in her final year. We spoke to Georgina shortly after her nomination was announced:
“I was absolutely delighted to find out I had been shortlisted for the award – and very surprised! The other nominees are all amazing journalists, with very impressive by-lines under their belts so I’m flattered to be in such good company.
After attending University of St Andrews for a year after school, I traded up uni for a job in London and it is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I then moved to work at DC Thomson last year, starting off on teen magazine Shout (the modern iteration of Jackie magazine) which was such a fun job, and a brilliant foot in the door of the world of journalism. I started on the Scots Magazine at the very start of lockdown and I have loved writing more long reads – and interviewing some brilliant people such as eminent journalist and reporter Jackie Bird, and Liz Lochhead, one of my favourite poets.
I always loved English at school and I knew whatever I did in the future it would involve writing. I was so lucky to have such brilliant English teachers throughout my time at Fettes to encourage that interest.
I always presumed my career path would begin with a degree but I would encourage those, no matter how academic, to really investigate the different options after leaving school. University is fantastic for many people, but the four extra years of work experience I have gained have proven to be invaluable in kickstarting my career in journalism. University very much isn’t the only option.
If there are any Fettesians or recent OFs that are looking to get into journalism then please don’t hesitate to drop me a message and I would be happy to help. I’ve only been in the industry for a couple of years so I can’t claim that I’m an expert by any means, but I would love to be able to help even a little bit!”
The winners will be announced on Thursday 3rd December 2020. We wish Georgina the best of luck for the awards and her flourishing career.