SPOTLIGHT ON: Jessica Stewart, One to Watch

By Abigail Gatling/ Creative Writing/Journalism
Hard work and commitment gets you to the top, just ask Jessica Stewart.

Jessica has no doubt this helped her win the Outstanding Journalism Student category at the 2017 Queensland Clarion Awards and land her “dream job”, all within weeks of finishing university.

Jessica, who graduated from QUT Journalism in 2017, was always involved in extra-curricular activities while at university, constantly looking for ways to make her career profile more appealing.

Entering the Clarion Awards, an industry recognised competition, was part of that plan.

Jessica at the 2017 Clarion Awards

The Clarion Awards are Queensland’s premier awards for journalistic excellence. Only four students were nominated as finalists in 2017 and notably, three of them were from QUT.

After hearing about the Awards from a friend, and being encouraged to apply by her supervisor, Jessica submitted her body of work and the rest is history.

“I wasn’t going to enter because I’d been so busy at work and finishing my degree at the same time… [but] there’s a huge benefit to being able to say you’ve won a Clarion.”

The announcement puts Jessica in an elite group of industry recognised winners, something which Jessica notes will help her stand out as a recent graduate.

Jessica’s entry to the Clarion was based on work completed during internships at Network Ten and Brisbane Lions, something which she’d highly recommend.

“Just make sure they’re the right ones (internships). Nothing appeals more to potential employers… than first-hand experience.”

She also worked on QUT News and managed to fit an overseas exchange into her degree.

Jessica presenting for Seven News Central Queensland

Jessica is now working in her “dream job” as a sports journalist at Seven News Central Queensland.

She attributes her success to these experiences and the opportunities that she had while undertaking her QUT degree.

“I was given an upper hand in the challenging journalism industry… [and] that’s a big part of the reason I got my job.”

Now on your television screens and with big plans for the future, Jessica really is one to watch.


Want to kickstart your industry experience? Apply for an industry internship.

Find out more about the QUT Bachelor of Communication (Journalism).

Discover the other Queensland Clarion Awards winners and nominees.