English at DMU leads to Utopia for graduate Tori

A work placement in publishing has earned a permanent job at a high-end interiors magazine for one recent graduate from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).

English and Creative Writing graduate Victoria (Tori) Cotton is an editorial assistant at Utopia magazine which specialises in bespoke and designer interiors.


Tori visited London's 100% Design show during her six-week placement

She is responsible for calling in material, selecting new case studies, proofreading the editorial elements and helping write features.

Tori was offered the job after she completed an initial six-week work placement at Pro Publishing Media & Events, the company behind the magazine.

The 21-year-old said: “Not only did the placement introduce me to the company, it also allowed me to prove my worth and (with some cupcake bribery) encouraged them to employ me full time.

“Once you’ve spent hundreds of hours calling in information and images and slaving over where to place a comma, it’s actually really exciting to see the printed magazine with your name on it, and knowing that you’ve written this case study or that feature or even chosen the cover picture.”

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The chance to practice writing in a variety of forms and genres during her course proved very useful for Tori.

“Surprisingly, it isn’t just the technical literary side of my course which has helped me. Writing fictional projects helped me explore my creative side and now I have a better narrative flow to my journalistic writing,” she said.


Looking glam at the company's awards after-party recently

Tori particularly enjoyed group work and collaboration when it came to the creative writing side of her course. She feels she benefitted from sharing ideas, writing styles and characters ‘to create something cool’.

She said: “I would definitely recommend DMU’s English and Creative Writing to others.

“Of course it’s difficult and tiresome, and then there are times you’d rather rub poison ivy on your underarms than write another essay. But the pros of what you learn and who you meet during your time there outweigh that.”

After some persuading from her friend Claire, the chair at the time, Tori also took part in a number of sessions with De Montfort Student Union’s Creative Writing society.

“It took me a long time to join in, but from there I was given the opportunity to perform my poetry at the 2016 Varsity event,” she said.

Originally from Halstead, a small town on the Essex/Suffolk border, Tori said: “I wasn’t sure about Leicester at first, but now I’ve left I’ll definitely miss the people.

“Also, the night life is so much better than my hometown. Luckily I have a boyfriend who lives in Leicester, thus an excuse to return to visit both him, and Mosh.”

Tori is in fact returning to DMU in January 2017 to speak at an event which aims to inspire final year students. The event – What’s Next? – will help students to think about their next steps after graduation and the support DMU can provide.

Posted on Friday 9th December 2016

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