by Euan McLean @Euanmc1

FROM pursuing shoplifters in Tesco to chasing stories as a cub reporter working for his mate’s website, Declan Hughes never seems to stop running.

Working nights in a supermarket may not seem an obvious grounding for a future career in journalism but the Rutherglen man insists it demands vital skills that will serve him well in the media.

For a successful journalist needs the adaptability and the people skills to deal with everything and everyone from every walk of life – including the criminal underworld.

Hughes said: “It’s not as easy as scanning items, which most people think. 

“You see many things, whether it’s drunks, young girls trying to steal or old pensioners dropping to the floor. You have to react on the spot

“If you see it happening (shoplifting) it’s your responsibility to stop it so it’s all about reacting quickly. You don’t know what to expect, like in journalism.”

Adaptability has been a hallmark of Hughes since childhood, having left Scotland at the age of seven to live in Northern Ireland only to return to Glasgow when he was 15.

Now 21, the University of the West of Scotland student believes those formative years has equipped him for the professional challenges that lie ahead. After all, the ability to make friends and establish relationships quickly in unfamiliar situations is a key requirement for any interviewer.

Watch the full interview here…

Hughes, who has already shown great initiative to gain valuable practical experience covering games for upcoming sports news and podcast site Not The Old Firm, added: “People wouldn’t think the culture change from Northern Ireland to Scotland is different but I can tell you for a fact that it is.

“That showed me how to react with different people.

“I haven’t reflected on that much but the more I think about it, it has really stood me in good stead.

“It has taught me how to be thick skinned, which in this domain you need to be, and given me an ability to just speak and communicate with people.

“It was fine leaving at seven but it was more of a challenge when I came back at 15. There’s a perception that over there it’s a tougher environment but I’d say that’s not the case.

“Glasgow is probably one of the toughest cities there is and coming back here to build new friendships and fit in again at 15 was tough, but I feel it has made me a stronger character.”

With an ambition to work in club media for an SPFL Premiership team or go into radio or television broadcasting, that strength of character will serve him well in a highly competitive environment.

Getting to know you: We hit Declan with 10 random quick-fire questions and discovered an unexpected musical talent for a Celtic fan, plus a dilemma about shaving eyebrows…

#sport #football #universitywestofscotland #lifestyle #tesco #journalism

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