Claudia Canavan

Claudia is a writer and editor at HuffPost UK. She graduated from Manchester with a BA in Religions and Theology in 2012.

Here, she talks about what she does and how she got there following her time at Manchester.

On what I do

I am a writer and editor, currently working at HuffPost UK. I founded the site's sustainable living section, work on branded content campaigns and contribute freelance magazine features around food and sustainability to national titles.

Claudia Canavan

The best things about the job are writing professionally, chatting to experts and academics for features, coming up with big creative ideas, and never getting bored.

Writing is my first love, and this area allows me to combine that with interviewing and speaking to a lot of interesting people. I knew it would be intriguing, keep me learning and be fun - and it is.

To flag: this industry is not, broadly speaking, well paid - the first few years especially were a big financial struggle for me personally. 

On how I got into my job

I have always wanted to go into the journalistic world and intended to pursue it after completing my undergrad.

After graduating, I completed a master's in magazine journalism at City University. Lots of work experience stints happened before and during my master's, including while I was studying at Manchester.

After this, I got my first job at Esquire, then Red, and then I landed here. I want to continue to develop as a writer and editor and, ultimately, end up with a senior position at a top national title. 

On life at Manchester

Along with my best friend, I was the fashion editor of The Mancunion in my third year, and a writer for the section before that.

This experience was invaluable - it taught me how to run creative meetings, file copy on time, think visually and gave me the confidence to apply for work experience at Manchester-based sites and publications.

I have friends I made on the paper who are working journalists at places like the BBC - and this industry hinges on networks. 

On studying Religions and Theology

I loved my course and remain fascinated with the world of religion and how it affects the world that we live in.

My course was eclectic, covering everything from Mahayana Buddhism to Radical Theologies, and immensely developed my critical thinking and essay-writing skills, as well as my empathy towards people who may see the world through a different lens to me (this is very important when interviewing people in a journalistic capacity).

On my advice for other students

Start writing for The Mancunion as soon as possible. The more involved you are, the more likely you'll take on a section editor role, and those are super helpful for applying for work experience.

Get some sort of accredited journalism qualification and offer to write for any local sites or publications.

Apply for work experience placements either in Manchester or your family home (local newspapers are great as they'll get you bylines and actual experience, as opposed to doing tea rounds).

Store your work in an online portfolio (I use

Consume as much journalism as you can, listen to the Longform podcast (great interviews with journalists and insights into craft) and keep writing as much as you can - newsletters and blogs are free to set up and mean that you've always got a place to hone your skills.

Be active on Twitter and tweet around the area of journalism that you want to get into. Feel free to contact me via Twitter if you'd like to chat properly.