Alumni Corner - Patrick Kelleher, Pretty in PinkNewsFormer Deputy Editor Patrick Kelleher shares his University Observer experience and reflects on his career since then.I started writing for the University Observer as soon as I started studying at UCD, and when I was in my final year, I was appointed Arts and Literature Editor. The following year, I became Deputy Editor, where I learned the incredibly important skills of writing and editing far too many words in a night and surviving almost entirely on coffee.When I was appointed Deputy Editor of the University Observer in 2015, I felt a little out of my depth. I quickly realised that running a newspaper was going to be difficult and that I hadn’t a clue what I was doing.Thankfully, it all came together in the end. We were even named ‘Newspaper of the Year’ at that year’s SMEDIAS. It was one of the most rewarding things I had ever done, and it helped to give me my start in journalism.After meeting the Editor of the Irish Independent at that year’s SMEDIAS, I was offered an internship working in the newsroom at INM. It was a dream come true, and would never have happened without the Observer.The internship was both difficult and rewarding, but before long, I was writing news stories each day for the Irish Independent and the Evening Herald. I had stories on the front pages of both newspapers that summer and learned a huge amount about journalism.After my internship ended, I was kept on as a part-time news reporter for a few extra months, but that December I left due to illness. However, that wasn’t the end of my time in journalism, and I soon began writing for The Irish Times as a freelance features writer. I quickly realised that writing features was where my passion lay, and this is where I have focused my efforts ever since.I recently moved to the UK to take up a PR role, but ended up moving back to Ireland after eight months and going back to being a full-time freelance journalist. I thought I could turn my back on journalism easily enough, but it turned out that I missed it far too much. Going full-time freelance has been incredibly rewarding. I am now a regular freelance news reporter for LGBTQ+ news website PinkNews and still write features for The Irish Times.I am always grateful to the editors and friends I made at the Observer who gave me the chance to learn and thrive. It is still a brilliant newspaper and goes from strength to strength each year. Get involved – it will easily be the most rewarding thing you’ll do in college.