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Student story

Max Towle

02 August 2023

"During my Journalism degree I got to do work experience at lots of different companies..."


Bachelor of Arts in English and History

Graduate Diploma in Journalism

Journalist, The Wireless, Radio New Zealand

As someone who always enjoyed the idea of being a ‘storyteller’, Max’s studies at UC focused on covering important events in history and contemporary culture. His current work as a journalist has realised his goals for a career in creativity and writing.

"A fantastic part of my job is getting to speak to people from all walks of life," he says. "Forget politicians, real people are the most interesting people."

As a local to Christchurch, Max had his sights set on studying at UC.

"I’d only heard good things about the University. I’d already started exploring the campus during Year 13 and liked the vibe.

"My favourite part of UC is the people. It’s always about the people. The more you put yourself out there, the better your relationships with people are going to be," he says. "I lived in hall of residence accommodation for a year and loved how chill it was. I also played for a University football team. Loved that, of course. Loved the team spirit."

After completing his undergrad study in English and History, Max was still unsure about which profession to go for, and so picked up Journalism postgrad study to tie his previous interests into a more career-focused programme.

"During my Journalism degree I got to do work experience at lots of different companies. I went to Radio Live and got to watch Hilary Barry in action. Met the great hosts at Radio Sport. I even loved my time at the humble Timaru Herald.

"I’d say the best thing about doing the postgraduate Journalism course was learning industry ethics. It really did teach me what is right and wrong in this business."

Honesty and enthusiasm, Max says, are the key to getting the most out of journalism.

"The hardest things starting out were simple things like cold-calling people or approaching strangers in the street. Nowadays, despite being pretty shy, I don’t find it so difficult, but when I started out it took a lot of courage to approach someone with a notepad or a microphone or even a camera. So my advice would be, be passionate and brave."

Max went on to a few other roles after graduating with Radio New Zealand and The Star.

His current role as a feature writer for The Wireless website sees him create long-form articles

"I write about almost any topic under the sun, but I suppose my two areas of focus are sport, and gender and identity," he says. "The thing that originally attracted me to journalism was being able to write creatively. Even as a “churnalist” in daily news, there is always scope for creativity, although in my current role, feature writing allows me to really push the envelope."

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