‘I’ve found it’s good to pick a niche and really go for it’

The real world: Colm Hanratty editor of Hostelworld.com

Colm Hanratty, 30, is editor of the backpacker travel site Hostelworld.com. His job has seen him travel through 29 countries and stay in over 50 youth hostels. Hanratty has a degree in journalism and media communications from Griffith College, Dublin.

How useful was your degree?



In college, we learnt basic writing skills, investigative journalism and web design. I also did photography for a while, and radio, but what got me this job was the journalism degree.

After I graduated I went travelling for a year in Australia. When I came back, I set up a travel website as a hobby. I am a great one for keepsakes, I hold on to things such as flyers. I just thought I’d pass my knowledge on.



What do you do now?



I travel for maybe four to five days a month for Hostelworld. From my travels we make three-page downloadable guides on the homepage. I also create podcasts and update the online guides, sample itineraries and lot of marketing. I write the customer newsletter and update the content on the site, competitions, news, and promote new sections of the site. It is the first job I have had in journalism.



How did you get into it?



I graduated in June 1999, worked for the summer and left for Australia in October. I was away for a year to the day. I did all sorts of things, but I got sick of it. Eventually, I sent a letter to Hostelworld to say, “Hi, I’m doing this site as a hobby, any chance that you have a job?” It was a fluke. Coincidentally, they were advertising for an editor. My website was shortlisted for an award called the Golden Spider – a big internet award in Ireland. Hostelworld was also shortlisted for an award and that’s how I found out about them.



What was your worst job?



I didn’t detest any of them too much. I worked as a debt collector in Australia. I would be looking at the account, see how much they owed, have the phone number and before you even pick up the phone you just think, I am about to have a fight. Then you would pick up the phone and have that fight. That makes you stressed. I used to always have horrible phone calls last thing on a Friday evening. It took a bit of the fun out of finishing on a Friday.



What advice would you give to new graduates?



People should send in a letter if they like the look of a company. Nepotism can be a great thing, but for the rest of us it’s just a matter of posting in work that you’ve done and hounding people. If there is a particular field or company that you want to work for, find out the HR e-mail address and just post in your CV and a covering letter. You never know what might be out there. It totally worked in my favour.



The thing that helped me make the transition from college to full-time work was that, although I was flapping around for a year, I have found something that I love. I love my job, even when I am in the office doing nine to five. Tomorrow I am going to Granada in Spain, in June I go to Seville and July, Dubrovnik. I have found that it’s good to pick a niche and really go for it.



  • Hostelworld.com has reviews and online hostel bookings for more than 17,000 hostels in 168 countries worldwide
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Voices
voices
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
Sport
Ronaldinho signs the t-shirt of a pitch invader
footballProof they are getting bolder
News
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
Extras
indybestKeep extra warm this year with our 10 best bedspreads
News
people
Voices
voicesBy the man who has
News
people... and stop them from attacking people
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
Sport
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Associate Recrutiment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

SEN Teaching Assistant Runcorn

£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?