I gained a great deal more than a degree, I was set up with the life skills and industry experience that enabled me to land my first job in national news almost immediately after graduation.
"I studied Broadcast Journalism. The degree is BJCT accredited and the University offers the opportunity to complete the NCTJ diploma while you study (something highly regarded by the industry). The University specialises in media and journalism and holds a renowned reputation for its student radio and TV production across the country. Every lecturer who taught me on the course had previously worked within the industry and their first-hand experience provided precious insight.
"When you are in a job interview, the first thing employers ask about is your experience. So, university isn’t all about the degree, it is more importantly what you manage to achieve while you study. I was lucky to have a flexible seminar timetable and mentors who encouraged me to utilise my free time interning. Of course, studying is necessary to be a journalist. We need to learn media law and broadcasting regulations, how to write scripts, film and edit but, understanding a newsroom environment, reacting to breaking news and telling stories with style and accuracy requires practice. Just half of my degree was spent in the lecture theatre, the other, in local newsrooms such as Global’s Heart, Capital and Smooth radio stations, Tyne and Wear TV and Metro radio.
"At Sunderland, students are privileged to have TV and radio facilities on their doorstep. I also spent a lot of my time there, producing and reporting for the student and community-led radio station, Spark Sunderland that broadcasts across the North East and presenting the student TV news bulletin, Word on Wearside that streams live on YouTube.
"I graduated in the summer of 2016, since then I have been working as a freelance journalist. In the first twelve months of leaving university, I worked as an Assistant News Editor at ITV News, helping to produce the national lunchtime and evening news bulletin. For the past two years I have worked as a producer on Sky News’ flagship breakfast programme, Sunrise covering many major news stories often ensuring Sky News is the first to tell them. I also produce Sky’s World News programme, covering major international news.
If you have a passion for truth-seeking and storytelling and you want to work within the media to go for it. Work hard, say yes to everything and push for your own original story ideas. I highly recommend Sunderland; I have the University to thank for my training and kick-starting my career."
Published 4 October 2019