I’ve been a journalist for four-and-a-half years, having started my career in radio production and presenting – I worked on the breakfast show at a local station in Brighton straight after leaving university, but quickly became disillusioned with that side of the industry and decided to pursue something more challenging.
I went back to university, doing a postgraduate BJTC diploma at the National Broadcasting school (where I won the Jon Snow Cup for best news student), and after a short period freelancing, took a permanent position at Real Radio North East.
I spent two great years in Newcastle, covering stories including the hunt for Raoul Moat, the UN climate change summit in Copenhagen, and producing an hour-long documentary about the life of former Middlesbrough player Willie Maddren, before deciding to try my hand at freelancing in London.
I applied to the mentoring scheme as I wanted to receive advice and guidance on how to move my career in the direction I crave.
It’s easy to become disillusioned with broadcast journalism when you’re operating at the bottom of the ladder inside a big media organisation, especially when you’re freelance.
I found that I was becoming frustrated, knowing that I wanted to be working on bigger stories, producing longer term pieces or documentaries, and travelling the world for my job, but finding myself continually sat in front of a computer screen in a windowless office, writing radio scripts from PA copy and editing clips from interviews I hadn’t done myself.
It’s hard to see how to get from that place to where you want to be, and I hoped a mentor would be able to help me find a fresh impetus and clarity of direction.
The scheme has helped me in some ways so far – I already have more confidence in my ability to achieve what I want in my career and realise that anything is achievable if I work at it.
I’ve also made the jump into working in television as a result of advice from my mentor, and found this to be a challenging opportunity that has expanded my abilities and helped me to grow as a journalist.
However, my progress has been significantly slowed by a serious knee injury I picked up at the end of May – things have been on-hold since, and I’ve been unable to make all the changes I’ve wanted to as a result.
I need to undergo an operation at the end of October, which will stop me from working until the new year, but I hope to use my enforced time laid-up thinking about options for pushing my career forwards, so I can hit the ground running when I return.