I got a place on the John Schofield Trust’s mentoring scheme at a time when I was at a crossroads in my journalism career. I had recently returned from the Middle East to take up a place on the BBC’s journalism training scheme, which saw me spending time in Leeds, London and Beirut working in radio, TV and online.
After nearly four years living in Lebanon, where I did my master’s degree and worked with everyone from local papers to the UN, I knew that I was keen to work in international news, particularly in the Middle East. But I also knew that I needed to get more broadcast journalism experience under my belt, as the competition for those jobs is intense.
The John Schofield Trust had the foresight to pair me up with Penny Marshall, a correspondent at ITN with years of foreign and domestic reporting experience. Penny has been able give me insights from her own career and suggest paths for me that I hadn’t thought of. It’s also been really useful to get a non-BBC perspective. As with many industries these days, lots of well-qualified people are competing for a shrinking number of jobs in broadcast journalism, so having the advice and backing of a senior correspondent has been invaluable.