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Student stories

Helen Skelton

Graduate, (BA) Hons Journalism

Helen Skelton (photo courtesy of Ruth Crafer)When I was younger I always wanted to be a newsreader because I thought they get to know everything first!

I had a look around for university courses but to be honest my course at Carlisle was brilliant. I had such a good time here. It was run by industry people, not academics, so it was very focused on what you had to do. I graduated with a first-class degree.

Opportunities are where you look for them. There’s a really good local BBC station here. Manchester is going to be the centre of the media world when it comes to new media technology and that’s only a couple of hours down the road.

- Helen spoke to Consider This Cumbria, a digital magazine and website created by BA (Hons) Journalism graduates Tom Burrows and Paddy Cole.

Kimberley Boak

Graduate, (BA) Hons Journalism

I’m from Carlisle and chose the University of Cumbria because I wanted to be a broadcast journalist. I thought studying the subject in detail would make a huge difference in gaining a job in my chosen career.

I could see how the different modules would be applied to my working life which kept me interested throughout the three years. I enjoyed the practical aspect with regard to the television and radio modules because I felt gaining hands on experience helped me to grow as a young journalist.

I now work full-time as a broadcast journalist at BBC Radio Cumbria, producing the Drive Time programme and reporting for the Breakfast and Mid-Morning programmes. I also tech-op the sports shows.

Current ambitions are to keep improving as a broadcast journalist and gain some television experience. Long term goals would be to make the move from broadcasting at a local level to a national level.

Sarah Robinson

Graduate, (BA) Hons Journalism

Journalism is a huge industry and what I liked about the course was that it provided students with the opportunity to explore different fields, including broadcast, print and online journalism. I gained so much knowledge about the industry and was able to develop the skills employers look for. Working on the student newspaper The Informer was hugely beneficial as we were putting all the head knowledge we had been learning in class into practice.

Time management was my biggest challenge at university. I found that even though I was studying the different modules and completing projects throughout the year, I didn't make a huge amount of time to actually write articles. It was quite a shock to the system when I started working on a weekly paper, where we can write up to 40 stories a week!

I have been working as a senior reporter for The Whitehaven News for nearly three years, covering some of the biggest news stories to have affected the region. My plans for the near future are to focus on writing more features for the paper to enhance my writing style and get to grips with local issues. I feel that I have much more to learn yet!