Broadcast Journalism PGDip
After getting a postgraduate diploma under his belt, Ben is now a Communications Manager at HS2 – Europe’s largest infrastructure project. By doing a postgraduate degree not only did he gain an academic qualification, he also worked towards gaining an exciting career for life.
"Despite having an undergraduate degree in history, I always knew I wanted to work in the media field, but it was only when I became involved in the student radio station that I realised that journalism was my true passion. During my time at the station I was promoted from Head of News to Station Controller, and although I developed a desirable range of skills, I felt that I still needed the academic background and expertise from industry professionals to enable me to progress further.
After spending three years in Birmingham, it felt like home and I enrolled on to my postgraduate course at BCU. I knew that the course was highly regarded in the industry and the job prospects within the region seemed stronger than elsewhere, so everything fell into place.
Broadcasting had always appealed to me – when I was young I used to put on shows for my family and performed in local amateur productions. The course really honed my confidence and desire to perform something more polished and professional, while still allowing me to stay true to myself.
The course really opened my eyes to what broadcasting journalism can be – it gave me a much wider understanding on the different areas of industry and the variety of job opportunities that I could have. The facilities were indistinguishable from the industry standard, in fact, in some cases, we had better kit!
Through on-the-job placements and networking with academic staff and course mates, I quickly developed strong connections that I still rely on for a professional advice to this day. I am still in-touch with the academic who taught me, and that connection stays with you for life. Years after graduation I still feel as much as part of the community as I did when I was there every day.
At postgraduate level, there is much more one-to-one time with the academic staff, so you can really sharpen your skills and work through a problem in much more detail. There is also a greater sense of freedom, in terms of exploring areas of personal interest – I was given more time to develop original ideas.
I acquired a wide range of skills as part of my course that I continue to utilise on a daily basis, but they can be applied in a multitude of ways. Although I am no longer a journalist, all my skills are transferable and, even now, as a Communications Manager at HS2, I treat my job as a reporter would treat his patch. I spend time networking and exploring different aspects of the business to ensure we are maximising our communication function.
By doing a postgraduate degree, I felt that I was not just gaining an academic qualification, but I was working towards gaining an exciting career for life. Being part of BCU means a sense of pride from studying at a forward-thinking organisation that puts its students and their future success at the heart of everything it does."