Work experience while at school. Managed to get some articles published. Kept writing for them in my gap year.
Editor - Brig (Student Newspaper)
Ran the student Newspaper while at Stirling University. Commissioned stories, created layout, ran finances. Terrifying but fun!
Local Radio Trainee Reporter - BBC
Managed to get work experience at Radio Newcastle in Uni holidays. Had lots of stories broadcast. Won place as Local Radio Northern Trainee there after graduating.
Reporter/Presenter - BBC Thames Valley FM
Left my native North East and branched out to BBC local radio in Oxford. Given greater responsibility. Breakfast show bulletin presenter.
Reporter/Producer/Presenter - HTV Bristol
Moved to Bristol and into local TV. Did everything from producing programmes, reporting on, then eventually presenting the main news programme.
Reporter/Presenter Sky News
Moved to London and Sky. 8 years as reporter travelling the world covering everything from wars to entertainment. Moved to presenting in the studio in 2009.
I present Sky's live lunchtime news show. I interview guests, come up with story ideas, and help write the scripts. I am also sent out on location so I travel a lot.
I loved being a war reporter. It was amazing to be there as history was being made being able to travel to some of the most exciting places in the world. I loved the camaraderie on the road and had a lot of fun amidst the hard work.
I have always loved words, books and writing so it's perhaps no surprise that I became a journalist. I think I had a clear idea of the industry I wanted to be in (the media) but I wasn't sure what that job would eventually be. I did very well at my GCSE's (10- all A's and B's) While sitting my A levels I was offered a place at Cambridge to read English. I messed up my exams monumentaly so couldn't take up the place (Needed ABB - Got BCD). At the time it felt like the end of the world. I took a gap year and applied to Stirling University where I read Film and Media studies. It was a briliant place for me, there were so many clubs and opportunities. and I made some brilliant friends. I ended up running the Uni newspaper and left full of confidence with a 2:1 and an offer of a traineeship with the BBC.
Media and internet
Work hard. Be determined but kind. Be nice to those on their way up - you may meet them on your way down!
Media - broadcasting, publishing and internet
Bs (Hons) Film and Media
Art, Biology, English Language, English Literature, French, Geography, History, Mathematics, General studies, Textiles
My favourite subject was Geography and it had been useful in so many wanys throughout my career. From understanding natural disasters and climate change to geo politics.
Listening is the most important thing when interviewing. Having a list of good questions is pointless if you don't listen to the answers. As a presenter you need to be good at mulitasking; you have people talking in your ear, guests in the studio, and have to watch what is coming in from lots of sources on your computer - all while you are live on air.
I learnt a lot from those around me. Humility is a great tool when you are starting in an industry. I was never embarrased to ask senior colleagues for help and advice. I still do!
For a long time I wanted to be an Archaeologist (may have been something to do with Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark). But I always knew it would be something related to words and books.
I would have studied Politics, History, Geography or Economics at University. All give you an excellent understanding of how the world works.