Name: Fortuna Burke
Degree and university: Law LLB, Commercial Law LLM, University College London
Placement: BBC Radio Newsroom. BBC Radio Newsroom received the Highly Commended Award in the ‘Best Work Experience as Nominated by a Student’ Category at the 2007/08 National Council for Work Experience (NCWE) Awards
What did you actually do on placement? During the week-long placement with the Radio Newsroom, I completed many tasks, following the process of news from writing through to it being aired. I learned how to write news stories, using simple communication in a way that would get a particular message across to the listener very quickly. I was then coached by the news readers, Harriet Cass and Annie McKie on how to read the news. A particular highlight of the week was hearing my own news stories read out on Radio 4. I also watched the Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2 go out live, and met the Radio 4 newsreader Brian Perkins.
What do you think you learned while on placement? The experience enabled me to work in a highly pressured environment, to very tight deadlines. This has impacted on my studies, making me more organised and aware of what can be achieved in a short time. While my degree in Law did not directly lead in to this line of work, the work experience drove my enthusiasm and particularly highlighted an interest in production. Following on from my work experience, I am currently in the process of applying for an 18 month production trainee scheme at the BBC.
Would you recommend work experience to other undergraduates? I would recommend work experience placements to anyone who wants to try out a particular area of work, in order to gauge interest. I found my work experience gave me insight into what a journalist really does, something which I am now hoping to build on for my career.