Journalist: BBC News, freelancer at Metro, Independent, MTV
Bryony graduated with a degree in Drama in 2013. Here she shares her Loughborough journey and tells us about her career in journalism, freelancing and how her time at University helped her to get to where she is today.
I chose to study Drama because I just loved performing and I chose Loughborough University because I just got ‘that feeling’ when I looked round the University. That doesn’t sound very quantifiable, but it’s the feeling you get when you see a university and just know that it’s the one for you. I loved the look of everything about the course, the flexibility of choosing modules, the small course size and facilities for performing.
Loughborough has shaped so much of who I am now and how I have progressed in my career. Studying drama with a really tight knit group gave me a huge amount of confidence in myself and the choice of extra-curricular activities to boost your studies was amazing. I found living in halls for the first year one of the best experiences of my life, and I am so lucky to have met many lifelong friends. Not to mention many people I met at Loughborough who I have now run into in my professional life!
Would there be one piece of advice that you would give to current or prospective students looking to study Drama?
I would say 100% go for it if you love performing and getting to work with a really solid and supportive group of peers and teachers. For current students I would say make sure you take advantage of all the extra-curricular activities and societies available at the University and widen your pool of contacts and skills. The studies and teacher support is amazing, but so is building your own network of unique skills and experiences. Loughborough is incredible with what it has to offer through the arts, sport and media.
Did you take part in any extra-curricular activities during your studies? If so, how did this impact upon your Loughborough experience?
Whilst I was at university, I was heavily involved in the student television station called LSUTV and this is essentially what made my career dreams come true so quickly! I met some amazing people through working on the station as a volunteer and later as Assistant Station Manager.
I was able to develop skills in producing, directing, presenting etc. We were able to put on live broadcasts, I was able to present pieces of TV and learn what it was like to work late and early to make quality content (my first taste of shift life!). We travelled to the student television awards where the team and I won awards, and it was genuinely one of the most unforgettable experiences of my Loughborough life.
Whilst I was at university, I was lucky enough to get an internship with the media team at the London 2012 Olympics, through my work at LSUTV. After that, I got a internship at a small organisation straight after university in 2013, and following that I took a 6 month job at BBC Weather as a Researcher. I worked up the ranks to an Assistant Producer, before moving to BBC World News TV to work as a Broadcast Journalist, mainly producing.
I took the difficult decision last year to leave full time work as a Journalist at the BBC to pursue some of my writing dreams, and I now work as a freelance food and wellness writer for Metro, Huff Post, MTV and recently the Independent. I continue to work at the BBC, whilst also writing, running my food blog and social media channels, regularly appearing on BBC London to review the papers and organising events for foodie and wellness fanatics alike. It’s pretty crazy, but I love it!
There are no days off! Working as a freelancer means I have to be incredibly organised with my time and be quite definite about my time management. Juggling multiple projects means I’m always swapping my headspace and so I find I have to set certain days to work on different things. You basically have to be a boss at organisation! The variety and control over your workload is amazing though.
I love the variety and speaking to someone different every single day. One day I can be working on a story about the rise of eating disorders in Asia for the BBC and the next day I will be writing a piece for the Metro – or hosting one of my foodie events. I feel privileged that every day someone shares a bit of their life with me on the phone or in person – and that I can find a way to tell those stories to more people.
It’s so hard to say, because so much can change so quickly, especially in this industry! I hope to launch a podcast soon and my ultimate life goal would be to write a book. And continue to be healthy, and happy, of course!
If you would like to find out more, visit Bryony's website.