Russell Truran told us about why he got more than a degree at Leeds Trinity, he was particularly impressed with the experience and placements available. He also shares some tips for those about to graduate.
It can be tricky going into the world of freelancing but you just have to try and make enough contacts so that there's always something on the horizon next... And always be on the lookout for stories, as being able to make suggestions is a good way to getting your next gig.
I think that the really valuable thing about a degree at Leeds Trinity is the experience. The piece of paper saying you have a degree is nowhere near as valuable as all the experience I gained during the ten months I was there. Vocal coaching, assisting ITV with their amazing coverage of the Grand Depart, Journalism Week
, Mobile Journalism Week, the weeks of live production and the opportunity of professional work placements
at a range of national media organisations. I was lucky enough to get a four week placement at BBC 5 Live Investigates.
It was quite a big thing for me to choose Leeds Trinity because I actually live in Solihull in the West Midlands so had to uproot to come and live in Leeds for the year. But I had heard that with the quality of experience the people who run the course have (Richard Horsman, Mike Best, Lisa Bradley, Lindsay Eastwood) it was the best place to go to for a Broadcast Journalism degree. I'm so glad that I did because it was a great course and I met some amazing people and would happily do it all over again.
I enjoyed every moment of the whole year but if I had to pick my favourite memories then they would probably come from our weeks of live production - the two weeks of live TV bulletins and a month of hourly radio bulletins. Whether it be accosting former MP David Ward outside his office, or chasing the Chief Executive of Leeds Bradford across the airport to make sure I didn't miss an interview with him, or when ITV requested my coverage of an accident that had taken place on a waterfall in Bradford or my very first live TV broadcast where I ended up in the fountains in the centre of Bradford on a scorching hot day.
Since graduation I've been lucky enough to continue from my placement with 5 Live by having some paid freelance work with them - including a couple of stories that I came up with the idea for and produced. I even appeared on one programme after getting scammed by a fake email. I've also had freelance opportunities with a couple of local BBC stations and a commercial radio station back in the Midlands. I'm currently reading news and sports bulletins on a station in Leicester.
The advice I would give to this year's graduates would be to be persistent and not to give up. It can be tricky going into the world of freelancing but you just have to try and make enough contacts that there's always something on the horizon next. And always be on the lookout for stories as being able to make suggestions is a good way to getting your next gig.
In five years time I very much hope to still be working in Journalism and would love to have found a permanent role at a media institution.