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Alumni stories

Staff profile
Alisa Rochester

Alisa Rochester


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Biography

Ailsa, a 2014 graduate, gained valuable experience she puts into practice every day. "There's not a day of work where I don't use what I was taught." Ailsa chose the course because of its outstanding reputation "in almost every newsroom on Yorkshire someone has done the course". We asked Ailsa some other questions about her time with us.


Why do you feel you got more than a degree by studying at Leeds Trinity?

I was able to take advantage of practical skills in a small group - actual broadcast experience with tutors who bar none had successful careers in Journalism so the advice and skills I was taught have useful everyday application. There's not a day of work where I don't use what I was taught. Also their exceptional contacts in the field meant I already knew many useful contacts in the industry who remembered me when the time came for job hunting.

What made you choose to attend Leeds Trinity and what are your best/funniest memories from your time here?

I chose the course because of its exceptional reputation. I worked in the field before starting the course and in almost every newsroom in Yorkshire someone has done the course. My best memories included two weeks of live broadcast in a Calendar style news show that was streamed online - if was absurdly hard. I had no ambitions in TV and I was very out of my comfort zone but those long days of working like maniacs and in what felt like a "real" newsroom are some of my happiest. The feelings of comradeship in our group were unforgettable. The funniest memories are probably some of our on-air gaffes that don't bear re-living!​

What have you done since graduation and what is your current job?

I finished the course last December and had three days off before I had offers of freelance work! I then worked solidly - probably a bit too much - seven days a week for a few months! I read news in commercial stations across the country and also did a month's work experience at Woman's Hour at Radio 4. I'm now a Producer on a National BBC radio show, The Mark Forrest Show and read weekend news at Stray FM and Minster FM.

What advice would you give to this year's graduates about to embark on their careers?

Don't be afraid to send emails asking for work, it never hurts to ask. At the beginning accept everything, even if it's not necessarily what you want to do, show willing. If you can't get shifts somewhere then say you're interested in how they work and ask to go in and shadow them for a day or a week - they might remember you when they're looking for someone. Also, always be interested and ask questions so you seem engaged with what they're doing. But if you go somewhere and you just hate it, and not because of inexperience, move on, nothing's worth being miserable. 

Where do you see yourself in five years time?

Hopefully I'll still be working for the BBC in some capacity, be it producing or on the air. But in all honesty I have already exceeded the ambitions I started the course with so I am focusing on how proud I am to have the job I do and attempting to be really really good at it!