Institute of the Americas
Alumni success stories
Kim Waddle, MA in United States Studies, 2009-2010
After studying History at undergraduate level at the University of Sheffield from 2006-09, I came to ISA [as the UCL-Institute of the Americas was then known] to study for an MA in United States Studies. This included the year-long American Film Studies course at UCL. During my degree and after graduating I worked in fashion retail and finally made the step up to a graduate job in 2011, working in PR and Marketing for a cosmetics brand. I moved onto another marketing role before applying to the Journalism Trainee Scheme at the BBC. After a rigorous application and interview process I was chosen to be one of 12 trainees, beating off stiff competition from some 4,000 applicants to become the only sport trainee in the country. In my year as a trainee I worked across Sport online, on 5 live, and in TV Sport News where I have since found a role as an Assistant Producer. You may hear my voice on the News Channel sport bulletins now and then, and I've even had one of my reports on the ten o'clock news.
I got my chance by bringing something different. The BBC is striving to employ a wider breadth of people these days to reflect their audiences, particularly in news, so the fact that I didn't just have a journalism degree and I'd gained real life and work experience were qualities they were looking for. The historical and political nature of my MA has stood me in great stead in a news environment, and the analytical skills I gained at the Institute are critical to my journalism everyday.
Find out more about the trainee scheme (and watch a slightly embarrassing video of my year as a trainee!) here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/careers/trainee-schemes-and-apprenticeships/journalism/jts