UCL News


Spotlight on Melissa Bradshaw

2 August 2016

This week the spotlight is on Melissa Bradshaw, Communications Officer, UCL Communications and Marketing.

Melissa Bradshaw

What is your role and what does it involve?

My job is to help tell the story of UCL.

I work on corporate projects like our key messages website and our forthcoming UCL 2034 Digital Review of the Year. I also contribute to a range of communications across UCL Sound, the UCL Events blog, UCL News and UCL Antenna.

This means I get to meet people across the university and my role is varied. I'll be interviewing the people who built a mobile DNA testing lab one day, editing audio of a professor explaining why Venice might be dead the next.

But it all involves telling people about the amazing things people are doing at UCL in an effective and engaging way. So it's all about good storytelling.

I also support the digital communications team with ad hoc tasks like publishing the EU referendum advice page, proofreading etc. For some reason they laugh at me for being obsessed with cats.

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

Since last December. Before that I did a second MA, in journalism. Before that I did a PhD on Elizabeth Bishop and Sylvia Plath and psychoanalysis (about how they were using psychoanalysis to nuance confessional poetry). After that I wanted to get away from analysing and interpreting for a while! I always did some journalism on the side, mostly music journalism.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

The latest feature on UCL Antenna, about the Playing Beowulf game design project. Longform is my first journalistic love and it's the first time (professionally) that I've got to put all my production and writing and academic skills together at once.

I'm really pleased that the recordings of Professor Richard North reading Beowulf have been successful.

Tell us about a project you are working on now that is top of your to-do list?

The UCL 2034 Digital Review of the Year. This is so that everyone in the UCL community can find out how we're progressing with our 20-year strategy. There will be more than 50 case studies!

What is your favourite album, film and novel?

Dizzee Rascal's Boy in da Corner - it's so funny and so London. And timeless.

The Jungle Book 3D! It's the greatest story ever written, I was obsessed with it as a child, and the film is like you're in the jungle and the cast is just amazing!!

And All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy. His work dramatises the violence of masculine America and that's his greatest novel.

What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?

Why was the cat so small?

Because it only ate condensed milk.

(The cat in the picture is my cat Bill and she is actually really small and never liked milk at all. She used to love cheesecake though.)

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

Zenobia, Shakespeare, Bagheera, Marilyn Monroe, Muhummad Ali and Nem of Rocinha.

What advice would you give your younger self?


What would it surprise people to know about you?

I love dogs too!

What is your favourite place?

Holkham Beach in Norfolk. With our dogs!