University Graduate Tells How University Helped Give her the Confidence to Pursue Dream BBC Role

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Seven years on from her degree University of Worcester graduate, Natasha Bateman, is travelling the country in her dream job.

Natasha is a producer and presenter with BBC Digital Current Affairs, a role that sees her seeking out and telling people’s stories from all over the UK.

“They’re basically stories about people that can shape people’s perceptions or make people think about something,” said the 29-year-old, who graduated in 2010 with a degree in Drama.

“I try and find relatable people that reflect everyday life. It depends where the story is, but I have been all over the UK meeting people with interesting stories to tell.

“Sometimes I think the average person’s story doesn’t get told enough. We try and do current affairs, but through a character that’s relatable.”

The stories are filmed and produced for the BBC’s social media channels, such as Facebook and Instagram.

Natasha’s route to what she describes as her “dream” role began even before university when she was working at a local commercial radio station in Worcester.

Originally from Martley, near Worcester, Natasha combined her lectures and studies around working on the radio’s breakfast show, getting up at 4.30am, but still making it to lectures for 9.30am.

“I wanted to get my degree, but get work experience at the same time so that I left university with not just a degree but work experience in the line of work I wanted to go into,” she said.

“The head of the department was brilliant in letting me be flexible with fitting in my radio commitments and academic work.”

Studying Drama, she said, had given her new skills.

“The degree was great in terms of building my confidence and ability to deal with people and being on stage,” she added.

“I also loved the fact that the University was so friendly. I think the friends, the people at university and the community that goes with it is the best thing.”

Natasha was offered a job with BBC Hereford and Worcester radio station in her third year, but while working there asked if she could shadow at BBC WM in Birmingham.

“I sat in for a while. Someone was sick and they said ‘could you cover?’ I got shifts from there and I went on to produce programmes,” said Natasha.

From there, she worked for the One Show in Manchester, producing current affairs films.

Two years later she moved back to Birmingham to produce a breakfast show, then began her current role in February this year.

“It’s my dream job,” said Natasha. “I love it so much because you get to use all your skills. I could be editing one day, producing the next. Because it’s social media and it’s fast paced, evolving, you feel like there’s lots of possibilities.”

She advised students to get as much work experience as they could and make contacts alongside their degree, which will help them stand out from others.

“If you know what you want to do after university speak to as many people as possible and get experience. It gives you a head start,” she said.

“Just be persistent and, if you want to get into journalism, ideas are your currency. Everybody wants ideas.”