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Luke Ellis (BA French and German 2005)

BiographyLuke Ellis on Graduation Day

When I left Reading I fulfilled my ambition to train as a broadcast journalist; after a year working in local radio, I studied for a postgraduate diploma in Broadcast Journalism at City University and I've worked at BBC News in a variety of editorial and operational roles across the country. I now run the team of technical and craft staff who work on the BBC's TV news programmes in Salford, where we make BBC Breakfast, North West Tonight and Newsround.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading?

Reading was one of the few universities I looked at which split the year abroad evenly between France and Germany. I felt at home as soon as I arrived to look round Whiteknights; perhaps that's because my mum had also done the same degree at Reading thirty years before me!

What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading?

I grew up in rural East Yorkshire, so it was incredibly exciting to move to a very different part of the country and meet people from different backgrounds. The career and networking opportunities which London and the South East offer proved to be invaluable, too.

What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?

Enjoy it! Meet people. Be open minded. Go along to any extra-curricular activities and events that interest you; you never know where they might lead. It was a chance meeting at an informal talk which led to my first break.

If applicable, how did you benefit from spending a year abroad / a year in industry?

The experiences I had whilst living and studying at universities in Montpellier and in Augsburg were life-changing. I felt such a sense of confidence after being able to establish myself in each country. It was a fascinating insight into the French and German education systems and cultures also.

What are you up to now? How did you get there?Luke Ellis in the BBC studios

I'm jointly responsible for the day to day running of a 70-strong team of technical and craft TV staff. I also enjoy being able to work operationally as a studio technical manager and intake hub operator. I've worked in a lot of different parts of BBC News which has really helped, as I've been able to apply my experience to each new role.

What would be your top tips for students interested in working in this sector?

Have a clear idea about the direction you want to go in and pursue your goal endlessly. Make contacts. Don't dismiss opportunities without giving careful consideration to where they might lead. Have an interest in the output and lots of ideas.

How has the University of Reading and the Careers Centre helped in your chosen career path?

I hadn't anticipated just how well the transferable skills offered by a language degree would prepare me for my future career. The combination of communication and research skills has proven really useful. The Careers Centre gave me lots of useful advice about CV writing and speculative job applications, which helped a lot.

What are your top tips for students graduating this year? What should they be doing to secure the job they want?

Market yourself as effectively as you can; social media like LinkedIn and Twitter are great tools for finding out what's going on in the world and also for connecting with prospective employers. The Internet has made it much easier to find out which companies are out there and who the best contacts are.

What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory?

Reading gave me so many opportunities, both personally and professionally. I have so many happy memories of my time at Reading; from Freshers' Week at Windsor Hall, to relaxing by the lake on campus with my course mates after lectures, and many nights out at 3sixty in the Union.

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