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Jess' story

“If it wasn’t for BU and Nerve Radio I never would have considered a career in radio. The support and opportunities available has been priceless and the skillset provided in my degree has made my media career future proof as I’m armed with many multi-media strings which are vital in the current media environment.”

Jess Bracey’s career after graduating from BU has been varied and interesting – to say the least. After achieving a First Class BA (Hons) in Multimedia Journalism she worked for magazines and local radio before landing her current role as the Ops Breakfast Show presenter for British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS), keeping thousands of serving troops and their families entertained over their porridge from her base at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. Her journey from Bournemouth to Cyprus has involved journalism, photography, rock stars and even an encounter with an intergalactic space traveller!

“I chose BU because its Multi-Media Journalism course was well regarded - especially at a time when digital media was still developing, we were equipped with all the skills to create content across radio, print, TV and online which has been a huge benefit to my career as I’ve been able to work across multiple platforms.

"As soon as I attended the open day back in 2008 I was overwhelmed by the university’s creativity, track record and of course the beach and social life was a bonus. Before attending BU I studied performing arts back in Gloucestershire as well as Media, Photography and English. My musical background was matched with many others studying the same course as me, and I was lucky to meet Daniel Duke (as featured on The Voice) who I ended up being in a band with for more than a year.”

“When I graduated from Bournemouth University in 2011 I utilised the print element of my degree and went into full-time employment as a Features Writer for two photography titles based in Cheltenham - Professional Photographer and Photography Monthly magazine. This was a great opportunity to interview the likes of Brian May and Leonard Nimoy about their love of photography, but to also interview world renowned photographers such as Don McCullin and also attend overseas press trips in Berlin, Budapest and Belfast testing new cameras ready for review.”

After a working in print for a number of years, Jess decided that radio was where her true passion lay. Volunteering for Nerve Radio while at BU served her in good stead before more voluntary work for local community stations eventually led to a role for BBC Radio Gloucester as a Broadcast Assistant and Reporter. This in turn led to a contract with British Forces Broadcasting Services based at Blandford Camp and eventually her current job in Cyprus broadcasting to the forces all over the world.

“Along with being equipped with all the skills during my degree which has been a huge help to my career so far, my greatest highlight has to be volunteering with Nerve Radio - the student radio station. When I first started at BU my ambition was to be a fashion journalist but I signed up with Nerve Radio to boost my confidence and add a string to my bow. Little did I know at the time that it would lead on to a career that would take me overseas!”

In her final year, Jess was chosen to be the first student to be the Nerve station manager, managing a committee and over 150 volunteers, eventually helping to coordinate handing full responsibility for running the station back to students. Since this handover, Nerve has gone on to win a number of Student Radio Awards.

“If it wasn’t for BU I would never be working in radio now. The university’s vast extra-curricular activities and clubs is a brilliant chance to try something new and the Media School were always pushing our creativity and to be taught by industry professionals who were pushing us to pursue our ambitions goes miles. A big thank you goes to Jo Tyler in particular for believing in my radio career and giving me priceless contacts in the industry. Six years on from graduating I’m still using the skills taught during my degree every single day in my job.”

With a wealth of experience and skills at her disposal, Jess is well placed to offer some excellent advice and tips to anyone considering studying for a degree in Multi Media Journalism or looking at a career in broadcasting.

“Don’t be pigeon-holed into one career. When I joined BU my dream was to be a fashion journalist and three years later my main goal was to be a national radio presenter. Make the most of the lecturers teaching you, ask them questions, soak up their knowledge, ask them for advice when you’re wondering what’s next after BU - they’ve been there before and have seen many students come and go in the same position.

"Push yourself and join clubs and societies - these are gold dust when adding to your CV as if shows you are proactive. Working in media, in particular, employers are looking for work experience so use your free time to volunteer at your local station, newspaper, magazine and build up that portfolio as much as you can.

“If it wasn’t for BU and Nerve Radio I never would have considered a career in radio. The support and opportunities available has been priceless and the skillset provided in my degree has made my media career future proof as I’m armed with many multi-media strings which are vital in the current media environment.”

Find out more about studying Multimedia Journalism at BU.