We offer each of our trainees a summer bursary of up to £1,000 every summer of their degree to spend on journalism work experience or a journalism project, giving them the unique opportunity to travel and explore the areas of journalism they are passionate about.

Here, School of Journalism trainee Cymbeline Young shares how she spent her summer bursary on an eight-week placement at BBC Wales.

During the summer of 2023, I got the amazing opportunity to complete an eight-week placement with BBC Wales in their news department which is based in Cardiff. As this position required me to temporarily relocate, the bursary allowed me to live in the area while carrying out the placement. This would not have been possible without the extra financial help from The School of Journalism.

Getting to work for one of the largest broadcasters in the world was truly invaluable. Although the The School of Journalism degree equips you with the skills and understanding you need to be a journalist, getting to apply these skills to a real-life working environment was incredible.

This experience has definitely boosted my confidence in my own ability to pitch ideas, write stories and suggest improvements within departments. I have learnt how to create briefs to pitch to editors, how to conduct interviews, write radio bulletins and present a news package!

A highlight of my experience was travelling to my first on-location job for a story I pitched to my editor in the sport department with no idea of how popular it would be! I was given the opportunity to go and interview a former world champion, strongwoman Rebecca Roberts.  

A screen grab of Cymbeline's article on the BBC Sport website.

     Byline time!

I was accompanied by a cameraman to guide me with filming but everything else was my responsibility which was huge since I had only been studying journalism for about six months. However, I took the plunge and I’m really proud of the feature I wrote for BBC Sport. It was an incredibly moving story and one I felt privileged to write.

It made such an impact that BBC Radio Wales and the Welsh news channel Wales Today took it and broadcast it on their programmes which was a massive plus for my portfolio and self-confidence.

Another highlight of my placement was shadowing Match of the Day with well-known sport presenter Catrin Heledd. The programme was being broadcast from the TV studio based in Cardiff with former Wales internationals Nia Jones and Katie Sherwood.

From left to right: Nia Jones, Katie Sherwood, Catrin Heledd and Cymbeline Young

I was given a tour of the entire studio and was introduced to sound technicians, producers, camera techs, make-up artists and the pundits themselves. Throughout the UEFA Women’s Nations League Wales v USA women’s rugby match I was shown how the pundits create their post-match analysis. This was especially inspiring to me as presenting a professional women’s sport event is one of my ultimate career goals.

As well as my experience in the BBC Wales sport department, I also got the opportunity to work within the newsroom (in the office and on-location), radio studios and BBC Wales TV studios. In every department I learnt something new, and the placement has only inspired me to keep pushing further in journalism.

This placement would not have been possible without the bursary scheme at The School of Journalism. This experience was irreplaceable and the contacts I have gained will help me progress within my career immeasurably.

You can read more summer bursary blogs here.

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