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Chris Hickman


United Kingdom
I can state with absolute confidence that I would not be in the role I am now without the skills I learnt at CBJ… I developed the confidence through my degree to pursue my career path and take opportunities elsewhere.

More about Chris

Current Job Title: Communications Manager, Marketing NG

Tell us why you chose to study at NTU.

“I originally went to the University of Birmingham; I dropped out after a couple of weeks as I decided the course wasn’t for me. I took a year out and decided to apply for a more vocational course, which was the Broadcast Journalism BA at NTU. Living nearby I also felt it was more cost effective to stay at home and travel in.”

What did you enjoy most about your course?

“The course was small (around 40 of us) so we were able to bond and become an incredibly tight-knit group, who supported each other throughout the three years. I managed to contract pneumonia in the first few months and I was given great support and sent well-wishes!

“The course itself was fantastic, to be hands-on and learn how to be a broadcast journalist, having access to equipment and newsrooms was incredibly fun, but more importantly taught me a huge number of skills, which I still use today.”

What did you think about the course staff – include technical staff, administrators, lecturers and tutors. How did they support your learning and university experience?

“The course staff are integral to the learning experience, not just the tutors but the technical staff too. Never be afraid to ask them lots of questions!”

Would you recommend NTU and your course to someone looking to study in that area? If so, why?

“The lecturers are some of the most experienced and curious journalism professionals in the country and they truly care about your development. NTU itself is an institution, which is really going places, especially in the last 10 years or so since I have graduated. The facilities are state-of-the-art, the location is great and the pastoral care is also first class.”

How has your career developed since leaving NTU?

“After graduating it took me just over a year to find a salaried role at the Woodland Trust, a national conservation charity. It was an entry-level role but it was a route into a large organisation, which is all that mattered. After a year, there was a vacancy in the PR team, I applied and managed to secure the role. I then spent 10 years in total at the Trust, working my way up to the role of Senior PR Officer.

“In October 2017 I took the role of Communications Manager at Marketing NG, which is Nottinghamshire’s ‘Place Marketing Organisation’, responsible for attracting tourism, investment and conferencing to the county.”

What have been the highlights of your career so far?

“My personal favourites include a number of national media interviews on the likes of BBC Countryfile, Radio 5 Live and Newsround. I have also helped raise the profile of many positive activities at the Woodland Trust; such as the creation of England’s largest new native forest, which began in 2009, with the final trees being planted in spring 2018 – 600,000 in all!”

What are your favourite aspects / greatest challenges of your current role?

“I’m still learning! It’s great to work with so many organisations and individuals who care about Nottinghamshire and want to put it on the map. The biggest challenge is making sure I can add value to the many people who want our support to raise their profile.”

How have your studies contributed to your career / current successes?

“I can state with absolute confidence that I would not be in the role I am now without the skills I learnt at CBJ. Communicating both verbally and in written form is essential both at work and in life and it’s fair to say I was incredibly quiet and shy before I started the degree. I developed the confidence through my degree to pursue my career path and take opportunities elsewhere.”

Do you have any advice to share with new graduates or other alumni?

“Make the most of your time! Travel, volunteer, read – I spent a lot of my twenties not doing a great deal and it is something I am trying to make up lost time for now. Once you have a job, any job, say yes to everything you are asked. People remember those who are willing and those that are not, you will be rewarded!”

Chris is an Alumni Fellow, he donates his time to support and inspire our current students. Visit our Alumni Fellowship page to find out how you can get involved.

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