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Jade Vowles


United Kingdom
Looking back at who I was before university and who I am now just shows how far I’ve come, and that is all down to the course I’ve done, the people I’ve met and the experiences I’ve had at Trent.

More about Jade

Why did you decide to do postgraduate study?

“I decided to do a postgraduate study following my undergraduate study in Broadcast Journalism. I realised, whilst I loved and learnt a lot about the broadcasting industry, the news world wasn’t for me. Instead, I wanted to hone those skills and put it into making long form journalism. I decided then to expand my knowledge and complete the MA in Documentary Journalism. I saw it as an opportunity to widen my experiences and make myself more employable upon leaving university.”

What made you choose NTU?

“Nottingham Trent was my first option when I chose my undergraduate. The style of the course; its hands on nature and practical modules really appealed to me, as this is how I learn best. I love the community spirit that Trent has and it really does feel like you’re part of something. I fell in love with the city of Nottingham and what it has to offer students. All of this led me to have no reason to leave, and I decided to continue my post graduate studies in the same place.”

What do you enjoy most about your course at NTU?

“I think that unlike most courses, the journalism department has a real close knit, family vibe. The tutors and students have really good relationships and speaking to many friends in other universities, they sound surprised when I say we all know each other so well. The insight into the documentary world has been inspiring. I’ve got a really good idea of what the industry is like across an array of perspectives, which has been helped along by having real industry professionals joining us in university to answer questions and give an insider’s viewpoint. As I mentioned, I love how hands on the course is, and how we’re encouraged to just get stuck in; pick up cameras, recording equipment and head out in to the world to create documentaries. The openness of the projects has really allowed me to be creative and express the ideas I’ve had throughout my study.”

What do you think about the course staff – include lecturers, tutors, administrators and technical staff within this. How do they support your learning and University experience?

“Lyn Champion has been an incredible tutor, offering support on a number of levels throughout my studies. She’s always been there to discuss ideas and help make them happen but has also offered her expertise and advice for the real world. She has been a great help in making contacts and connections outside of university that will be absolutely essential in gaining further experience and work in the documentary industry. Her passion for what she does is really inspiring and this comes across in her teaching of the subject. The technicians we have at CBJ are truly invaluable. They have offered fantastic insight into the technical side of the course and everything I know about the cameras and the equipment we use is down to them.”

What do you think about the facilities available to you?

“The facilities available to journalism students is at industry standard. Having this available and being trained on such equipment means students can come straight out of university and be able to use the equipment and software that a lot of broadcasters have installed. The cameras available for documentary students are phenomenal. Being able to produce 4K footage is incredible and means that we can make really professional looking work.”

Why would you recommend your course / NTU to someone looking to study in that area?

“I’d recommend this course because of the wide variety of skills it gives you, it doesn’t just teach you to be a journalist. It teaches you to be a filmmaker, it teaches you to be curious about people’s lives and the stories they tell. It teaches you incredible communication skills and confidence and to be compassionate and understanding. On another level you learn how the law works, you become much more aware of what is happening in the world around you. And then you are taught how to express this in the medium of sound or film and to do so as creatively as you choose. It’s an incredible industry to be a part of and I think the course encapsulates this.”

Have you completed any work placements and if so can you tell me a little bit about them – where you went, what you did, and any skills you’ve gained that will help you when you graduate?

“I have done a number of placements throughout my time at Trent, working at the BBC and Notts TV are included in that. I recently completed my placement at Sheffield International Documentary Festival. Here I learnt a bunch of things. Whilst I was helping with general organisation of the festival, I worked in an area of the festival called Marketplace. This is where commissioning editors come to meet with filmmakers and ideas are pitched, then commissioners will decide if they’re interested and invest money to make the project happen. I did this last year too and then started seeing projects I’d heard about appear on Netflix which was really cool! Seeing how this process works was incredible because whilst we’re told how it works through university, really seeing it in practice helps gain a better understanding, it was also an amazing opportunity to network and talk to people who are in the industry I want to get into.”

What has been your greatest achievement at NTU so far?

“Receiving a 1st Class Honours Degree was a big highlight. But for me the achievement of actually doing things I never thought I could. The courses I have done have really given me a lot more confidence and resilience and I see that as one of my greatest achievements from my time at NTU. Looking back at who I was before university and who I am now just shows how far I’ve come, and that is all down to the course I’ve done, the people I’ve met and the experiences I’ve had at Trent.”

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