Ida Hamer has paid tribute to the training she received on the University of Northampton’s journalism course after beating the odds to land a role with a major European television channel.
Ida saw off the challenge of scores of fellow applicants to become a broadcast journalist with RTL in her native Croatia, and is keen to stress how her time studying Multimedia Journalism in Northampton helped her to scoop her dream job.
“From the first day we were treated by our tutors as future journalists and we were thought to act that way,” said Ida, who graduated in 2017.
“We had plenty of practical work that really prepared us well for the industry – how to use the equipment, how to film and edit our own reports, how to act in front of the camera, how to talk to people and organise interviews. From week to week we had our own news days where we were creating stories – either for the TV, radio or magazine.
“We were working in television and radio studios and we were making our own creative and totally messy news bulletins. I don’t even need to say how exhausting it was – but it really formed us into young people ready to go out and get into industry.”
Ida complemented her on-campus training with various work experience placements, providing her with valuable industry knowledge while also boosting her CV.
Everything paid off for her when she moved back to the Croatian capital, Zagreb, and began job hunting.
“With a population of only four million people, Croatia is much smaller than the UK and therefore the jobs market is also smaller and incredibly competitive,” said Ida.
“I saw the job with RTL advertised and I was invited for an interview, which was amazing as I heard that a large amount of people had applied.”
A rigorous two-day trial followed, after which Ida was snapped up on a probationary contract, which has now become a permanent full-time role.
Ida’s day to day work for RTL is varied and can see her creating broadcast packages, conducting field research and translating statements from English to Croatian. But her favourite experience so far was when she was posted to Indonesia.
“It was a co-production with the Indonesian Embassy, in Zagreb, and I travelled all over the country to report about the cultural and natural beauties there. I spent time in four cities, six hotels and had nine flights in 11 days. It’s an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
Ida’s experiences in the UK will also stay with her, although she admits her start to life here was a rocky one.
She said: “I’d only just turned 19 when I moved to the UK all by myself without knowing a single person there. I needed to grow up fast; find a place to stay; clean and cook on a daily basis; find a job and work while studying on a course in a different language.
“I was excited and frightened at the same time. However, over time I got used to it all. I had support from my tutors all the way and made friendships for a lifetime.”