James Chalkley | Middlesex University London
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James Chalkley

James ChalkleyMedia Researcher & Editor, Sky News

BA Media & Cultural Studies, 2010

What made you choose Middlesex University?

I chose Middlesex University because of its close location to central London and the industry contacts the university has access to.

What attracted you to your course and made you apply?

The fact I wanted to work in publishing or television attracted me to this course as it covered the broadest range of media.

What aspects of your course did you enjoy most?

I enjoyed the 'getting out and about' aspects of the course. Doing mock campaigns was a great way to introduce us to what it would be like to work in the real world.

What were the facilities like at your institution?

Middlesex always had the most up to date facilities for us to use, not only that, but we got to use them in scenic surroundings.

What is your fondest memory of life at Middlesex?

My fondest memory at Middlesex was having lecturers that inspired me.

What one piece of advice would you give to a prospective student interested in studying at Middlesex?

Middlesex is the perfect university if you want to combine quiet surroundings with media industry connections in the city.

How did your course and time at Middlesex help you get to where you are professionally today?

While at Middlesex I managed to gain work experience at GMTV and Entertainment Today. As soon as I explained the course and it's close location, both companies were keen to have me.

Can you give an example of a time when you put the things you learned at Middlesex to practical use?

Middlesex taught me how to highlight and make a big splash surrounding any particular subject, something which is key for focusing attention in media.

What made you choose the industry you work in and what are its pros and cons?

The combination of a fast pace and a creative environment are the things that made me choose to work in the media industry. The pros include attending shoots and meeting famous talent, the cons are early mornings and late nights – it's not as glamorous as it seems.

How did you get your first foot on the career ladder?

I got my foot in the door on the career ladder by writing a travel insert for the Student Union's Magazine. This regular column later gained me work in a publishing firm, and later a production company.

What has been your defining career break or highlight to date?

The day I got the phone call to say I had got the job at Sky News was my defining career highlight! I knew Sky was a company that prided itself on entrepreneurial values and encouraged departments to listen to new starters.

What are the top three tips you would give to current students and recent graduates who are looking for a similar career to yourself?

- Work experience!
- Extra curricular work (e.g. student union)
- Keep a portfolio of any work you do

What one piece of advice would you give to the 17/18 year old you?

The one piece of advice I would give to my 18 year old self would be utilise the university
and the city's opportunities as much as possible.

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