Federica Romaniello

Former intern at BBC, currently searching for employment.

Why did you choose the IBCoM programme? Was it a conscious choice for a specific career path? What other factors contributed to your decision?

Long before graduating from high school I knew I wanted to study abroad. Italy was never the right place for me, and seeing myself as a journalist there never seemed realistic. I did some research looking at foreign universities with a good reputation and interesting teaching methods, and the Erasmus University Rotterdam was among my top-choices. When I looked at the program specification for the IBCoM course I knew I wanted to do it. As I said, I wanted to go into the journalistic field, and knowing more about the communication strategies behind different aspects of life is a very useful skill for a journalist.

Do you have any tips or recommendations for current students?

I started IBCoM with a really clear idea of why I was there and what I wanted to achieve. I knew the courses I wanted to take, and why. However, not all my classmates were so sure about that. What I found good about IBCoM is that it allows people to sort of try different areas of the media and communications field, so if some current students are still unsure about what to do next, my suggestion is to try as many different subjects as possible.

How long did it take you to find a job after graduation?

Before finishing IBCoM I applied for some Masters degrees. I wanted to have an MA qualification before working. However, last Winter I did an internship at the BBC here in London. I applied in August and got the placement in November.

How did you experience the job hunt and job application process?

At the moment I am job-hunting for a proper journalistic paid role. I will not lie, it is a time-consuming activity. Writing cover letters, having your CV on point, and scanning hundreds of websites to find a suitable position is tiring. However, when you make it through the initial stages of an application and go forward in the selection process is quite exciting. Even if in the end you don’t get the job, you can still be happy about the fact that you were one of the few people invited for an interview or an assessment. I am sure I will find a job relatively soon, and the fact that I am moving forward in some selection processes makes me feel positive about it.

Were you well-prepared when you started your first job? Why/why not?

If we consider my internship experience at the BBC as my “first job”, then I would say I was very prepared. I worked along a team working on an investigative documentary TV series, and I assisted them in the various phases of production, from researching and organising the shoots, to helping them on shoots, as well as in the post-production phase, when I logged tapes and transcribed interviews. Most of the skills used during my internship I acquired them during the very first months of my MA in International Journalism, but I also used some useful knowledge from the IBCoM course when having to do tasks that were not necessarily related to TV production.

What would you have wanted to know beforehand (about the IBCoM programme, your job, or both)?

I have always been one of those people who plan a lot, make lists and timelines. I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that things don’t always go as planned, lists are only relatively useful, and timelines are indicative but not set in stone. Things can change one day to another, and within the last year I learnt how to cope with unexpected situations very well. Of course, this might not apply to everyone, but I wish I would have known this a while ago. Planning is good, but it’s even better to know how to deal with unexpected commitments or a sudden change of plans without feeling insecure about what comes next.