1) Where and what did you study and when did you graduate?
I studied Drama at Bristol Uni. I actually started off doing French and Drama as I was advised and strongly encouraged (!) to do a more ‘traditional’ subject. I soon realised that was not the right decision for me and dropped the French to continue studying a single honours Drama degree and it was totally the right move to make.
2) Where do you live now?
I live in London although I’m actually about to move back to Bristol
3) Tell us about your job...
I’m a freelancer Broadcaster which means that I have my fingers in all sorts of different voicey flavoured pies! It tends to fluctuate a bit depending on what projects I have on but at the core of my working week, I balance my time between presenting and producing my podcast series Passion Pods which aims to inspire and encourage people to pursue the potential of doing what they love. I also work two days a week creating content and a podcast for Enterprise Nation a brilliant organisation that support small business and startups. Also, most recently I’ve been given my own afternoon show on BBC Radio Bristol and BBC Somerset over the summer. Chuck in to the mix a few freelance Continuity Announcer shifts at the BBC and the odd Voiceover job here and there and that’s how my working life looks really. Makes me pretty happy to write all of that down and read it back actually – still can’t really believe I get to do all this wicked stuff?!
4) What did you want to be when you were younger?
I wanted to be an actress or a pop star because I love music which is kind of cool actually because as it turns out as a radio presenter I get to (kind of!) tick both of those boxes. I perform a bit by sitting behind a mic and chatting away and I also get to surround myself by loads of music.
5) What did you do immediately after leaving university?
I stayed in Bristol straight after uni because I didn’t feel like moving to London as most of those around me were doing, was quite right for me at that stage. I continued knocking on all of the local radio station doors slowly getting more work experience under my belt which finally led to my first paid job in radio…as a receptionist! I worked my way up from there to become the event organiser for the station, to then read traffic on the breakfast show before becoming a full time co-presenter on the breakfast show.
After a couple of years doing that, I decided I’d like to see what opportunities London might have for me. I was about to start another work experience at LBC when I found out that I’d got a job that I applied for as a Continuity Announcer (which before I applied for I had no idea even existed!) I then worked on BBC 1 and BBC 2 for four years full time as one of the voices in between the programmes on your TV – so random! Radio has always been my big love though so about four years in I decided to go Freelance and continue to get back on to my original radio tracks. That’s when Passion Pods was born. I had gone Freelance and really wanted to keep my broadcasting practice up. At the same time a lot of my friends were setting out on their own and I found their stories to be a constant source of encouragement so thought that others might find the same if I recorded them and put them out there. Fast forward a few years and I’m now producing one once a week and this summer we’ll reach number 100!
Optimistic I think because I knew what I wanted to do…well, most of the time! The biggest challenge for me has been sticking with that optimism as time passed. I always knew deep down that this is what I wanted to do but making it work financially or mentally has been really challenging at times. I’m so pleased that I stuck with it though as I’m about to start the job that I’ve always wanted on the station that I’ve always wanted to work for which feels pretty darn awesome! It’s taken a lot longer than I imagined it would but I really do believe that if you really want something you absolutely will get it – just maybe not to the timescale you envisaged!
7) If you could go back, what would you say to yourself on graduation day?
Have confidence! Our lack of belief in ourselves and our perceived constrictions of our background or peer group or gender or age or whatever really can be so paralysing which is just such a shame. Tap in to what you really want and run with that – you know best. What’s the worst that can happen? It doesn’t work out and you learn something from it. Really need to practice taking that advice myself though from time to time I tell you!
8) Would you have done anything different?
I don’t think so. I’m a real believer in all the little twists and turns that we come up against being things that we need to help us get more of what we want – even if they seem bloody horrible at the time!
9) What inspires you?
People do. Humans can be pretty incredible creations when they want to be. Their passion in what they love is pretty inspiring, whatever form it takes. Whether it’s getting excited about spreadsheets, making music, pruning trees – there’s something incredibly infectious about other people getting excited about their bits and pieces.
10) What would you like to say to our graduates looking for inspiration?
Go out and hunt for it. It’s out there you just need to tap in to the right networks.
11) Your three favourite words
Love, Kindness and Passion – oh actually please can I have four? Meerschweinchen. Guinea Pig in German. It’s such fun to say and for some bizarre reason has always stuck in my head.
Thank you so much Emily for taking the time to answer our questions and give such darn good advice! If you'd like to find out more about Emily's various projects, check out her website and be sure to subscribe to Passion Pods for your weekly entrepreneurial inspiration.
If you are, or know, an inspirational graduate living their dreams, please fill in the form on the right hand side of this page. We'd love to hear from you!