Life after Catz: Working in journalism

Haxie Meyers-Belkin (2008, Medieval and Modern Languages)

After graduating in French and Italian I spent a year in London doing a Master's in journalism, before hotfooting it to Paris to work for rolling news channel France 24.

Working abroad after uni seemed a very obvious choice to me. Either it would go appallingly, and I'd acquire some entertaining anecdotes, or it would work out, and I'd become all exotic and interesting.

Three years have passed since then, and while I wouldn't quite call myself 'exotic', I do have a job and a life that I love. Language-wise, there's no better way to improve fluency than finding yourself at the heart of a breaking news story, fielding a barrage of hysterical instructions from your French editor, while simultaneously trying to liaise with a correspondent stuck in a warzone.

As for my career, I've worked my way up from assistante d'édition (assistant producer) to what's known as a journaliste rédacteur (desk journalist). I spend most of my time writing, editing and voicing international news reports, but increasingly they're letting me out to do some reporting. Covering November 2015's terror attacks in Paris was the definition of a baptism of fire - if a job could be challenging, harrowing and thrilling all at once, I'd found it.

(There's also, of course, the wine. And the cheese. And the bafflingly generous holiday allowance.)