Student profile: Saya Uotani
Saya Uotani is in the final year of the Journalism Studies BA in 2019-20.
What's your experience been like so far?
I've learned so much in and out of university in my time here so far. In my degree I have found new passions, as I initially came in thinking I was only good at writing. In the second year, I was taught by Matt Robson, Katie Stewart and Richard Horsman about radio and TV news in one of my modules, and through the engaging tutorials and valuable feedback, I discovered that I loved editing audio and video! The staff in our department are so understanding and patient, and since it's smaller than other programmes, I feel that I have gotten to know them so well.
The students' union is equally fantastic and since I've gotten more involved by joining societies and committees, my days are filled with so many exciting opportunities and events!
"I had about 10 minutes left when the MP rang me back, and I rushed to the radio booth to record my phone interview. I dashed back to the newsroom, edited it, double-checked for errors and sent it through just in time to be read on air. It was nerve-wracking, but incredibly thrilling at the same time!"
What's been your favourite moment so far – or what are you most looking forward to?
Degree-wise, my favourite moment so far has been on my first radio newsday in second year. We were coming towards the final bulletin going on at 4pm, and I was anxiously waiting for a local MP to get back to me for a quick phone interview about the One Yorkshire deal falling through. I'd already written a cue and had about 10 minutes left when he rang me back, and I rushed to the radio booth to record my phone interview. The call was around four minutes, and when I got off the phone I dashed back to the newsroom, (impatiently) waited for the audio file to load, edited it, double-checked for spelling and audio errors and sent it through just in time to be read on air. It was nerve-wracking, but incredibly thrilling at the same time!
Please tell us about your plans or hopes for when you've finished your degree.
At the moment, I'm spoiled for choice. I could go into magazines, behind-the-scenes work in TV, radio, or even PR. Who knows, maybe I'll do a bit of everything during the course of my career!
What advice would you give to someone who's currently considering applying for a place on the BA Journalism Studies degree?
My advice for anyone who's considering choosing journalism at the University of Sheffield would be to think about why you want to "do" journalism. In my view and experience, the programme offered here is more about "doing" rather than "studying", and to make the most of that you need to care about the people you're interviewing and why you're telling their story.
Also, keep an open mind! A story that seems boring on paper can turn out to become something extraordinary that gives people a chance to learn about something they never knew or otherwise would have neglected. All in all, the more work you put in, the more impact you can see.