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Getting experience of media while studying

With a background in science, politics were a new venture for Fiona.

Highlights of her time at the University of Reading include interviewing the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow; a public interview with Douglas Carswell; and becoming the Head of News for Junction 11 Radio.

She was also invited to speak on BBC Berkshire Breakfast programmes about student views on politics, asked Alastair Campbell to record a jingle and talked Brexit, and headed backstage with Festival Republic at the Reading Festival to interview music acts and produce media content.

Her favourite module on her course was The Media and Politics, and she explored the effects of fictional US political television programmes on public perceptions of American politics for her dissertation.

Joining the Civil Service

Following graduation, Fiona was successful in applying for the Civil Service Fast Stream and started on the Human Resources Graduate Programme in 2018.

Communications had been her passion at university and while working in the human resources profession, she found that her skills were valuable in a number of ways.

Since joining the Civil Service, Fiona has been leading on the gender pay gap and the total reward strategy in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. This has involved working across all levels of government, writing public reports and managing responses from the media.

She has also been leading on employee relations by negotiating with trade unions over pay and supporting departmental contingency plans for strike action.

“Opportunities are out there and all you have to do is ask for them."

Find out more about undergraduate study


Peter Stockdale: placement experience in government

Peter undertook an exciting placement year in the UK government's Department of Health and Social Care as part of his BA Politics and Economics degree.

Olivia Highwood: pursuing her interests and developing vital skills

Olivia pursued her passions during her BA Politics and International Relations degree, opting for modules that aligned with her interests.

Freddy Farias Arias: getting the most out of university

During his BA Politics and Economics studies, Freddy travelled internationally through the Model United Nations module and helping to deliver lecturers and seminars in China.