For a large number of aspiring sports journalists, forging a career with the BBC is a long term dream that only a select few achieve. For one UCFB graduate, though, that dream has become a reality.

We caught up with BA (Hons) Football Business & Media graduate, and BBC Channel Islands’ sports producer and presenter, James White, to discuss his current role, and the journey he went on to achieve this…

How long have you been working for BBC and what does your job entail?

I’ve now been working for the BBC for a total of 17 months. In terms of my role, I’m a sports journalist, and specifically I’m the sports producer and presenter for the BBC in the Channel Islands. I produce sports content for radio, TV and online/social platforms for BBC Channel Islands News, BBC Radio Jersey and BBC Radio Guernsey.

I also present a four hour sports radio show every Saturday on BBC Radio Jersey and BBC Radio Guernsey. Now though, I’m essentially the head of sports coverage in this region for the BBC.

What does a typical day at the office look like for you?

Day to day I could be reporting on live matches or events, commentating on football or rugby, organising outside broadcasts, writing and editing local and national sports news, writing TV and radio scripts for sports related stories, creating radio and TV packages, interviewing players, coaches and other sporting officials, planning future coverage, managing the sports budget and presenting.

No two weeks are ever exactly the same, as we’re always reacting to the biggest stories as and when they occur.

Did you undertake any work experience during your time as a student, and if so, how did that help prepare for your current role?

I volunteered in the media departments of non-league football clubs Clitheroe FC and Chorley FC. Working with football clubs, and working on match days specifically, helped me to understand the importance of preparation and the ability to work quickly and effectively under pressure – which is imperative in the sports broadcasting and sports media industry.

What skills have you been able to take into the work place that you learnt during your time at UCFB?

A tremendous opportunity that UCFB gave us was the match commentary course with Sky Sports reporter Peter Smith. I learned a lot about the intricacies and requirements of radio and TV commentary from Peter, and I utilise the advice and guidance he gave us every time I provide live match reports and commentaries.

The course Peter delivered gave us a wide range of insight into the sports broadcasting industry, and what it takes to succeed within it.

What advice can you give to prospective students thinking about studying a degree at UCFB?

If you are going to study at UCFB, you need to have a hard work ethic and a willingness to push yourself to succeed and improve on your own initiative. Unless you’re proactive in networking and improving, you won’t be competitive in the sports job market when you graduate, because it is very cut-throat.