Jasmine Patterson ‘12 arrived at Oxford Brookes, from Bermuda, unsure of what career she wanted to pursue. A broadcasting journalism module set her on a course that would lead to her becoming a well known presenter on Bermuda TV – and she has now returned to the UK to further develop her journalism skills thanks to a Chevening Scholarship. Here she talks about her journey.
For Jasmine, studying in Oxford was a case of following in a family member’s footsteps.
“My aunt was one of the first women in my family to go to university in Oxford city in the 1970s,” she explains, “When it was my turn to apply to university, I wanted to experience the quaintness of Oxford that she would talk about and Brookes ticked all of the boxes – it has great transport links, and its a historic and lively student city.”
It wasn’t just the prettiness of the city that brought Jasmine to Brookes, but the opportunity offered by her course, International Relations and Communications, Media & Culture, to discover the path she wanted to take in life.
Highlights of Jasmine’s time at Brookes
“The humanities department really appealed to me because it offered me the space to explore a range of areas within my degree, because I wasn’t entirely sure what career I wanted to pursue when I started. That is where my interest peaked during a journalism module on my course and instantly knew that was what I wanted to do.
“While at Brookes, I chose a broadcast journalism module at Harcourt Hill during my 3rd year. It was an area that was of interest me but I never had any formal education around it. I picked up the theory really fast, thanks to the faculty. The practical part of the course involved us teaming up to produce our own news program and I loved every minute of it. That module was my highest scoring grade overall towards my degree.”
And it wasn’t all work and no play either. For Jasmine, her student sporting career was a highlight – competitively and socially.
“My best memory was with my 2nd XI field hockey team mates. We had fixtures every Wednesday, some in Oxford and other times we travelled to other universities to compete. We ended up winning the league in my second year – best celebration journey home!”
A career in broadcasting
Jasmine graduated in 2012 and returned across the Atlantic to embark on her broadcasting career.
“After graduating from Brookes, I returned to my home country of Bermuda where I could be close to family and make a start in the local news industry. I interned with the Bermuda Broadcasting Company, the only radio and TV broadcast station.
“I really enjoyed working in a busy news room – no two days were the same and that’s when I decided this was the career for me. I was hired as a full-time reporter and later became interim news director and anchor of the nightly TV news program, Bermuda Tonight.”
For many people, just appearing on TV may seem like success in itself. But Jasmine is serious and dedicated to her profession and her country – and is determined to continue learning to be the best she can be.
Furthering her education
“To further my education, I decided to apply to Kingston University’s postgraduate course in journalism. In order to fund my studies, I applied and was awarded the Chevening Scholarship, the UK government’s global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and partner organisations. I hope to gain international experience while pursuing my master’s degree which I can eventually bring back with me to my island home.
“I am absolutely delighted to have been chosen for this prestigious award and to join an international collective of outstanding scholars. Despite these uncertain times, I intend to use this wonderful opportunity to benefit the islands of Bermuda, by helping aspiring journalists, and by developing effective and innovative responses to the increasing pressure on media outlets to reach audiences in dynamic ways. I am extremely grateful to the selection board for providing me with this scholarship.”
Adapting to a pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic had a big professional impact on Jasmine, as it has on so many of us. A willingness to adapt and try new ways of doing things was essential.
“This year was particularly challenging due to the pandemic. Within weeks of our borders shutting down in March, we managed to successfully transition from the station to work from home using just our laptops. It was impressive being able to produce an entire 30-minute news cast from our kitchen tables.
“We were able to seamlessly continue delivering daily radio broadcasts and nightly TV broadcasts remotely, covering press conferences and recording interviews via Zoom which had never been done before, I was new to the interim director role and had zero experience in managing a small team yet somehow, it worked.”
Advice received and advice to give
In Jasmine’s view, the best advice she has ever received is “find out what you really enjoy and everything else will fall into place”. It was at Brookes that Jasmine first found out what she really enjoyed, and this has enabled everything that has followed.
“I am truly grateful for my time at Brookes for providing a nurturing environment for me to grow academically. Without my degree from a well regarded and respected university, it would not have been possible for me to be considered for the Chevening scholarship.”
And in these difficult and rapidly changing times for many young graduates, what would her career advice be for them?
“Don’t be afraid to experiment. You have more time than you think to find out what you want to do.”