Jordan Milne, BA History, graduated in 2014.
Why did you decide to study your course at Essex?
I completed my first year at a different university and then moved straight into the second year at Essex. I actually wanted to be an Interior Designer! But I did work experience and I just couldn't face matching curtains to carpets for the rest of my life. I decided to study history. I knew I wanted to tell people’s stories – and I was fascinated by the criminal justice system which is why I decided to study the history of crime at Essex.
What did you enjoy most about your studies? Which modules or areas of research did you particularly enjoy?
My dissertation was on the cultural life of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. I had the chance to examine the original play. There were pencil notes in the margin, so being the history nerd that I am, that was something else!
What employability/further study skills did studying at Essex give you?
Organisation and time management! Coping with the amount of assignments you have, you have to learn time management, you have to be able to deal with deadlines. Now in my job, I can have deadlines of up to 24 hours, or of up to 10 minutes and I can deal with that because I learned how to at Uni.
Can you tell us about your current job?
I’m the Home Affairs and Crime Specialist Producer for Sky News which means I produce both on the day and longer term stories now focusing predominantly on the criminal justice system. From my point of view, it’s an absolutely dream job as I was fascinated by the criminal justice system, now and before.
With your career, how did you get your start?
I did a Masters in Investigative Journalism and started working at a newspaper. I actually didn't want to work in TV, but I fell into it and it's been a few years now! I started working as a news editor and that work was really exciting. I’d speak to reporters, find things out and then had to react to what I’d learnt straight away!
Could you describe a typical day?
I'm based in the Sky News Studios in Middlesex. The planning office is just a regular office with TV screens everywhere and the News Desk is an open plan, fairly chaotic office! Now that my job has changed I have a greater focus on one patch - Home Affairs and Crime - which covers everything from court cases and police stories to terrorist attacks and changes in the judiciary. And I react to breaking news in this area. I work with the Home Affairs correspondent Mark White and the Crime correspondent Martin Brunt.
What do you enjoy about your work?
We recently interviewed one prisoner about the availability of drugs and how that impacts life in jail. Visiting prison and getting to see the frontline, as it were, was mind blowing. I’m also out and about on the road more now. So no longer chained to the planning desk!
How do you look back on your time at Essex?
Essex shaped who I am entirely! I still live with someone I met on my history course now – we’re history nerds together!