The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Claire Williams

Claire Williams

Claire graduated in 2009 with BA (Hons) in Geography. She is currently a video journalist with France 24.

Studying at Newcastle

Studying geography gave me an excellent grounding of current affairs, be them political, economic or environmental. This is because the course requires students to read newspapers regularly, follow the news and understand the history behind world events.

I’m passionate about keeping up-to-date with current affairs, which has inevitably led me to find a job working in the news. Studying geography fuelled this passion and gave me the necessary skills and knowledge to be able to follow it.

Career profile

I spent the summer after graduating working as a researcher on a report for Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) on health worker migration from Africa to the UK. I conducted interviews, focus group discussions and collected in-depth case studies with policy-makers and health workers.

I already had a good understanding of the issue because the summer previous I had spent two months in Zambia researching the impact on nursing services of Zambian nurses migrating to work overseas. As such, the experience I gained while doing my undergraduate geography dissertation was invaluable in giving me the opportunity to do this research.

After completin the VSO research I started as an intern at France 24. I have since worked with various different teams in the newsroom. I cover French and international news for the French and English language channels at the 24-hour broadcaster, France 24.

In addition to being able to think, edit and write at lightning speed, my job requires me to communicate effectively in English and French in a highly pressurised and fast-pace environment.

I currently work as a desk journalist, which involves researching, filming, editing, writing and voicing packages and reports for the news and features services. I also write for the France 24 Observers website. I track down amateur photos, footage and eyewitness accounts of events using social media and our network of ‘Observers’.

Alongside my job at France 24, I’ve carried-out research for the Rough Guide to Paris, which largely involved researching and reviewing restaurants, cafés, shops and sports activities for the author. I’ve also done a spot of radio presenting for the English language service at Radio France Internationale (RFI).

Remembering Newcastle

Carrying out research in Zambia for my dissertation had an enormous impact on me. It taught me research and writing skills, data analysis but above all, resourcefulness in a foreign country. I was given ample support at Newcastle University, both from the Geography department and the Expeditions Committee.

The Greece field trip was a highlight, as were the annual weekend trips to Edinburgh with the Geography Society. The field trips are a great way to bond with other people on the course and I think they’ve helped give the Geography department the reputation for having a strong community feeling.

All the members of staff should be congratulated for their approachability and willingness to help students with their work.