A Career as a BBC Researcher
Senior Girls Careers

Year 10 girls at Bolton School spent an insightful Form period with former pupil Charlotte Hopkins who, in the final Women of Work (WOW) talk of the academic year, told them what life is like working as a researcher for BBC Bitesize, the online study support resource for schoolchildren.

Charlotte told how she left Bolton School in 2016 with A levels in English Language, History, Drama and Theatre Studies and Psychology, having been there since Nursery. Academically, she said, she was better at some subjects than others, and had focused on what she was good at. She had fond memories of all that the School offered – she had found her best friend there and had really enjoyed drama and being able to be creative.

Having progressed to the University of Leeds to study Criminology and Criminal Justice, Charlotte explained how her dissertation had focused on the way that the media can influence how we think and she told how this had led to her interest in working for an online media company that created content to educate, support and inform people.

Her first job was helping to write GCSE guides at BBC Bitesize but, she said, during the pandemic, she decided to work for the prison service for a year to see if she could make more use of her degree. Whilst it was interesting, she said that the job actually made her realise that a career in media was where her future lied.

When she saw a job going for BBC Bitesize as a Researcher, she applied for it and got it. Charlotte told how the work at Bitesize is really interesting and allows you to be creative. She said, given they are a small team, the work is very varied and she is involved with all sorts of activities such as creating images, gifs and videos as well as writing guides and quizzes. Each financial year, she explained, you work on something different and that, so far, she has worked on reception and in citizenship and is currently on the primary games team. She extolled the BBC’s ‘hot shoes’ policy, which gives you the chance to try out in other areas and encourages career progression.

Charlotte told her audience not to worry if, as yet, they didn’t know what they wanted to do. In fielding a range of questions, she spoke about whether there is a limited market place in her field of work, the different options open to her in the BBC and what department she might move to next, whether her A levels had supported her, which famous people she had worked with, the volunteering and apprenticeship opportunities offered by the BBC, why she chose to work for the BBC and what the key skills are that she needs to do her job.

You can watch Charlotte’s talk through this link.

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