How I got my dream job

Emilia Bona explains how her JDF bursary enabled her to excel on her NCTJ course and become a reporter in a newsroom she loves.

The JDF has been an invaluable source of help during my time studying for an NCTJ qualification at News Associates, Manchester. The financial support provided by this scheme has enabled me to truly excel in my studies by removing the burden of needing to balance my course with a job, or the stress of a career loan.
By being able to completely dedicate myself to my course without the worry of how I would fund myself, I have achieved the best marks in my course across each module. I’ve been able to reach 120wpm in shorthand. I have also achieved 95% in public affairs, 92% in media law and 81% in essential journalism. These grades are testament to my hard work and dedication to my studies over the last few months, and the focus I was able to have, thanks to my funding.

JDF funding has also enabled me to take part in an extended placement at the Liverpool Echo, where I have been offered a full-time job that starts when my course ends. Had I been reliant on part-time work to fund my studies, I would not have been able to continue to work at the Echo. The Liverpool Echo is an incredible newsroom where I’ve wanted to work since I had a work experience placement there in 2013. To be offered a reporting job at a paper I regard so highly is a dream come true, and I can’t wait to put all the skills I’ve acquired on my NCTJ course to use.

The JDF has also offered a number of amazing opportunities. Benjy Wilson and Alison Puttock have both kept in regular contact with bursary recipients to offer exciting internships and awards schemes. None of these would have been available to me without the JDF, and I am incredibly grateful for the prospects the scheme has offered to me.

I received my bursary because of my ongoing struggle with mental illness. I’ve never allowed my anxiety to stop me from achieving academic success and have always prioritised my studies regardless of the state of my mental health.

My bursary alleviated what would have been an immense source of pressure. This freedom from financial worries has been invaluable, and I hope that my grades and employment prospects can act as some testament of the value of JDF funding.

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