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Award-winning Skipping Sikh report a journalism career highlight for alumna

Minreet Kaur

Having a degree and being able to get into work has helped me immensely. I learnt a lot from my teachers and fellow students.

Minreet, Alumni, Undergraduate

Journalist, Freelance

Multimedia Technology & Design BSc - 2003

From UK

Previous Institution

Kingston College - BSc degree

Tell us about your educational and/or career journey since you graduated from Brunel?

I worked in Marketing at corporates such as GlaxoSmithKline, Apple, L’Oréal, Procter and Gamble, Sony and Gartner until 2015. I then had my own TV show with a Sikh channel and in 2018 I joined the BBC on a short-term contract. I’ve reported for the BBCs One Show, BBC South, Newsround, and Sunday Morning Live. I then went onto writing for the BBC, Guardian, Independent, Stylist, Sky News, Metro, Telegraph and was behind the story of the Skipping Sikh MBE which won ‘Report of the Year’ and was featured on the BBC and awarded an MBE by The Queen.

What does a typical day at work involve for you?

Pitching ideas and finding a story that's unique, has never been done before, and tells the viewer or reader something new. I have to see what the news agenda is and find an angle to a story which has a news peg. My work is predominantly about the South Asian community and I am always looking for new voices and giving a voice to the voiceless. I build relationships with the local community and am researching stories on a daily basis. I also juggle the swimming lessons that I do on the side because I am freelance.

What’s been the highlight of your career journey so far?

The Skipping Sikh report on the BBC which went viral. This is the story of my father who was 73 at the time and started a skipping challenge, raising £15,000 for the NHS. This inspired people, young and old, to start skipping. I am proud of this story because it was something that kept people going in the lockdown as it was a positive and uplifting story. I lost all work due to the pandemic and became the PR person behind the story, which went on to win awards and a Points of Light Award from the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

How would you say your Brunel experience has helped you to get where you are today?

Having a degree and being able to get into work has helped me immensely. I learnt a lot from my teachers and fellow students. I volunteered for the Students’ Union too and this has helped me a great deal.

Why did you choose to study at Brunel and why would you recommend Brunel to others?

It was close to home, it had a great reputation and it's got a variety of courses available to choose from. I would recommend it because it's changed so much for the better since I was there, it is one of the best universities to go to, with a great campus and facilities.

What is your best memory of studying here?

The Students’ Union and being able to organise events for the Asian community to give them a voice. Also doing work around diversity, which really mattered then as much as it does now.

If you could give one piece of advice to current Brunel students, what would that be?

Use the resources available at the University such as work placements and the Students’ Union, and reach out to fellow alumni and make the most of your time there. I look back and regret not doing that and wish I had gone on to doing a masters. Brunel has great resources, so definitely use them.

What would be your top tip or key advice for new graduates as they begin their career journey after leaving Brunel?

Dream big, work hard and never give up. Think of your end goal and work towards it. I didn't go into a job that was related to my degree and have changed direction in my career. All the skills you gain at university can be used in many ways. Have an idea of where you want to be, but it's ok if you take a different direction. I love where I am today and am so glad for the opportunity at Brunel to have a degree, and now have a portfolio of skills that can be used in more ways than one.

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