A hard working sports journalism student from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is hoping a host of work placements will help her break into the industry.Second year student Yolanda Zhao is currently undertaking work experience at Tottenham Hotspur, where she is responsible for providing news coverage for their Chinese website.
Work experience is vital if you want to gain a full-time role within journalism and placements are a compulsory part of the BA (Hons) Sports Journalism course at the UCLan. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of any extra opportunities and Yolanda has used her connections to build an impressive portfolio of work.
In her first year she volunteered at Super Sport China and was able to take advantage of being only a short train journey away from a number of high profile football matches.
“I was the football news correspondent and I’m North West based so I’ve covered a lot of teams like Man United, Liverpool and even travelled to London for big clashes.”
Yolanda then moved on to Netease, a Chinese internet company and covered the Capital One cup final before joining another Chinese company, Tencent. It was here that she had the opportunity to interview Premier League star Christian Eriksen, which opened the door to here current role.
She said: “After I interviewed Christian Eriksen I asked Spurs if they had any opportunities for work experience. Now I’m the presenter for their new Chinese website so I get to go to the training ground and sometimes I cover the match.”
Alongside providing a vast array of coverage for the North London club’s Chinese fans, she has also shown around groups of Chinese students to White Hart Lane itself, recording those stadium tours so they can be used on the website.
These opportunities have enabled Yolanda to build her CV and make important contacts, including journalists from the national press, which will be prove valuable once she graduates.