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From Leeds Beckett to BBC Breakfast
Graham Albans, perhaps better known as Chris Evans Breakfast Show producer Golden Graham, studied Creative Music & Sound Technology at Leeds Beckett, graduating in 2011.
Within three months he’d secured himself a full-time role at BBC Radio 2, Europe’s biggest radio station, a role that has seen him broadcast two breakfast shows live from Glastonbury festival.
A particular highlight of his career to date, Graham recalls: “There was a moment when I was standing on the Pyramid Stage with my presenter Chris Evans, thinking ‘I used to watch this festival being broadcast on the BBC when I was a student and now I’m broadcasting on the BBC from this festival!” That had a lasting impact because I realised how fortunate I was do my job. It takes a lot of hard work but if you focus on what you really want to do, it really helps, and there’s no better time to start doing that than when you’re a student.”
Thinking back to his own time at Leeds Beckett Graham remembers making the most of every opportunity, he explains: “The key thing for me was that I started to get the ball rolling with freelance work in radio stations in my second and third years so that I wasn’t starting from scratch when I graduated. When graduation came I already had lots of work to take on, then I was offered my first full-time job at BBC Radio 2. That was the first rung of the ladder. Since then I’ve climbed up to become producer of the Breakfast Show which has 9.5 million listeners, but for me it all started with making tea and answering request lines.”
"The tutors and the course gave me so much support and flexibility to chase after this dream job of working in radio. They were understanding in letting me fit in the freelance work I was getting and even integrating it into my degree coursework. When it comes to making students as employable as possible the tutors really get it.
It’s this support from the course team at Leeds Beckett that brings Graham back to campus regularly to deliver guest lectures to students about how he capitalised on his time at university to maximise every opportunity that presented itself. He says: “I hope that others can learn from the successes and failures of my path into the industry. What I enjoy about working with students is when you find someone who’s really passionate, whether that’s music or business or whatever, and wants to make it their career.
“People have invested in you along the way. Whether that’s a tutor at university, a mentor at work or something in between. People have gone out of their way to share their knowledge and passion with you. Whether you realise it or not that will have made a big difference to you. You can be that person to somebody else.”
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