What is your name and job title?
Rosanna Tennant, Broadcast Journalist and Event Host
Could you give me a summary of your job role?
I work with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport to create and present their digital video content. I also work with Formula 1 as a Live Presenter and Reporter and host events for a range of brands and organisations.
What did you want to be when you were still in school?
I wanted to be a Newsreader.
When did you know you wanted to work in Formula 1?
I actually never set out to work in F1 – I was just keen to work in sport but I was lucky enough to be asked to screen test for the Presenter role for a YouTube channel called Pole Position which covered F1 and a range of other motorsports. Luckily, as soon as I started working in F1 I grew to understand and love it.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Being able to ask some of the most talented sportsmen and women and high profile individuals questions!
What subjects and courses did you take to help get into the industry?
I loved languages and Theatre Studies at school so they were my main subjects for A Levels. I then went on to study French and Spanish for my Undergraduate Degree at Durham and then did a Masters in Broadcast Journalism at City University.
Did you do any work experience?
I did work experience at my local paper in Kent, BBC Southeast and BBC Radio Kent. I spent 6 weeks at Sky News on work experience: I worked as a Guest Producer, I edited short clips on Sky News Sports and wrote articles for the Entertainment part of the Sky News website.
What has been your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge is always convincing people to give you a chance – the classic chicken and egg situation when it comes to having enough experience. How can you have experience if no one will give you work experience?! The other challenge I have faced is scrutiny about my size – at 6ft2 sometimes people have thought I wouldn’t be suitable for certain jobs – their comments have sometimes been hard to hear but it’s made me more ambitious to show them they are wrong.
What was the best thing you ever did to help you get to where you are today?
I was always very open and honest about my ambition to be a newsreader or reporter. Even when family and friends asked me what I wanted to be I never shied away from telling them my plan and I made sure that I mentioned it whenever I met someone working in broadcasting or journalism. I also kept emailing people I met, asking them for advice or even just a simple catch up. It sounds like a cliché but I just kept persevering. When I received a “no” or a “maybe” it made me more determined to email more people to find someone that was willing to say “yes”.
What would you say to inspire someone to follow their dreams?
I naturally seem to have a lot of self-doubt which is frustrating especially given the amazing support I have around me from friends and family. I do however know how much I want to be successful at what I want to do and that has helped me persevere and follow my dream. If you know what you want to do and how much you want it then you must do everything in your power to make it happen even if it feels like you are only taking baby steps at first.
Any other information you think might be helpful to someone looking to do what you do?
If you can, don’t study Media as an Undergraduate degree at University. It really helps to study languages or a more general subject. If you do have a penchant for languages try to study one or more – I would never have been invited to my first job at F1 if I hadn’t spoken languages! That’s not to say it’s compulsory but when they came back saying they weren’t looking for any more English speakers I was then able to reply saying I spoke French and Spanish! You never know when they might come in handy!
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