Climbing the newsroom ladder is daunting at the best of times. Current mentee, Sarah Gough, writes how her mentor helped her land her new role at Sky News.
When a pandemic hits and your contract is soon up, the task of finding what’s next becomes even more intense. I found myself stuck abroad when Covid-19 locked the world down – in Washington DC for Channel 4 News. I was the intern in the bureau after two years on the digital team in London. Covid forced us all to work from home, editing TV packages over Zoom and starting to feel cut off from the best bit of my job: the people – both in the newsroom and outside of it.
Luckily I had been paired with Cordelia Lynch (pictured) from Sky News thanks to the John Schofield Trust a few months beforehand. We did a socially distanced walk around the Washington Mall for our first meeting, unable to go to bars and restaurants.
From the get-go she was eager to hear my ambitions, listen to my concerns and help me as much as possible with what I wanted to achieve – a real relief when I found myself thousands of miles away from family and colleagues in London. We would keep meeting up when our schedules allowed it and I always came out of our chats feeling reinvigorated, encouraged and supported.
The opportunity for a producer job was coming up at Sky News in DC, and my relationship with Cordelia was hugely helpful in applying for, acquiring and securing the job. She was there every step of the way, offering a balanced view and just wanting the best for me.
Without the John Schofield Trust I know that making the leap up the newsroom ladder would have been that much harder, and jumping news organisations would have been that bit more daunting.