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Natalie Strong

BA Classical History (1995), Television Industry and Business Entrepreneur

Why did you choose Royal Holloway for your degree?

I found out that the Classics course at Royal Holloway was very good and I love architecture so immediately fell in love with the building on the front of the prospectus, and, once I visited, could not stop dreaming about living there one day (which I did in my third year - in a beautiful split-level turret room). I also loved the fact that it was a small, campus-based university, and also that it was not far from London, or Kent where my family lived, and that my best friend had started the year previously, also studying Classics.

How did your time at Royal Holloway help your future career?

I think a degree from such a reputable university and particularly such an well-rounded, highly regarded degree such as Classics has always sat well on my CV. Having a degree in a historical subject will stand me in good stead with my future plans to study genealogy.

What do you do now and what advice would you give to anyone thinking about a career in your sector?

After leaving university, I started working in television production, working my way up from secretary to TV director on the likes of Grand Designs, House Doctor and Escape to the Country. I don't think it mattered at all that my degree was in Classics and not Media Studies - just the fact that I had reached that level academically was enough - and I'm glad I studied something I loved, rather than something purely vocational. I gave up TV ten years ago and now have two children, so in recent years I have set up my own business - The Wonder Women Network - linking local business women together and with the local community. I'm now volunteering for a reminiscence charity for the elderly, where I've set up a project to record and document people's lives and memories. I'm currently seriously contemplating taking a Higher Diploma in Genealogy to one day work as a genealogist.

In terms of getting into television, a degree isn't essential, but it does help and it really doesn't have to be in media studies as far as my experience has shown. You have to be prepared to work hard, use initiative, think on your feet and to start working at the bottom as an office or location runner - you've also got to be very determined.



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