Opportunity Enhancement Trust

Success Stories

Get inspired by our students!

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Daniel Breerton
Sports Journalism Project – PlacementForres

“The Opportunity Enhancement Trust is a brilliant thing to get involved in and can act as a great springboard for anyone looking to forge a career for themselves in sports journalism.

When I joined OET three years ago, it was my first real job, albeit on a part-time basis as I was still in school, and in being involved with the trust I have learned many transferable skills which will be of great benefit to me in any future career.
More specifically, my communicative skills have really improved since I first joined as I have built up quite a lot of experience speaking to both players
and managers in post-match interviews.

OET has provided me with a lot of opportunities and I have covered a variety of different matches, from the Highland League to SPFL. Additionally that has given the chance to write for the variety of different newspapers as well as the Highland League website. The highlight has to be seeing my Inverness Caley Thistle report published in The Times.

I know that this portfolio of matches I have built up over the years will be invaluable to me when writing my CV with a view to gaining a university place next year.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my first few years working for OET and I am very much looking forward to my time working with them in the future.”

Photo of Graeme Macleod
Graeme Macleod
Sports Journalism Project – PlacementAberdeen

“The Sports Journalism Project opened doors for me. It gave me the first hand experience that allowed me to get onto an exclusive BA (Hons) Journalism course at university and it helped me to land a full time job in the media upon graduation in what was a difficult jobs market, especially for a young reporter.

The recognition I gained through my work with the SJP led to me being offered various work placements at my local newspaper during my teenage years. This, in turn, allowed me to hit the ground running at the start of my university degree and when I went onto further placements at national publications such as The Scotsman.

On a practical level, I was able to hone and develop my own practical journalism skills due to the frequent work I was carrying out. As well as providing live match information I was writing reports, collecting stats and interviewing managers and local business men who are on the board. It really helped me become a confident person and gave me the drive to become a sports reporter”

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Benjamin Palmer
Sports Journalism Project – PlacementBuckie

“I have absolutely loved being a part of the Opportunity Enhancement Trust team of reporters and have covered a range of sides working on games from the Highland League to the SPFL Premiership.

I have been given a great deal of support and that has helped me to develop from an online reporter to one that has been published in The Times at the age of 16.

The Sports Journalism Project helps to lay the fundamental requirements for a future not only in journalism but also in many other career paths. My writing skills have improved through this opportunity and I have also learned some key life lessons, whether that be how to communicate with others in a professional manner or even how to use a wide range of IT products well.
These skills are applicable in all walks of life and without them I personally wouldn’t feel as well rounded a person. OET has laid the foundations for what I hope to be a successful career in sports journalism.

My school grades have also developed well thanks to the experience of dealing with a time pressured environment where it is important to learn how to think on your feet as well as being organised and remaining calm.

Above all I am getting to dramatically improve my future prospects by simply doing something I enjoy, watching football!”

Photo of Grant Pringle
Grant Pringle
Sports Journalism Project – PlacementAberdeen

“I find the whole project a fantastic thing to get into; personally, I am astounded at what I have done in just a couple of months.

Reporting on Inverness Caley Thistle was something that I had wanted to do for a few years so I am loving being able to do that and to get my work published online and in the Times is incredible.

I am grateful for the experience that I am gaining as I want to study sports journalism when I leave school. When I originally applied for this opportunity I just expected to type up a report at the end of a football match but I have gained so much more and my confidence has grown dramatically.

The post-match interviews in particular were initially quite nerve-wracking but talking to some of the players that I have looked up to all my life has made me a lot more confident.

As my standard grade exams approach, English is an area that I knew I would need to work hard at and this project has definitely improved my writing skills.  I got into the project through my school and I haven’t regretted one minute of it.  I am really grateful to Steven Rattray for giving me an opportunity like this and mentoring me as I learn and develop new skills. ”

Photo of Andy Skinner
Andy Skinner
Sports Journalism Project – PlacementAberdeen

“Looking back on my five years with the Opportunity Enhancement Trust, I can safely say it is what made the difference for me in breaking into sports journalism.

I found myself in a tricky situation with one year of school remaining, as my long-held ambition of being a sports reporter was not underpinned by any noteworthy work experience.
However, I gained a lot of confidence as a result of being given a platform to write published match reports and conduct interviews which were broadcast online. I developed a decent portfolio, which was of help to my successful application to study Multimedia Journalism at Glasgow Caledonian University.

I continued to work for the Opportunity Enhancement Trust in my spare time aside from university, a commitment I felt I had to make for the benefit of my career. In the modern day there are five or six different journalism courses in Scotland, meaning you typically have more than 100 graduates every summer. There are simply not enough journalism jobs in this country – realistically attainable for a graduate – to sustain that demand, so getting the degree was never going to be enough.

I wanted to give myself the best possible chance for when I came to finish my studies, and the skillset and contacts-base I had obtained in the north of Scotland was pivotal to me being offered the role of trainee sports reporter with the Press and Journal in June 2014.”

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