Born in Madeira, Portugal, Flávia and her family moved to Jersey when she was just 11 years old. After completing her A-Levels, she dived straight into employment.
“I had always planned to go to university and had hoped that one day, I would end up working in media or politics. But after I finished my A-Levels I ultimately decided to decline the offers I had at the time because financially it wouldn’t have been feasible for me to leave Jersey to study without building up huge amounts of debt.
But after working for a few years in the financial services industry, I really couldn’t shake the feeling that it just wasn’t for me. I had some savings, so I decided to take the plunge.”
Flávia moved to Northern Ireland in her late twenties and enrolled to read Liberal Arts with Politics at Queens University. While she was there, she began working on student radio and it was this experience that ignited a passion that led her to pursue a Master's in Journalism at Ulster.
“While studying for my undergraduate I became involved with Queen’s Radio - the local student radio station - and it really sparked my interest in journalism. So, after graduation I really wanted to build on the skills I had picked up while working there.”
She began to research Masters’ degrees in the field and noted that Ulster University’s course really stood out.
“The Journalism MA offered by Ulster really stood out to me because it combined the masters with the NCTJ Diploma; a qualification which most working journalists complete at one point or another.
So, it seemed like a great opportunity to develop practical skills while also learning all the theory like media law and coming out with two qualifications!”
While at Ulster University she won an unprecedented number of student journalism awards/bursaries – 6 in fact – including:
- Journalist of the Year, Student Media Awards (2023)
- Journalist of the Year – National Media, Student Media Awards (2023)
- Best Journalist, Regional Student Publication Association Awards (2023)
- Best Interview & Rising Start Awards, Student Publication Association (Shortlisted, 2023)
- Recipient of The Lyra McKee Journalism Training Bursary (2023)
Speaking on her time at Ulster, Flávia said
“I have met some really great people during my time at Ulster University and the course itself - although it can be intense at times and the daily commute from Belfast four times a week was tough - taught me so much and the staff work really hard at making the course as interactive and practical as possible which makes it all the more enjoyable.”
Looking back, Flávia's journey has seen her complete a placement with BBC NI over the summer and graduate from the Lyra McKee investigative journalism training course. Since August, she has been freelancing with the Belfast Telegraph business desk, marking the beginning of what promises to be an exciting and fulfilling career in journalism.
If you’re inspired by Flávia’s story and want to study journalism at Ulster University, visit: Journalism MA at Ulster University 2023/24 entry - Full-time Postgraduate Study in Coleraine