Eve Hill's Podcasting Journey
Eve Hill graduated from UEA with a BA in Media Studies in 2021 and has been immersing herself in the world of podcasts. We asked her questions about the podcast she started while studying, volunteering with BBC Radio Norfolk, and her first graduate role working with broadcaster Jake Humphrey on his High Performance Podcast.
Jake Humphrey received an Honorary Doctorate from UEA in 2012, and has since set up The Jake Humphrey Scholarship in Film, Television and Media Studies. He has also supported student enterprise with his funding and support of Coral Eyewear.
I didn’t realise quite how important podcast presenters are in creating a safe space for people to talk openly, comfortably and honestly – to see that firsthand has been amazing.
Talk to us about High Performance Life and what it is you’re currently doing in your internship.
High Performance is a podcast hosted by sports broadcaster Jake Humphrey and leading organisational psychologist Professor Damian Hughes. Through interviews with sportspeople, businesspeople, entertainer and more, the podcast offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of high-achieving, successful individuals. I started an intern role with High Performance in September 2021.
My role is technically “production assistant”, and now when others in the team introduce me to people, they just say, “I do everything” and that’s sort of true! When I joined, everything was just beginning and so I was able to get involved in everything – the recording of the podcasts, the membership structure The Circle, the live tour. I get to do lots of different things in the role which is everything I’d wanted for my first media role.
I was told I could get involved in everything and discover my specialism and, to be honest, I think I’m still figuring it all out. At the moment I’m focussing on arranging the listener guest segment at the end of each episode.
Have you had much interaction with guests to the podcast?
One of the great things is the diversity of people I’ve been able to meet and work with. I’ve been able to meet people in events management as well as video producers, and I know that if I went to Jake and asked to get experience in a certain field, he’d introduce me to the right people to gain that experience.
Has COVID impacted your internship?
My first day was a recording session in London with speakers and other media professionals. It was totally overwhelming, but then Omicron meant I didn’t get involved in a live recording until much more recently. Lots of recording has happened online.
It’s actually been more in-person than I thought it would be, despite the remote work, and I think that going through university during COVID set me up well in being flexible.
Has it been exciting to work in a new media venture?
Yes! A lot of my other friends haven’t been as lucky to get this sort of opportunity. If I was to write down my dream graduate job this would have been it.
How did the role come about and why do you think you were successful?
I volunteered with BBC Radio Norfolk while at UEA and I decided I wanted to go into radio/podcast producing. I’ve always loved podcasts and I wanted to know how to get into it.
I started a podcast on campus all about sex and relationships. It was with my best friend and was recorded at Livewire. We only did 5 episodes, but I loved the experience, and it was a surreal moment to come across classmates who had listened to it. I learnt that our normal chit chat wouldn’t necessarily be good enough for a podcast and we really had to prepare properly to get the best content you can.
The podcast we did on campus got me volunteering roles on BBC Radio Norfolk – they wanted to talk about it on-air. Again, it was a mix of online and in-person. The first time I was on air I was so nervous and just gave one-word answers! Practice helped and I now enjoy speaking on-air.
Being able to go to High Performance and show evidence that I’ve been interested in podcasting for a while really helped. I was also able to talk to staff and producers from BBC Radio Norfolk and ask for advice. Networking can be such an important part of a volunteering role.
What have you learnt?
I've learnt a lot about podcasts. I really appreciate the level of research that goes into each recording.
The High Performance podcasts manage to create a really intimate space within just 50 minutes, even when the recordings are online. I didn’t realise quite how important podcast presenters are in creating a safe space for people to talk openly, comfortably and honestly – to see that firsthand has been amazing.
Recording in-person is great because you’re able to talk to guests before and after, make them feel welcome and get them refreshments. On the flip side, there’s often multiple crew members whereas online recordings are often just two people plus the producer. That can make online recordings more intimate.
And what’s next for you?
When I started I didn’t think beyond this year. In the future I’d love to work in podcast production. The internship has been a test to see if I do indeed want to work in the industry, and I it’s proven that I do!
The experience has showed me how the industry actually works and what roles are available. Behind the scenes you see just how much work goes into a podcast.
In terms of topics, I’d love to explore gender studies through a podcast and hopefully I can do that in the future.
How did you find studying Media Studies at UEA?
When I came to UEA it was just so friendly and totally what I wanted for my university experience. I loved media studies because it was so varied. I’m very indecisive and it let me do a bit of anything! I was able to do scriptwriting, TV work, radio production and lots else.
What’s your favourite memory of UEA?
I loved being in my flat in Nelson Court in my first year. It was an experience you’ll never have again, and we all grew together as a collection of friends.
I thought I would hate it, but I loved doing my dissertation. I wrote about Gender Studies and the TV Show I Love Dick. You don’t get another opportunity as an undergraduate to study something in such detail and it’s actually so enjoyable.
What advice would you give to current students looking to get into podcasting?
Listen to as many podcasts as you can. Figure out what you like and what you would like to specialise in. At the same time, if you get a job in a slightly different role then grasp it. You can learn so many important skills. It also helps you find people in your life that can help you in your career and help you specialise.
Utilise Livewire on campus – there’s so many great people there you can learn from and share ideas with. Volunteer if you can to make more connections and gain experience.
Eve Hill studied BA Media Studies at UEA.