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Careers with Uzma Mir, Zara Janjua, and Yalda Hakim

Uzma Mir

The first of our career talks kicked off with Uzma Mir, a television executive producer, and Owner and Managing Director of Turmeric Media, an organisation making broadcast television, radio programmes, and digital content. Uzma has been in the industry since 1989 and has covered many stories including a case of police brutality. This is an issue that has sadly remained relevant, even in 2021. Sheku Bayoh died in police custody in 2015. Uzma knew that she wanted to know more, after seeing it on Twitter. Uzma went on to produce the documentary, After Sheku and began to tell us how trust and responsibility were huge factors in being able to work on human rights stories like Sheku’s. The documentary was later nominated for an award in Scotland. Uzma explains this as her proudest career moment, as she was able to follow the public enquiry, and build important relationships with everyone involved in the journey to justice for Sheku. “We are the tentacles in our communities” was a quote from Uzma that stuck with us here at GGM. We are the eyes and ears on the ground and have the power to tell the stories of the untold.

Besides Uzma’s empowering story of women making change in journalism and television, we also got loads of advice on interviews, and ways to gain experience to make ourselves stand out, the importance of social media to make contacts and get noticed, which seems to be a recurring piece of advice from most of our speaker’s this year! Thank you, Uzma!

Zara Janjua

Our second career talk was from Presenter, Producer, Journalist, Comedian, and Writer, Zara Janjua brought us a special Career Talk centred around inspiring creativity and ways to develop multiple career strands. We loved Zara’s positive energy as she spoke all things career, as well as throwing in an array of valuable nuggets of information around how to get noticed and start your journey into the media world. Tips and tricks from networking to pitching your personal brand to the importance of visibility, creating a stream of content to encourage engagement online through social media platforms. Even if you are not ready to put your own content out there, when you post and repost things it constantly reinforces your values and brand when you essentially post into people’s minds.

Growing up in Glasgow, and after studying a Business degree, Zara found herself in unfulfilling jobs which pushed her to take the leap and travel to Bermuda where she worked in a bar for a year. She then travelled, gaining life experience and more importantly, confidence. Returning to the U.K., Zara studied a master’s degree in journalism after finally having an idea that she wanted to make a positive contribution to the world through storytelling. But that wasn’t it! Zara amazed us with her multi-hyphen abilities which began coming into fruition once she just let herself enjoy the learning process and started asking questions which was key to her development. From a week’s work experience at The Scotsman newspaper, to her most recent role as an Assistant Producer on the U.K.’s most popular daytime television show, This Morning, Zara’s passion for creativity and independent thought has allowed her to become a freelancer of many abilities. The positivity of this talk highlighted the importance of knowing yourself in any industry. She also equipped us with prompts to figure out how to get to know ourselves and what drives us. Zara’s main three focus points were allowing yourself to discover passion, inspire creativity, as well as independent thought. For Zara, she will always come back to these three things when she feels a little lost or unmotivated. Zara is now living in London as a freelancer, and is currently working on her own sitcom, which will soon be pitched to broadcasters. Zara’s story showed us how non-linear careers can be, and that that is okay! Never give up on your passion, this is what will bring career, and life fulfilment. Thank you, Zara!

Keynote with Yalda Hakim

Yalda Hakim, renowned BBC World broadcaster, journalist, and documentary filmmaker, was interviewed by our GGM U.K. Programme Director, Dami Omole.

It was a fascinating interview as Yalda told us her story to becoming a renowned figure in journalism. Yalda started writing for the local newspapers in Sydney aged 15 as way to get a head start in such a competitive industry. Her bilingual language skills made her a unique asset, and with years of personal career development and dedication, and being rejected from her dream Cadetship three times, her hard work finally payed off. She managed to build a strong body of work, landing herself a filmmaking job with Australia’s most diverse broadcaster, SBS. She is now host of BBC World News' Impact with Yalda Hakim. Work experience was a clear vehicle for Yalda’s progression, even if she did start off logging tapes, making coffees, and licking stamps. Perseverance and a hunger to learn sent Yalda around the world and highlights the possibilities for women all over the globe to dream, and act limitlessly. When asked her to be an Ambassador at GGM, Yalda said she’d wished there was a programme like this that existed when she was younger. We are thrilled to have you on board. Thank you, Yalda.

Written by Kayla Marie Troy

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