Tell us about yourself
Taruka Srivastav graduated with a sports journalism master’s degree in 2016. As a full-time student, she received a bursary which allowed her to undertake an exciting and highly sought-after internship position with Manchester United Football Club.
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‘The bursary (scholarship) helped me immensely! Without the funding I wouldn’t have been able to afford the regular commute to Manchester. I didn’t want to miss any classes and the money meant that I was able to be very flexible and fulfil whatever the club needed me to do. If they called at short notice, I was able to hop on a train to Manchester.’
Throughout the year, Taruka successfully juggled studying for her degree and working at the club.
What did you study?
Before coming to Sheffield Hallam University to pursue Sports Journalism, Taruka did her B.A (Political Science & English Literature) and post-graduation (Journalism and Mass Communication) from St. Xavier’s College
How was experience studying sports journalism?
I chose Sheffield Hallam University because it encourages sports and not many universities have a sports journalism course. My aim is to become a sports presenter.
It was quite difficult for me to adjust in the beginning. I even wrote to SHU Wellbeing complaining of depression and anxiety attacks. However I was told in Culture Connect that it was normal for an international student to go through such experiences. So I developed a new outlook and motivated myself to make the most out of my time in Sheffield.
I became more involved in my college life and attended conversation clubs which helped me gain many friends. I also got an opportunity to work with Manchester United Football Club TV. Plus I started my blog where I covered lot of local stories and interviewed people. My interview with Sheffield Wednesday Star Jose Semedo got published and I am also invited by Paul Blomfield to visit Parliament in June this year.
‘As part of my course I wrote match reports for local sports clubs, and I wanted to broaden my experience so I applied for the internship with Manchester United.
‘My placement was a dream-come-true for anyone who loves sport. The highlight for me was the opportunity to interview England captain Wayne Rooney.
‘I worked with Manchester United’s digital team and MUTV. I assisted in the production of the Wembley 1990 show, and I attended Louis Van Gaal’s final press conference for the club before the 2016 FA Cup Final.
How has the internship helped you?
‘Without the internship I wouldn’t be working in my current role with Manchester United Supporters’ Trust, which is the largest sporting fans’ organisation in the world. It’s provided me with many career avenues to explore and I hope that one day I’ll be the media director of a sports club.’
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Tell us about your work for the Special Olympics while studying.
Taruka has been selected to make the preview video for the Special Olympics Great Britain’s National Summer Games, which is to be held in August 2017.
Special Olympics is the largest multi-sport event for athletes with intellectual disabilities.
A former Asian Games soft tennis player herself, Taruka said, “I am really happy to have been given this opportunity. I had to choose a topic for my dissertation and came up with the idea of making a short preview film for the Special Olympics GB National Games that will take place next year.” “Such initiatives always encourage and motivate me. I have spoken to two local athletes, Neil Guite and Alex Thompson, who will be participating in the games next year,” said Taruka, an alumnus of La Martiniere Girls College.
On her motivation for the project, Taruka said, “Not many people are aware that Special Olympics is for people who suffer from Autism. It is going to be a challenging task to shoot but my professors are going to help me stay on the right track.”
Taruka has earlier made a video for her university’s annual festival and sport relief event in Sheffield. She has also interviewed top snooker players such as Judd Trump during the World Snooker Championship, earlier this year. She said that the experience she has gained at Manchester United Football Club (MUFC) will definitely help her do a fine job. The 25-year-old will start the shoot in July and will wrap it up by August. Talking about the project she said, “Initially, it was an independent project for college dissertation purpose but they (MUFC) allowed me to use their logo and animation.” She said, “I have spoken with the media departments of Manchester United Football Club and Manchester City Football Club to motivate the participants by giving encouraging messages. The response has been positive so far. Once the players get back for the next season by July-end, I am sure I will be able to record them.”
Around 2,600 athletes of all ages will come together from across the country to compete in 19 sports at the event. Athletes will be supported for four days of competition by 800 coaches, 750 volunteers, 150 officials and over 5,000 family members and friends. A spectacular Olympicstyle opening ceremony to kickoff the event at Sheffield United FC is also planned, she said.
Taruka was bestowed the ‘Sheffield Hallam International’ prize and ‘Inspirational Female Student of the year’ by her university. She recently finished her work with the digital team of MUFC. She has interviewed many Manchester United players and her interviews can be found on the club’s official website. Taruka had also worked with Subhash Ghai for about 8 months as an assistant writer and gained inputs on wielding a camera. “It was great. Being around him for 8 months was terrific. I learnt so much, not just about movies but other topics like politics and philosophy. He has had a great influence on me,” she said.