Spectra Meets: Jackie Adedeji

NAME: Jackie Adedeji

EDUCATION: BA(Hons) Broadcast Journalism at Nottingham Trent University

JOB TITLE: Reporter

Describe yourself in 3 words.

  1. Bubbly
  2. Empathetic
  3. Charismatic

What’s your story?

I grew up in North West London, Colindale. The middle child, the entertainer, the naughty one who used to talk lots, but also the child who moved school six times, and was always the new kid. How dare my parents do this to me? Me and Megan had just become best friends!

But who knew becoming the new kid every Sunny September meant I would build the confidence to be the person that I am today? I was constantly having to make new friends, buy new school jumpers and hang around with the kids that picked their noses because nobody hangs out with the new kid.

My confidence grew, when I finally stayed in a school longer than a year and I was able to put myself into the shoes of the new kid that wasn’t me.

‘’Thanks for being so nice to me…’’

I Shrugged

‘’It’s fine I know exactly how it feels’’.

I was always the loud tall one, that nobody really fancied but:

‘You’re really funny though and have nice legs’.

I was always the one that had potential but talked too much and was a dreamer.

I was always the one that never passed Maths GCSE, with a tutor, and had to retake all my exams to make it it university and still retook university exams in the summer.

I was always the one that failed at academics but succeeded in the art of conversation.

I was always the one who knew where I was going and sowed the seed into my future.

What is for you, will go by you, I promise, grab it with both hands, every bad experience is part of your future.


You used to work in television. What did that experience teach you?

In telly I learnt a lot about resilience, I learnt about making things happen. In telly people expect you to magic things out of nowhere, and you have no choice but to deliver. It taught me the art of doing. There’s people who watch the magic happen and there’s people who make it happen.

Television is all about creating the unthinkable.  All you’ve got is a budget and a team the rest is down to the work you put in, after all they say you’re only as good as your last job! I remember working really late, coming in on Saturdays to finish jobs off. It is glamorous in the sense there’s great perks but equally the work you put in is important, I met some incredible people, and without them believing in me, I wouldn’t even be close to the person I am today.  Rejection is part of it, you can apply for 20 jobs and be turned down even if you’re over qualified. Competition is scarce.

Build positive relationships, work hard and most importantly  have fun, any opportunity to go to the pub to network, do it! This might be the difference in you being work experience and bagging your first PAID job. Tell your flatmates to record Eastenders, you’re busy!

What influenced your decision to become a reporter/blogger?

I started blogging when I was 18, I remember I was in university and I got sick and tired of everybody telling me ‘’I should be dating people’’. Apparently being single wasn’t in fashion. I was so freaking annoyed and I also was tired of using Google to help me understand life, and certain experiences, so I began to write, and created www.jackiedaydream.wordpress.com and haven’t looked back. I look back at the posts now and laugh, there was a time when getting late  deliveries from ASOS was a first world problem, now it’s bills and travel.

Now I also have a new blog called The Twenty Something Diary Enquiry which is my life documented from now, and I am obsessed with it, is that weird? It’s so therapeutic for me to discuss being a twenty something and making mistakes and looking stupid but also drinking countless glasses of rosé instead of saving for a mortgage? Anyone else..?

I began vlogging last year actually, I worked for a TV production company called Zig Zag, if it wasn’t for them I don’t think I would be where I am now. When I first started that job I was relatively quiet, and fast forward a year later I was best friends with the Postman, had the nickname Jayonce and managed to be appear on a show with Amanda Holden for W TV.

I was bored of telling people I wanted to be on camera, because it’s all good banging on about it, but what was I actually doing about it?  So I used the office camera and  began filming at home, when I was out with friends and at Festivals, and editing the videos after work. They were honestly awful videos, they look like I filmed them in 1992 but because of that, I got my job at Winkball.

What does your job entail on a day to day basis?

Day to day, I wake up and I think first coffee, because coffee is thebomb.com and then I think what can I report, what’s fun, what has a cool and interesting angle? I propose it to the Senior Editorial team and wait for the green light, and them I’m good to go.

At all times I’m searching for events on every social media platform you can think of to cover.  I also do features. ‘’ Get Fit with Jackie’’ is the most popular on the channel, I don’t mind looking silly, so I have a lot of creative control over the content I feature in which is so much fun! I am paid to be me, I don’t think it gets much better than that. I was always told off in class for ‘talking too much’ and being so nosey.  Now I can do that to my heart’s content, If i can provide a platform for people’s voices to be heard then a job well done I say!

You’re also a peer mentor! What do you like most about it?

Peer mentoring is incredible. I am so passionate and positive about influential leadership: we all have the power to influence and it is an amazing skill to be able to enrich the lives of others. I enjoy it so much. I have been peer mentored since I was 16 and I was chosen  as one of 10 out of 50 students to be a listener and a professional friend. I know exactly what it feels like to lack guidance, and feel lost.  I think we all do, and the truth is your parents can’t fix you, you need an objective opinion on your life to help you grow. Sometimes you don’t need advice, you just want someone to say ‘’I’m all ears tell me everything, let’s  grab a coffee, play some Drake and let it all out..’’ In University, I did peer mentoring and at times my heart sunk when you meet students in college with potential, like Richard Branson potential but they can’t even dream of success because they’ve never witnessed success, they’ve never been exposed to a brighter future. To be able to sit with somebody and help them recognize the gift they have, and turn that talent into skill, wow it is honestly… words can’t describe, unlocking somebody’s potential is the most beautiful rewarding thing.

What was your ever first work experience?

I worked in a hair salon when I was sixteen, and OH MY GOSH. I got fired!  Can you even get fired from work experience.. Is that even a thing? Actually no, yes it is a thing, I was told not to come back. My job was solely, sweeping hair on the floor and replenishing stock, I was awful at that and I was told I was too unprofessional because all I did was talk to customers and do zero work.. See the theme here? Me.. chatting? I cried and I cried, I felt useless.  I was the only one in my year to not complete work experience, so I ended up coming back to school and feeling a bit crap, as everyone enjoyed theirs.  Mine wasn’t as glamorous as I thought it would be. We all think when you do work experience it’s like The Devil Wears Prada and you’re running around flying to another  country to collect Gucci loafers for your boss and then come back with a Blackberry in your left hand and a Caramel machiatto in the other. Unfortunately it isn’t like that, sometimes you really can get sacked for being terrible at sweeping hair.

What are you passionate about?

PEOPLE. People make the world go round. Bringing out the best in people, making people feel amazing –  that’s what drives me, that’s what helps me get out of bed, my passion is bigger than myself. I love building confidence, we live in a world that tells us to copy everyone else to function. We all have something special in us to bring to the world, I want people to feel proud of being themselves and to be the best version of themselves.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Good question.  But really I would love to be part of a Primetime panel show with women, I love women! Like Loose women but with a pinch of The Real, I love discussing topics and getting other women’s takes on situations, learning from people is how I learn best. What I experience could be totally different from what someone else experienced but we both learn the same message, incredible huh? Just to share stories, experiences and laughter, I feel like at that point I’ll feel like “ok mum, I’ve made it”. P.s Covering The Brits would be a dream, I’m welling up a bit now thinking about it, next question..

What’s your proudest achievement?

Working in a prison, totally changed my life. (I really did say that..)

I wasn’t a prison guard or officer but I volunteered twice a week to Help the prisoners who were fathers, write stories for their children, record stories and pick books to send to their children in the post. It’s funny because I remember how much they loved putting heart and glitter on the envelopes and they would look at me like ‘’Don’t judge me..!’’ Hilarious. It was such an incredible experience. I won’t lie and say I wasn’t scared because I was, as soon as the gates would shut and I would walk through the prison corridors, I would physically feel sick and claustrophobic but then when I enter the room with the prisoners it’s a totally different ball game. These men were so vulnerable and so lost, they wanted certainty and security and wanted to feel loved, they didn’t know what it felt like to be content. Life on the inside was safer than on the outside, the only thing keeping them from suicide was their children. This is why I stand by my point that your parents shape your entire world. Not everybody is blessed with healthy and loving parents.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

‘’Time flies but the good news is that you’re the pilot’’ where your time is going is where your life is going.

P.S – Dale Carnegie: ‘’How to win friends and influence people”. Read it now, I promise you’ll love me forever.

What tips would you like to give to young women with similar aspirations?

  1. Perseverance, determination and Grit is what you will need to succeed at anything in life. You won’t make it without them.
  2. Find a mentor, if you can’t find one, find an influential celebrity learn from their mistakes, their failures, keep reading, my dad always says: ‘’Future leaders are Readers’’.
  3. Failure is going to happen, people will reject you and your ideas,  not everybody will like you or get you. It’s ok, because you are you.
  4. Take criticism on board, be ok with facing your flaws, because every time you do, guess what? You’re growing.
  5. Read the room, pick up signals, figure out what makes people tick and be genuinely interested in people, make people feel important when you meet them, they will never forget you.

Jackie is a whirlwind of positivity and we hope that her story and her joie de vivre has rubbed off you as well! If you want to find out more about Jackie, ask her more questions about her career, we will put you in touch! Let us know and we will work the magic.

If you are a woman in the early stages of her career and you’d like to feature please fill in our form https://spectrawomen.typeform.com/to/RS7v83 and we will reach out.

(Photo courtesy of Jackie Adedeji)




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