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Helen Pidd

Helen Pidd is Northern Editor at the Guardian newspaper, a role she acquired after honing her skills on student newspapers in Edinburgh.

Name Helen Pidd
Degree Course German
Year of Graduation 2004

Your time at the University

I spent most of my time in a windowless basement at the Pleasance working on the student newspaper. I won Scottish Student Journalist of the Year at the Herald Student Media Awards in 2002 and was runner-up Best Feature Writer of the year at the Guardian Student Media Awards.

I started freelancing for both publications while on my Erasmus year in Berlin in 2002/3.

Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University

I've worked for the Guardian since graduating in 2004. I began as a features commissioning editor and then moved to the newsroom as a reporter. My German degree came in handy in 2011 when I moved to Berlin to report from Germany as a foreign correspondent.

After a short stint as acting Delhi correspondent in 2012 I moved to Manchester to become the paper's northern editor.

I honed my skills writing dismissive reviews of CDs and being rude to famous people in interviews.

Helen Pidd

None of this would have happened if I hadn't got so involved in The Student, Edinburgh's venerable university newspaper, where I honed my skills writing dismissive reviews of CDs and being rude to famous people in interviews.

It was at Edinburgh in 2002 that I co-founded Fest, an Edinburgh Festivals magazine which is still going strong, 11 years on.

Alumni wisdom

Meet as many different people as possible, not just those on your course or in your corridor at Pollock Halls. Take advantage of the extra mural clubs and societies on offer.