Alumni Services

Menu

Natalie Berry

Climber and journalist Natalie Berry anticipates exciting times ahead in her role as Editor-in-Chief of the world’s busiest climbing and mountaineering website.

Name

Natalie Berry

Degree 

MA (Hons) French and German

Year of Graduation 2014

Your time at the University  

Natalie Berry

Having grown up in Glasgow, I had spent some time in Edinburgh and knew how beautiful the city was. As a member of the GB Climbing Team, I also wanted to study somewhere with access to excellent facilities – both for climbing and strength and conditioning. The climbing wall at The Pleasance and the world-class gym facilities were a big attraction for me!

I was part of the excellent Individual Performance Programme, giving me access to top strength and conditioning coaches and the Performance Gym. I represented the University of Edinburgh at BUCS and won twice, with some fond memories of travels to Sheffield with my Edinburgh University Mountaineering Club teammates and meeting up with friends from other universities.

Although difficult to balance my studies with training and youth coaching work at times, I felt like my time at Edinburgh constantly gave me opportunities for growth. Staff were supportive of both my studies and extracurricular activities, and the students friendly and motivated. My year abroad spent in Grenoble, France and Landeck, Austria was a highlight of my degree. I worked for a global climbing wall company and taught English in Austrian schools. I did a lot of climbing and travelling and fell in love with mountains. Perhaps the greatest irony is that despite studying in Edinburgh for four years, I didn’t manage to climb Arthur’s Seat!

Your experiences since leaving the University

Natalie Berry on the climbing wall in her graduation robe
Natalie and a colleague at The Pleasance wall on her graduation day.

After graduating, I took on a job as Climbing Wall Assistant at the Centre for Sport and Exercise for over a year, which kept me in close contact with the facilities and friends I had come to know during my time as a student.

Not long after taking on this job, I became Assistant Editor for UKClimbing.com, the world’s busiest climbing and mountaineering website. I had done bits and pieces of writing work for outdoor publications and websites during my time at Edinburgh, which surely helped to secure the job.

Four years later, I am still at UKC, now in the role of Editor-in-Chief. I write articles, news reports and run our social media. Journalism isn’t directly linked to my language courses at Edinburgh, but there’s no doubt that the research skills, understanding of language and writing style that I honed during my studies have helped to shape my current work and career.

I currently live in Chamonix, France and continue to speak French on a daily basis. I also do occasional translation work, which is a satisfying way of putting my degree to good use. I have an advantage in that through my knowledge of foreign languages, I can access news, interviews and literature from foreign sources for my journalistic work.

My application for a press accreditation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games was approved recently, so I’ll have to start learning Japanese! It’s the Olympic debut for Sport Climbing and a very exciting time to be a climbing journalist.

I stopped competing shortly after graduating due to injury and work commitments and focused on outdoor adventures, but last year I entered the British Bouldering Championships for fun and placed third. I have been selected for the 2019 GB Bouldering Team and hope to do some World Cup events. I’m not a contender for the Olympics, but I’m looking forward to playing a role in the event and sharing the story of our Olympic debut with the world in 2020.

My application for a press accreditation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games was approved recently, so I’ll have to start learning Japanese! It’s the Olympic debut for Sport Climbing and a very exciting time to be a climbing journalist.

Natalie BerryEditor-in-Chief at UKClimbing.com

Alumni Wisdom

Do a year abroad if you can. It might change your life path! It really opened my eyes to other cultures, travel and the outdoors. It was a refreshing change of scene and I came back in fourth year with a more mature approach to life and work.

Related Links

UKClimbing.com (external link)