Caroline Wyatt is a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s PM programme. Wyatt is bi-lingual in German and was the BBC’s correspondent in Berlin, Moscow and Paris. As a war reporter in the nineties she was in Baghdad during the first Iraq war and covered the Kosovo conflict in the Balkans and later the invasion of Iraq following 9/11.
Being a foreign correspondent was an “all-consuming way of life” packed with extraordinary, often dangerous assignments. In her foreign reporting she tried to give a voice to both sides of the story – as well as pleasing the BBC desk back in London.
Her reporting covered the “crucibles of human experience”. There was one moment Wyatt never forgot and which affected her more than she realised at the time. “We were in a very heavily armoured vehicle, driving down the road in Afghanistan and a little Afghan minibus full of parents and children on their way to a wedding, got impatient. We were moving very slowly, so they drove off the road to overtake us because they were in a hurry to get to the wedding. But they drove over an IED (improvised explosive device) and all four of them were killed, including all the tiny children.”
These experiences required physical energy and mental toughness . Wyatt was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2015. In 2007, she became the BBC’s defence correspondent. “For me, the time had come to put family and friends higher up the agenda.” She later became the BBC’s religion correspondent.
Persistence, persistence and persistence, particularly for women, is the key to a successful career. Don’t take no for an answer – and if you can’t get the job of your dreams, go for something you can get that is similar.