Alumna voices success as she conquers the Arabian airwaves
A University of Wolverhampton graduate has forged a career by establishing herself as a renowned radio presenter in the Middle East.
Chiara Glorioso, from Birmingham, studied for a degree in Media and Communications at the University and now works as the presenter of Radio Bahrain’s breakfast show, the country’s national radio station.
The self-dubbed ‘face for radio’ identifies as “a humble girl from Birmingham” and has expressed gratitude to the University for providing her with the opportunity to get a taste for a career in radio.
During her studies, she was encouraged by her lecturer to undertake work experience at the BBC, based in the Mailbox, Birmingham, an opportunity that equipped her with the skills she needed to pursue a career in the creative industries.
Following her graduation in 2006, Chiara became the voice of traffic and travel or the BBC. She then joined Talksport, doing the same role on the Alan Brazil breakfast show, before then getting her first role as a presenter, when she was headhunted for the BRMB Free Radio breakfast show with Foxy and Giuliano, where she worked for five years.
Chiara’s reputation soon reached foreign shores and led to her securing a job on Radio 1 United Arab Emirates (UAE) to become its breakfast show presenter. She became an Abu Dhabi resident, entertaining morning listeners on the UAE’s national radio station, a semi government organisation serving the seven Emirate states.
While a life in the Middle East was something she had never previously thought of, Chiara has embraced her career in a different country.
She said: “I found the experience to be an amazing one, filled with opportunities, challenges, and cultural education. Women are treated fantastically in Abu Dhabi, in particular. We are treated with respect and UAE is incredibly safe. Women even have their own designated parking levels in shopping malls! At first it was an opportunity that I didn’t take too seriously and I didn’t think would become reality.
“Transitioning to radio in the Middle East is challenging, as things are often so different, such as set ups and technologies. And there are many dos and don’ts in the Middle East – for example, we can’t talk about alcohol or being gay on air, and during Ramadan, no mention of food, drink or relationships are permitted, and music played is heavily censored. Also, being a presenter for an ex-pat radio station abroad also presents its issues, as due to social mobility, the audience is always regularly changing, which makes establishing a consistent audience base and building a rapport, difficult.”
After five years at Radio 1, Chiara recently made the move to neighbouring nation Bahrain, where she works on the breakfast slot.
As well as being a successful radio presenter, Chiara is also an established journalist and a regular on-screen presenter. Chiara’s all-round professional success has seen her meet and interview
an impressive array of stars, including Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Justin Bieber, Olly Murs, One Direction, Alesha Dixon, Five, The Sugababes, and she has interviewed Die Hard movie director, Renny Harlin, who subsequently invited her to his 60th birthday party.
Chiara has built up a significant social media following on Instagram and is an ambassador for several brands.
Chiara’s passion for radio started through opportunities created in the classroom, and her future ambition is to return to the classroom to study psychology. She wants to harness the experiences she has encountered, and use her broadcasting platform and personality status, to champion mental wellbeing and the ongoing fight against the stigma of mental health.
Graduates are encouraged to keep in touch with the Alumni team and take advantage of a range of benefits and support on offer to them including a discount for Postgraduate study and opportunities to benefit from volunteering and career advice.
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