Just four years ago, Adriana Braje was posting videos of her beauty tips to a handful of online subscribers – all filmed from her home in Croatia.
Today, the 19-year-old University College Birmingham student is one of 13 young people from across the UK who have been tipped to be the next YouTube stars.
Adriana has just returned from a boot-camp at YouTube’s London headquarters, where she spent a week as a member of the “YouTube Class of 2016”.
Hand-picked for their digital innovation and the quality of their videos, each member of the group received £1,750 to spend on filming and editing equipment.
Adriana moved to Birmingham last September to begin her three-year Marketing Management BA (Hons) course at UCB and is relishing her opportunity with YouTube. She said: “The experience has been out-of-this-world. I’m making the most of every single moment.”
More than 42,000 people subscribe to Adriana’s YouTube channel to watch make-up tutorials, hear skincare tips and enjoy her take on life.
Self-taught vlogger Adriana learnt the art of filming and editing by watching YouTube videos. Investing in a better camera, and making her videos more professional, helped to get her channel noticed.
She said: “I’ve built this completely on my own. To begin with, only about 20 people subscribed to my channel. Now there are more than 40,000 subscribers. I take a lot of pride in that. I’ve always tried my best and given 100 per cent to what I’m doing.
“My audience is really varied, mainly in the UK and US, ranging from young teenage girls to more mature women. The challenge is to keep it fresh. I did a series sharing the skin problems I had, which I think a lot of people appreciated. I’m someone they can relate to, rather than someone in a magazine.
“I want to make sure my content and production is the best it can be. I’m truthful and only talk about things I totally believe in.”
Adriana credits UCB with giving her the business skills to make her dream a reality. She added: “Being at UCB has totally changed my life. I’m so grateful for the experience. It’s amazing how great the lecturers have been. I know there is always a door I can knock on when I need help.
“The Marketing Management course is orientated around experience. In today’s world, you need to do more than simply give a student a book and tell them to sit an exam. It’s got to be relevant.”
Jo Bates, UCB lecturer and year manager, praised Adriana’s attitude. She said: “In the UCB Business School we actively encourage our students to source work experience from the first year as this really does make them employable. We are thrilled that Adriana has taken up this challenge to balance her studies and industry experience to further her career. She is definitely becoming a name within the online community.”
Visit Adriana's YouTube channel.