How I got into the Media Industry

Unfortunately there’s no big secret to getting in to the media.

I guess it helps if you know someone in the inside, but if you are like me and don’t have any contacts there’s no quick fix solution I’m afraid.

I started out in Manchester, working at advertising agencies; runner jobs here and there. This is a great place to start as it’s very fast and if they aren’t afraid to get rid of you on set, if you aren’t up to standard.

It toughens you up… fast.

Then I moved to the BBC.

Like the majority of people who I have spoken to over the years I got in through work experience.

If you fill out the form on the BBC Jobs website then from there, they get in touch with you and after a quick interview, could offer you a months work experience.

In my case, it was Film Britannia back in January 2007.

Once you are in, then I guess my personal advice is:

Work hard…
…as hard as you can, for more hours than they ask.

It certainly helps to have understanding friends and family who can forgive you time and time again (thanks guys!).

Say yes to everything…
…even when you get to Assistant Producer level.

I think it’s refreshing to have someone who is passionate and excited by their work and the only true way of showing that is to be open to everything and anything. No matter how boring it seems.

You never know where the situation will take you.

Have fun…
…if you can’t have fun as well as doing your work, then you will quickly resent the hours you work and the experiences you have.

At the same time, don’t worry if you sometimes find yourself questioning what you are doing. It happens a lot, especially when you are tired! Just keep in mind the next point…

Be inspired…
…the main reason why I get up at 4am to go to shoots, or stay in the office until 11pm to finish edits is because I want to work with Steven Spielberg.

For that reason, I am constantly motivated to do what I can in order to make this happen (within reason).

Motivation is a key personality trait to have. Keep something in your mind that will motivate you.

Finally, remember how lucky you are…
…there are 100s of people queuing behind you in order to get into the glamorous world of the media. If you keep this in mind then it will push you to always strive for the best of your ability.

I’m sure that when you are working in the media, you will find your own pieces of advice to follow, but I just thought I would share these simple tips that, so far, I have learnt along the way.

I hope this helps a little but if you have other questions then drop me an email and I’ll see if what I can do.

The views and opinions in the article above are that of my own and not my employer.

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6 responses to “How I got into the Media Industry

  1. Pingback: “How did I get into the Media?” « GemmaHodgson's Blog

  2. what qualifications do u need to work in media and what did u get? also did u go to uni?

    • You don’t really need any qualifications to get into media. Attitude is the main thing as you can build your reputation very quickly if you go about your job in a very proactive and helpful way. People come from all different backgrounds in the media. However, I did go to University which was the best experience of my life! Not just for what I learnt in the course but also for the life experience I had as well. I went to Staffordshire University and did the Media Production course which is an 80% practical course and you use a lot of the equipment that is used in the industry.

  3. I’ve really only just started I’m only 16 and i’m about to do A levels in Media and film in college which im really excited for! 🙂 I was wondering have you done any work experience in America? would you recommend it once maybe i go to film school? 🙂
    Thanks Laura xx

    • Hi there,

      Sorry for the radio silence. I have been very busy recently at work. I haven’t done any work experience with a company in America, although I have filmed in America twice. It was an amazing experience!!

      Also, I would highly recommend film school if you are able to afford it. I am currently still saving up for it and getting lots of experience at the same time. I would perhaps look into working in the industry a little to learn how the different roles really work on a day-to-day basis but defiantly go for it if you can!!

      Hope you are well
      Gemma

  4. cool.. Keep at it! great article. short and sweet!

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