Tag Archives: work experience

“How do I get into the Media?”

Z5 view finderHaving filmed the BBC Three Live Insight event last Thursday, I found most of the audience asked me about getting into the media industry.

The answer I gave to all is to apply for work experience at the company you want to work for.

Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula as you may have already read in a previous blog I wrote about how I got into the industry.

I too didn’t have any connections with people who already worked in the media industry.

But like many people who now work at the BBC, I applied for work experience and during that month of employment I spoke to Production Managers about possible runner jobs, either in the office or on set, coming up in the future.

Luckily, my ‘work experience’ contract kept getting extended. I think it was because I treated the experience as something that could end as quickly as it had started…and I was nice and cheap for the production ;o)

Whatever reason it was, I worked in Linear (TV) for a few months before applying for a job in Multiplatform. That’s how I managed to work for the BBC.

If you show passion and commitment, I don’t think you can go far wrong.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of my own and not my employer.

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.