The Unusual Suspects
Channel 4 teamed up with the BBC and ITV to launch an evening of panel discussion and networking with industry managers, interns and apprentices across our respective corporations to help burst some of these myths.
The evenings focus was off-screen opportunities in television, so rather than the usual 'production focus' we talked about placements in Sales, Research, Online and Marketing, to name a few.
The event kicked off with a panel discussion with the following industry leaders in the creation and promotion of paid work placements in TV...
Colin Campbell-Austin - People Development Manager at Channel 4
Colin manages Channel 4's entry level programmes including internships, apprenticeships, graduates, production trainees and scholarships. Colin is an expert at breaking down boundaries to bring people from diverse backgrounds together creating brilliance and strongly believes that personal development and diversity is key in helping people and businesses be the best that they can be.
If you don't already, make sure you follow Colin on Twitter at @ColinC4People
Marsha Witter - Talent Scheme Manager at ITV
As Talent Scheme Manager at ITV, Marsha is responsible for pre-entry level talent initiatives, such as Apprenticeships and Work Experience programmes. Her remit includes working with departments to identify opportunities, through to scheme promotion and recruitment, and once in place, supporting candidates with their career development to realise their goals. With a 10-year track record in running industry work-based training programmes, and a background in diversity, finding and developing new, fresh talent is not just a job for Marsha, but also a passion!
Make sure you're following Marsha on Twitter at @MarshaWitter
Simon Wright - Talent Executive at the BBC
Simon is an experienced media talent manager finding talent to work across TV and radio and has been doing so for over ten years. Simon runs the BBC Production Talent Pool and Production Trainee schemes and prides himself on trying to make television and radio a much more inclusive and diverse place to be!
Simon can also be found on Twitter at @Spimon
The panel will be chaired by Martin Sigsworth, recently graduated from Channel 4's Production Trainee Scheme.
Martin is a recent graduate of the Channel 4 production Trainee Scheme 2011/12. After working as part of IMG Media's Premier League Productions department he is now working as a freelance Production Secretary/Coordinator. After coming from a Human Resources background Martin didn't think a career in television would ever be accessible to him; the Channel 4 PTS offered him his first foot on the ladder and he hasn't looked back since.
Follow Martin on Twitter @martinsigsworth
The panel discussion was followed by a short networking session where everyone got to mingle with the recruitment teams from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, plus there will be all manner of our interns, apprentices and trainee's with whom you can grill and get the full lowdown from.
The event then continued with a second panel discussion with representatives of our current interns, apprentices and trainee's from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4.
I've always had a keen interest in the media, marketing and sales but thought that the only way to achieve a career in such areas was by going to university. With rising costs, that wasn't an option! Despite doing various jobs, from catering to charity work and even sports management, my heart was always in TV. So when I saw the advert for the ITV Apprenticeship programme, I knew I had to apply.
I got through the application stage and then assessment workshop (which was an experience!), invited to attend an interview and I was offered the role of Team Assistant in Media Planning. My experience on the ITV apprenticeship was a real turnaround for me; I’ve discovered an area I didn’t know existed and now have a permanent job. I've gone from doing jobs in different sectors to getting on the ladder of a real high-flying career...and I still have time to DJ Drum & Bass in my spare time!
I am 18 years old and was born and raised in Brixton. My interest in media came to life when I was in year 10/11 due to drama and other creative things such as graphic design and a small media organisation which dealt in music videos. The opportunity for me to get into the media world came along with the BBC 2012 apprenticeship scheme in which gave me a chance where I normally wouldn’t have. I have now been on Holby City where I was given the chance to numerous things from running to script amendments, form sound to camera and editing some scenes form episode 43 which was a brilliant opportunity. I am currently at R&R where I am running, logging, ingesting and cutting the rushes for an editor which is great.
Being from Brixton is for me a great thing as I have more than just one understanding of life and can see it from so many different angles which have made me diverse I have not been the perfect boy but it has made me a strong man. I work with a youth group called the VYG which work with young people that have similar backgrounds. It has allowed me to relate to the youth which some people do not want to understand and therefore like me are sometimes subject to prejudice, even in our own area. However I am now able to help them realise that you can change how you are perceived and no matter what you have been through you can use to get where you never thought you could.
My name is Gabby Power, I am 16 years old and Channel 4's Business Admin Assistant Apprentice in the Information Systems department. As I came here straight from finishing school, I had no experience in this job role whatsoever; although it is something I’ve always taken an interest in. At the start I was so clueless. This caused me to kind of feel as if I’d been thrown in at the deep end (still an amazing opportunity, please let me add!). However, already I seem to have gained so many skills that are needed to do my job and my team are ever so supportive in helping me to learn! My job is to manage the diaries of the senior managers within my department. I have also been involved in quite a big project that the team has been working on, which was a big responsibility to take on and I managed pretty well. I will definitely be helping out and getting involved with any projects and events which will be taking place during the rest of my apprenticeship.
As I was finishing school, I knew sixth form and college weren’t particularly for me, as I couldn’t stand being stuck in a class room for the next two years and would much rather spend my time doing something productive, hence why I applied for this apprenticeship, which will also enable me to get used to the working world at such an early stage of my life.
I’ve been working at ITV for just over a year now and it’s flown by! Throughout my degree in Communication and Media at Bournemouth University, I’d covered units in Marketing, PR, Advertising and Writing, Editing and Publishing but I realised that I would also need hands-on work experience to make me stand out from the crowd. During my second year at uni, I completed placements with Bliss Magazine, the PR team at PriceWaterhouse Coopers and the publicity team for BBC Radio 2 and 6Music but I was desperate for some experience in TV. In my final year, I applied for the ITV work experience scheme and made it into the ITV Talent Pool. Most of the opportunities we were invited to apply for were short-term, unpaid placements, but when an email came through for a three-month, paid opportunity in the Media Planning department, I jumped at the chance.
I started out working on the CITV channel, scheduling all the programme promotions and eventually, through a lot of hard work, my 3-month contract was extended to 4, then 6, and finally I was offered a full-time position. I am now scheduling the promotions and continuity on ITV1 and loving it! I’ve learnt an incredible amount whilst working here and still can’t quite believe that my first proper job out of uni is at ITV!
I’m currently a part of the London 2012 Apprenticeship Scheme at the BBC. I didn’t perform great at school and college so I enrolled on a Business and Administration apprenticeship where I worked in the Education sector and continued to for over two years. I also worked at the London 2012 Ceremonies for a short while. At the moment I’m working in Radio Comedy as a Production Apprentice and before this I worked on Watchdog for three months.
I want to get into Production Management so working in admin has given me a great platform to do so. I didn’t think I’d be able to work in Television or Radio without a university degree so am glad the BBC are running such a great scheme!
Hi! I’m Grivas and I’m the Commercial Digital Intern here at Channel 4. I studied for an Advertising degree at Manchester Met Uni, which was truly a memorable and life changing experience. The course was led by some of the industry’s most recognised figures and it presented me with a wealth of opportunities, including a placement at Disney World in Florida! When I graduated, I had my heart set on getting into the TV Industry and I was fortunate enough to land some work experience at Arena Media and MTV News. As well as improving my skill-set and adding to my CV, I got the opportunity to experience first-hand which sector of the industry best suits me.
I came across the Channel 4 internship scheme on Twitter late last year and was thrilled to land a role here in February after an exhilarating, but fun assessment day. Follow me on Twitter @grivaskopti
Throughout the event we had a Twitter-feed where we took questions from those that use the hashtag #GEWUnusual. Channel 4's Partnership Intern Pallavi Sharma looked after the Twitter-feed and posing only the most insightful questions on the night...
My name is Pallavi and I am a Partnerships Intern at Channel 4. I have always been interested in the Media Industry and from an early age I have been fortunate enough to gain different work experiences in Film, Television, Marketing, PR and Law. I found out about the Partnerships Intern opportunity on the Channel 4 website early 2012 and was immediately drawn to it.
Since starting I have been having a great time working in a fast paced and dynamic department where no day is the same and there are numerous opportunities to further industry knowledge as well as develop a varied Sales Skillset!