The Unusual Suspects
To mark National Apprenticeship Week, Channel 4 have joined forces with BBC and ITV to host an evening of discussion and networking with industry talent managers, apprentices and trainees.
The aim of the evening is to discuss "How to get into TV" and to shatter some preconceptions about what makes great TV talent. We will be discussing the different kind of roles in the industry including behind the scenes roles that keep the ball rolling in most companies: Sales, Commissioning, Online and Marketing to name a few. Most importantly we'll be discussing how your individuality and talent can be your strongest selling point! The panel discussions will be followed by a short networking session where everyone is able to mingle with the recruitment teams from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, plus there will be all manner of apprentices and trainee's with whom you can grill and get the full lowdown from!
We don't want everyone to be the same; we want the Unusual Suspects...!
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Have a look below to find out a bit more from the people who will be on the three panels throughout this evening.
The panel will be chaired by Miles Otway, our current Continuity Intern.
Hey, I’m Miles and I’m 25 years old. At the moment I am interning as a Continuity Announcer for channel 4. I have a degree in Politics and studied at Loughborough University. Before starting at Channel 4 I worked at the Home Office as an Immigration Officer, interviewing Asylum seekers. I think you’ll agree when I say the two careers could not be any further from each other, but I managed to make the jump, as I felt that the media industry would be a more interesting and challenging experience for me. In my own time, I volunteer at a hospital radio and have my own show which I produce and present with a friend of mine. This is a passion of mine which has also linked with my occupation at Channel 4.
I find myself having to explain what exactly a Continuity Announcer has to do whenever I meet new people or old friends, which is not surprising, as it was a term I was not fully aware of myself before applying for the position. In laymen’s terms I am now one of the people that speak when the TV programmes start and finish, but my actual job description involves much more than that. I have learned a lot of new skills and improved on some already existing ones, as well as meeting colleagues who have been extremely welcoming and helpful, and have given me valuable advice which will help the advancement of my career.
This panel will introduce the industry talent managers.
Priscilla Baffour - Industry Talent Specialist
Priscilla Baffour has a wealth of experience within the creative Industries. Currently working for Channel 4, she looks after 4Talent which is the part of Channel 4 that works across the country with new talent and young people. Priscilla’s role involves managing Channel 4’s entry level programmes including apprenticeships, graduates and production trainees.
Priscilla is passionate about using the power of media to engage young people and make a difference. Throughout her career she has dedicated herself to working with young people from under-privileged backgrounds to help them find their voice through media. Her career journey from devising projects with Media Trust to running Channel 4's 4Talent Scheme has touched thousands of young people, in many instances resulting in direct opportunities for individuals.
Over the past 7 years she has worked on a number Youth Media projects with a variety of media companies including BBC, Sky, ITV, MTV, News International and many more. In her spare time she is a mentor and career development coach.
If you don't already, make sure you follow Cilla on Twitter at @Cilla4Talent
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
On the second panel discussion, you will hear from our representatives - our current apprentices and trainee's from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4.
Rubie Johal - C4 Finance Apprentice
Hi, I’m Rubie, I'm currently 18 and the Finance Apprentice at Channel 4, I’ve been working at Channel 4 for 3 months and my time here has just flown by! Having come into the working world straight after completing my A-Levels it was a completely different environment and being at Channel 4 it was a lot more relaxed and I found it very easy to settle in. My passion for Finance springs from a very early age of loving numbers and now that I’m involved with the media too I can’t see myself doing anything else! My job is to spend a few weeks within each team, learn about their job roles and get stuck into any projects the teams are working on.
Although I work within Finance, there is a great deal of Channel 4 you really do get an insight to. As well as the number crunching you get to understand the background of how programmes are made and all the hard work put in just for a 3 minute clip! I would have never expected to gain the knowledge and experience within a great media company before coming to Channel 4, and I’m very grateful to Channel 4 for offering such an amazing opportunity to work within the media!
Martha Pazienti-Caidan - BBC Creative & Digital Media Apprentice
I’m 20 years old and grew up in Peckham, South London. I was never too fussed about school and spent a lot of time at London’s only youth-led FM radio station: Reprezent. I’ve produced and presented my own specialist underground dance music programme, ‘Forecast’ since age 15, and went on to work at the station full time when I finished my A-Levels, producing shows on issues significant to youth culture – careers, local communities, arts and social housing. Last July, I was sitting in McDonalds in Peckham when I got a call from the BBC asking if I’d like to come in and find out more about their Creative & Digital Media Apprenticeship.
I joined the scheme in September and have gone on to learn the ropes at BBC Radio 6Music, working on shows with Lauren Laverne, Nemone and Don Letts. I am also off to Manchester next week to work with the interactive team at the very first 6Music Festival. My next placement is at BBC Radio 1 in their documentaries department working on Radio 1 Stories. I produced my first 1Xtra Stories doc with Falling Tree Productions in 2013 – called ‘Grime Mums’, giving a voice to the mothers of leading Grime artists. I can’t wait to make more! I am really into documentaries and crafting radio and bringing it all together, and I’m looking forward to bringing a new perspective to the team.
Joshua Coupe - ITV News Team Assistant Apprentice
I have always been interested in a job in broadcast journalism and news, and when I saw the opportunity at ITV I had to apply for it! At the time I didn't think I'd ever be one of the lucky few! It's a great place to work, the people are amazing and the opportunities are engless! Being the youngest apprentice this year I was surprised at how supportive people were towards me and how they did really welcome my opinion, letting me get on with things on my own.
I have been able to travel to our regional rewsrooms across the courty, which has meant a lot of very nice hotel stays as well as getting to meet people across the whole company! I hope this year is the start of many at this amazing company!
Mary Wood - C4 IS Apprentice
Hi, my name is Mary and I am 19 years old. I'm currently working within Channel 4's Information Systems department, as a Business Admin Apprentice. I came straight here after completing my A Levels, with no experience but working in a media company - especially Channel 4, was something I was definitely enthusiastic about.
I feel I have had a great opportunity and have already gained a lot of key skills, with a supportive team. I was initially doing diary management for senior managers in my department and helping with certain systems, but on top of this I am now much more involved in one of the big projects run by my department, where I am learning about new things and taking responsibility for parts of the project. I loved studying for my A levels, and was originally planning to go to university, but the idea of getting a more hands on, proactive way of learning, definitely won me over! It's been great to get involved here at channel 4.
Janine Weaver - BBC Apprentice
Before working in television, I worked at a debt management company for 3 years although my passion has always been to work within the media. My speicalist knowledge within the industry led me to the chance opportunity to work as a junior researcher on a BBC3 documentary "Young British and Broke" which focused on the payday loan industry and young people in debt. My role was to help with sourcing contributors as they had been severely struggling with content. Whilst working on Young British and Broke I was accepted onto the BBX Apprenticeship and decided rather than going to university I would move to London to further my career in BBC.
My main interests within TV are factual programmes, having a keen interest in documentaries, history and current affairs. I'm lucky enough to move around all three of those departments!
Nyasson Allen - Finance Assistant Apprentice
With my qualification in accounting, I have been looking for a career in finance and saw an opportunity to become an apprentice for ITV. I knew that it was what I needed to do in order to increase my knowledge and physical work experience in finance. I applied online and was able to attend an assessment day. I then proceeded to the second interview stage and was appointed! The position that I am currently in, is finance and operations assistant in the Global Entertainment Department.
I was thrilled when I found out I was going to be in Operations as previously, I had very little knowledge in this role. I've been here for four months now and am really beginning to see how it all works behind the scenes! I'm learning more than I expected to, and now believe I will carry on to learn throughout the rest of my year here. Having this amazing boost of an apprenticeship, (which I am very grateful for!) will hopefully lead to a great career in the industry.
This panel will be for the "Look At Me Now" former apprentice/trainees to speak to you about their experiences, and where they have lead them to.
Gabriele Power - C4 4Talent Assistant / Former IS Apprentice
Hey, my name's Gabby and I'm the 4Talent assistant. I've been here at Channel 4 for about 18 months now, and I started here as an apprentice in the Information Systems department. I worked there for twelve months and then a place became vacant in the 4Talent Department, which I was offered as a three month placement to begin with, and then made permanent.
I'd just come to the end of year 11 when I was accepted onto my C4 apprenticeship, so I started here at 16! It was massively overwhelming and a crazy transition to come straight from school into the working world, but I made my way through the year developing some great transferrable skills and a good grounding in my career. Now I am working in 4Talent, I do more of what I discovered I love, which is helping young people around my age and trying to be a role model proving that this is possible! We go on 4Talent Days, hold assessment days for all of our programmes and try to host events when necessary. Behind all the fun stuff, a lot of work and organising goes into what we produce as a team and I'm grateful to finally be a part of it.