From, the 17th – 21st of November a series of talks were given at my University, Leeds Trinity, all relating to employability and enterprise. I attended three of these talks, all of which I have found hugely beneficial to me in terms of deciding what I would like to do in that daunting post-grad world which is coming ever closer, and also helping me to gain important skills and knowledge about becoming ’employable’ – something much more complex than it may seem!
‘A Career in TV- BBC and Celebrity Big Brother’ was the first talk I attended, given by former Leeds Trinity student, Sean O’Brien who graduated in 2012. (Find him on Twitter here– @gottagothatsme).
The talk began with Sean giving us a background on his previous employment. Currently Sean is working as a task researcher, coming up with ideas for games to use on hit TV show, Big Brother. Since graduating Sean has worked many various jobs in the media sector including working on BBC’s ‘Snog, Marry, Avoid,’ working at Zodak Media (who made Channel 4’s ‘Inbetweeners’ and ‘Secret Millionaire‘).
My favourite part of the talk however was when Sean gave us a (very honest and frank) insight into the best and worst things about working in TV.
The best things about working in TV:
-You can do literally anything. Pitch your idea and people will invest.
-Your hard work is seen by millions. Your many hours of work are seen and appreciated – as opposed to working in an office for example, where you may pour hours into something and only one person may look at it.
-TV craves youth. The 16 – 25 age bracket is the most commercially important, especially for advertisers. In the words of Sean himself, ‘Young people know young people better than anyone else.’
-You get to work with celebrities…
The worst things about working in TV:
– …You have to work with celebrities (who may also come with diva-like tendencies!)
-Working in TV ruins watching TV
-The endless, long hours
-You have to face a lot of rejection
Things no-one tells you:
-TV is very informal – Don’t wear a suit!
-Befriend people. Contacts are key
-Timing is key
-Experience is more often than not considered more important than your degree
-Learn how to use cameras
All in all Sean gave an honest, frank and no holds barred talk giving us a real insight into what it’s like working in the Television industry. All in all, be flexible and have multiple skills, don’t give up even when you’re rejected and gain EXPERIENCE! This is one of the most valuable assets you can have on your CV which will place you above the masses.
Thanks Sean for an excellent talk!