Paul Rook, class of 2010

“Don’t turn anything down. Whatever the work is, take it, and be prepared to do things at short notice.”

After finishing my degree in May 2010 I went about applying for a few media jobs that I saw on the opportunities at Lincoln website. After a couple of interviews and rejections I decided making money was the most important thing for me to do.

I went back home and worked at M&S for the summer. Looking back I should’ve put more emphasis on gaining some work experience. After some consideration the MA Media Production course seemed a good idea, due to the price and the extra use of university equipment I would get out of it. With this all set to start in the September I received an email about a job opportunity at Sports Revolution, while travelling up to Lincoln for graduation. This was a job that had previously rejected my application, luckily for me someone had turned it down. After travelling to London (the day the tubes went on strike) and making it through the first round of interviews I was up against another Lincoln graduate for the position. When I told them about doing the masters degree at the university they decided to offer me the job on a part-time basis while giving the other candidate the full-time position.

Doing the MA was worth it in regards to the people I met and the new skills I learnt. It was at this time I started to get into making music videos for unsigned bands. Once graduating in September 2011, Sports Revolution took me on full-time. Though a London based sales and marketing company, up in Lincoln we handle the content scheduling of club, match day TV channels, including Tottenham and Liverpool. As my job role developed to a more graphic design orientated one, I found I had to fulfil my passion as a cameraman and editor by finding whatever freelance work I could on the side.

I managed to get more work producing music videos for bands as well as working as a cameraman on anything from corporate to wedding videos. Taking pretty much any work, paid or unpaid, I could, helped me network, learn new skills and make some extra money to invest in my own kit. Though I’m desperate to move down to London the flexibility of my boss has been of real benefit when it comes to gaining experience.

After threatening to leave my job I have managed to encourage the company to invest in a video production branch, eventually hoping to produce video content for football clubs. Fact is, you have to make the best of what you have, and with the current lack of jobs, any consistently paying work is good. I’m still deciding whether to go freelance however.

My advice would be:

• Don’t turn anything down. Whatever the work is, take it, and be prepared to do things at short notice. I had to turn down filming the boy band ‘The Wanted’ in Sheffield because it was short notice. However, I filmed the band ‘Hadouken!’ at the Engine Shed an hour after replying to a post from them on twitter. You never know what a speculative enquiry will get you.

• Apply to as many jobs as possible. You’re going to get rejected a lot, but you must be willing to take the time to do your CV/covering letter correctly, and relevant to the job. With our company about to take on 2 new media graduates I have received many CV’s that aren’t aimed enough at the job requirements.

• Talk to everyone. Everyone says it, you must network constantly, but don’t become one of those people only speaking to someone to get work. No one likes to be used.

• Sign up to media job websites and check everyday. You never know what positions may crop up. Twitter is one of the greatest places to find newly advertised jobs. Following people like ‘The Unit List’ or ‘Film Crew Pro’ is always useful.

• Get yourself a website. This obviously depends on what route you go down, but it looks good to have a website to promote yourself. It’s an easy way of directing people to your experience and anything you’ve worked on.

• Try and get experience on some big projects or with some relatively established companies, no matter how small the role. Having an official role on a production stands out much more on your CV than saying you’ve worked on your own little films. Try and film/make things whenever you can though, you learn more and more every time.

• Keep persisting and put in the effort. I’m still trying to get that bit of experience or job that kick starts my career proper, but I will keep looking and applying and meeting people until it comes along.

If anyone would like to check out the many branches of social media that I have delved into then have a look at the following: