Becky Tompkins, class of 2007

Becky Tompkins

Becky Tompkins

As I was coming to the end of my BA Media Production course I was excited and optimistic about what the future would hold for me. I just didn’t know it would take so long to get there!

The media industry is renowned for being a difficult one to break into, and after sending off application after application for various jobs and hearing nothing, I became rather disheartened. That’s when I decided to look at other options.

I didn’t want to be out of work but I just had to figure out what else I could do. I ended up working for a certain ‘low fares’ airline as cabin crew, but for various reasons that was pretty short-lived.

After that I got admin jobs in some schools and colleges. Working 9-5 in an office really isn’t my kind of thing but I learnt some invaluable skills in those jobs, even though they were just a ‘fill-in’ until I could get something I really wanted.

During this period I had a spell of three months unemployment, so instead of sitting around doing nothing and getting depressed about it, I decided to contact some television companies to see if there were any jobs available.

One company got back to me and were able to offer me work experience. Isis Media, a local company near Birmingham, provided me with a fantastic week of work experience, and made me realise I should never give up trying to get a job in the industry.

Unfortunately I had to go back to the admin jobs after that but as I had been out of work during a recession I was just grateful to have a job at all.

It was almost twelve months later that I got an email from Isis saying there may be the possibility of some work. I went for a meeting and after a few more weeks I had left my office job and was suddenly a production assistant at a TV company!

I’m half way through my six-month contract now and I’m loving every minute of it. I’m editing (which I absolutely love), researching and I have worked as a sound assistant. I have already learnt so much and I’m really looking forward to learning a lot more over the next few months. I am extremely grateful to be given this opportunity; I know this is what I want to be doing with my life.

Who knows what the future holds for me after this contract has come to an end, but all I know is right now I’m loving it!

[Good luck Becky! - Ed]

Advice.

• If you really want something in life, never give up the dream. If it’s meant to be it will work out in the end.
• Take any opportunity that comes your way, no matter how small it may seem at the time. You never know where it might lead.
• Get some work experience or do some voluntary work. I know you will be desperate to get paid work (especially with a student loan to pay off) but good opportunities can come from unpaid work.
• Try to stay up-to-date with the industry you want to work in.
• Work on projects at home if possible. It gives you extra projects for your portfolio/show reel and keeps your hand in.

Watch Becky’s final year film: