I recently underwent some work experience at ITV’s ‘This Morning’. Being an undergraduate student with afternoon lectures, I watched the show everyday and was a huge fan.The process of getting this work experience started in May/June 2012 when I applied for the ITV Talent Pool.
It is a pool of people that, if accepted through an application process followed by a group workshop, are offered work experience, placements and entry-level jobs across ITV around the country. I was successful in the Leeds group workshops and was accepted into the scheme. During my time I had applied for several work experiences all of which I never got. One day I was emailed an opportunity for ‘This Morning’ in October 2012, which consisted of a CV and a sentence to why they should choose you. I sent off my application and heard nothing from a member of the team until early March 2013. I was contacted on March 12th to begin the placement on the 18th down in London at the studios on the Southbank. How could I turn down that opportunity?!
During my placement, my work was split between studio running in the morning and office running in the afternoon and I worked 10am-6pm. During my time in the studio I got to know the camera operators, runners and editors really well and I had experiences in the gallery as well as on the studio floor to observe a live studio environment. During one part of the week, the green room host was ill, so I ran the green room on my own where the guests and celebrities wait. I was responsible for refreshments for guests as well as keeping the area clean and answering the phone for guest pick ups. During my time in the studio I had the chance to meet Nick Park, the Wallace and Gromit creator, as well as Liberty X, Warwick Davis, Gino D’acampo, Harry Judd and all of the lovely people that appeared as guests on the show.
During the afternoon, my duties were varied and I had my own desk over looking the Thames from the 11th Floor of the ITV building. I had the chance to take part in researching for a future feature, ran errands for all departments such as picking props up from around London, sorted through fan mail, made DVDs of archive footage, collecting and delivering tapes and mail. I learnt so much from undertaking my placement at This Morning. It was interesting to see how a live show operates as well as all of the roles that are involved with a daily topical show. It also gave me an insight to where I wish to go with my career, I found that I was suited to studio based practical work as well as office duties, and what to expect of an entry-level job and how to progress. While I was there, I was speaking to several runners and asked about their careers so far and where they wish to go in the future, which were all varied and interesting stories!
While I was there I had a lot of interesting experiences and adapted to the environment quite well. Seeing celebrities walking around the studio became the norm and it was strange to return to my university life. I will never forget the last day of my placement; I had made friends with several of the camera crew and felt fully comfortable in my placement. It was also the day that Eamonn Holmes and his lovely wife Ruth were presenting and they had a guest that appeared on set with them. She looked lost so I decided to take it upon myself to look after her and explained the environment I had learnt over the past week. During the break, Eamonn and Ruth both came up to me to introduce themselves as well as talk to their guest, and in every break during the show they would return to continue our conversation. They gave me lots of advice about television and media careers and after the show had finished, spoke to me more and asked if I would like some photos on the set. It was a brilliant way to end the week and was topped off with them telling me to come back for the summer shows, where they are the full-time presenters.
I loved every single second of my placement at This Morning and it gave me experience in so many areas that will help me become more employable once I finish university this month. It was a very exciting and interesting week and was probably one of the best of my life.
Some advice I would give to anyone looking for a work experience placement like mine:
- Join and use Twitter! I found out about the ITV Talent Pool and all of my other recent work experiences through twitter and interacting with people on the site.
- Just keep your eyes open and take any opportunities that may come your way. Even if you think the work may not be related to what you want to do, like office work, those skills can really set you apart in applying for opportunities, especially entry level jobs like Runners.
- The most important thing to remember when applying for work experience is to never give up, it takes a lot of time and effort to build up a portfolio of varying work and has taken me over 5 years to get all of the experiences I have today.
If you have passion then nothing should stop you, just keep going!
You can tweet me @Leashface and here’s my website.