I’m currently working at the BBC as a CBBC Blue Peter Studio Runner. I studied Media Production at the University of Lincoln School of Film & Media and graduated in September 2015. I also completed a semester abroad at Minnesota State University Moorhead, where I studied Mass Communications.
After graduating, I contacted a BBC Children’s Talent Manager and he agreed to see me for a meeting. Following the meeting, my CV was put forward to the Production Manager for a job within the Blue Peter ‘Badge Team’. I came back two days later for an interview and a couple of weeks later I started working as a Correspondence Assistant. Throughout my time in the badge team, I volunteered on other BBC productions as a runner in my spare time.
As a Correspondence Assistant, my job involved replying to the correspondence sent in by the Blue Peter audience. I would spend the day replying to letters and posting out the letters and badges. When the Blue Peter Studio Runner moved on to a different programme his position was opened up to the Blue Peter Badge team and we were invited to interview and following that, I was offered the job. In my new role, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are spent preparing for the live show and helping the rest of the studio team with any tasks. On Thursdays I spend the day working in the studio, this can be anything from looking after the presenters and contributors, to taking the photos for the iPlayer image. Fridays tend to be spent returning things and getting ready for the next show. It’s also my job to look after whoever is with us as Work Experience.
My degree focused on a lot of group work which was very useful, since I now work in a team and being able to get on with others is essential. I also spent a lot of time in the studio during my degree so that was very helpful in terms of being comfortable in the Blue Peter Studio. In my second and final year of university, I wrote scripts for my multi-camera productions and created my own student publication along with two other students, called On Tap. This helped me get my job as a Correspondence Assistant, as it was important to be able to write well and use correct grammar when replying to the children’s letters.
My advice to new grads is to have lots of patience and be able to get on with other people. Make the most of the opportunities available to you as a student in Lincoln. I took part in some of the many great opportunities offered; such as LSFM Mentoring, co_LAB and New Media Lincs. LSFM Mentoring begins each new academic year and I would recommend getting involved as it is a great chance to receive guidance from people working in the industry.
I’ve also found it helpful to show people that I am willing to go the extra mile to get where I want to be which is why I volunteered on other programmes before I moved on to my role as Studio Runner. It was extremely important to have work experience, as nowadays so many people have a degree, but it is the work experience and enthusiasm that I found helped set me apart from others.