As a third year, the daunting acknowledgment that Uni (of Lincoln) is over soon and I will need to fit into reality hits hard. I am fortunately one of those people who likes to get stuff done early so my period of stress and panic hits way before deadline day – this is something I’ve always done in all aspects of my life including career prospects. I did my first piece of work experience in the Media Industry at 18, working as a runner for a week at CrowTV Post Production. This mainly consisted of making teas and coffees and the occasional cocktail (cocktail Fridays is a theme I’ve seen in more than one Post Production house). After that, I started Uni (Media Production course) and felt studies were more important. Around the end of my first semester of the second year, I looked at my CV and thought I needed more work experience.
If there is one thing I’ve learnt from seeing my siblings go through University and then try to get a job is that experience is everything. When I say everything, I do mean everything! It is all well and good having great grades but you need to prove you can do the job required of you outside a university setting, whether that be through work experience jobs or an amazing portfolio full of ventures you took not because they were set by a lecturer but because you wanted to. I simply googled ‘media work experience in London’ and the first thing to come up was ENVY Academy. ENVY is a massive Post Production house in Central London with projects like Top Gear, Pointless, The Voice UK and Gogglebox among many other shows they edit. I applied for a week’s worth of work experience in the oncoming summer and they said yes! The work experience was making teas and coffees for clients but as ENVY publicise their work experience as an academy, you learn alongside your job as a runner. I got the opportunity to sit in on the creative process of quiz show ‘Letterbox’ and the colour grading of people’s bottoms on ‘Naked Attraction’ and all I can say is it was definitely worth it!
During the Christmas of my third year, I got a week’s internship with Sky Creative which was fantastic and once again, I learnt a lot. I obtained this through the Mentor scheme the University of Lincoln School of Film & Media offers some students. I was paired with Hannah Wilson, a Lincoln university alumnae who pointed me in the direction of GoThinkBig.co.uk, it’s a brilliant site with lots of Media related work experience and jobs on. Hannah has helped me throughout my third year university experience with projects and work prospects so if you are offered LSFM Industry Mentoring, definitely take it!
By the time I was applying for jobs, I had 3 weeks’ worth of work experience on my CV which definitely gave me more confidence in applying for any jobs. Linkedin is your best friend when it comes to applying. It’s a brilliant way to showcase yourself in order to attract potential employers or just look for jobs, I follow ENVY Post Productions on Linkedin and that is how I found out they were hiring for Full-time Runners. I applied with my creative CV and a small cover letter over email on the Sunday night, got an email saying I had got an interview on the Monday morning, went down to London on the Thursday for the interview and got the email offering me the job on the Friday afternoon. Application to having the job took 6 days. The interview was split into three parts, an hour and a half with a runner team to get the idea of what the job consists of, a written assessment of your knowledge of the company plus software and the job, then a face to face interview where you get to express you as a person and why you are interested in the job. One piece of advice I was given during this was even if it’s a creative CV do not forget to put your previous jobs on there even if it is working down the chippy, it shows you are employable! I was advised not to put this information on but when it came to real life interviews, it was a different story.
I achieved getting a brilliant after University job because I was actively looking throughout my third (and final) year and had built up my CV to prove I was dedicated to this industry. It’s not too late to start, just get some experience!