From Dave McSherry (Audio Production):
Today, I had a flying visit from 2009 BSc Audio Technology graduate Leo Worsdale. Leo spent four weeks earlier this year working at the BBC’s Western House studios as a Broadcast Assistant intern on the Shaun Keaveny show.
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There I worked my way to become an essential member of the team, taking up a broadcast assistant role on a voluntary basis. From there I was invited by the assistant editor of the BBC to apply for a position of irregular hours broadcast assistant, basically a back-up to cover illness or holiday.
With the knowledge and skills I had learned through my work experience at BBC Lincolnshire I felt confident enough to apply for the BBC work experience scheme at 6 Music, where I worked as a broadcast assistant for the Shaun Keaveny Breakfast Show. It was an invaluable experience – my knowledge of radio and confidence of working in the environment increased exponentially. The experience culminated in a trail I had written, recorded and edited being played on air. Perhaps most importantly it gave me the contacts to take the next step in a career in radio, namely freelance work at BBC 6 Music and it’s sister station BBC Radio 2.
My post graduate experience has been rather longer than the previous two paragraphs let on. The whole account has taken me almost two years, however I have been fortunate enough to have a part-time job that has allowed me the flexibility to pursue my desired career.
Of course there have been important lessons and pieces of advice I have gained along the way. Here are what I think to be the most important. First, if you don’t ask you won’t get. It wasn’t until recently at BBC Lincolnshire that I became a back-up broadcast assistant, I saw numerous people come in after me and get work before me. It wasn’t until I asked one of them how they came to get shifts, her reply ‘I asked’.
Second, be persistent. Asking is the first step but management are often forgetful. A polite reminder or request will let them know that a) you’re there and b) you’re keen.
Third, show initiative. It shows you’re keen, have a knowledge of what you’re doing and most importantly it sets you apart from others. The trail I made for 6Music wasn’t something I was told to do but something I did myself.
Finally, be nice. Opportunities are gained by asking but kept by being friendly.