As this is a reflection-based blog post, I am going to reflect on the three topics as best I can.
Blog Post 1: What research you undertook into the job market for your work experience and for gaining a commission for Individual Audio Project.
When I started 1st Year, I thought it would be crucial to look at gaining work experience as soon as possible. I completely changed my LinkedIn profile and in the jobs tab on the site, I updated my career interests, which targets the industry in which I am looking to get work in.
Another important aspect of searching for work would be networking at events, for example, a great way to network is the events that the Student Radio Association puts on for example; training days, nomination party and award nights. When industry personal turn up to the events to interact with students who are interested in working within radio.
The internet is a very good tool for research looking at websites such as media.info and stations group websites for jobs.
I regularly looked at these sites however I was always worried about applying for a role within the industry due to my university studies as I was only in my first year. I did make use of the contacts that I had made from networking at the events. I spoke regularly with people who worked for Global, however, nothing had materialised as I was worried that what was being offered would interfere with my university studies.
Looking back at this I could have interacted more with my lecturer at the university for advice on this. I was lucky that someone in my course who was already doing work experience at a radio station due to an assignment we did in the first year where we spoke with someone already in the industry. That person asked my classmate did she had anyone that would be interested in coming in. So, there wasn’t much research done at this point.
For my individual audio project, I knew that I wanted to do something surrounding debt. As I had worked in the finance sector previously working for a bank and a debt purchasing company. I looked into how I wanted to approach the subject and where would the project best fit for broadcast purposes. As our brief said that the audio could be anything, sit on a website, on an app, something that could be broadcasted or downloaded.
After speaking with my lecturer, the advice would be something that would be broadcast or a podcast series. Doing some research and having worked with someone who had worked for the radio station Share Radio.
Share Radio is a radio station on which mainly broadcast topics on business finance. I was unsure if a consumer related feature would suit for the station. When looking at the station website I used the email address provided on the website to contact them about the idea I had. This was probably the most stressful part of the process as I was getting no response from the email and calls, I was making.
It took 2 whole months to get in contact with which was frustrating as I wanted to crack on with my idea and get the submission. Without the submission I didn’t think it was right to start creating the project as if the station wants something different to what you want to create, I would mean starting over the project all over again.
Once I got the commission from the station, I could crack on, the only difference from the main brief from the university was that they wanted the piece to be 25 minutes long rather than the 15minutes required by the university. This wasn’t an issue as it meant that the interviews which were done for the project could be a little bit longer for the commission.
Blog Post 2: What you learned from your work placement and what you learned from working with an external commissioner for Individual Audio Project.
After shadowing Hayley on her Saturday evening show for a couple of weekends at TalkRADIO, Hayley recommends that I speak with Lauren is the production manager at TalkRADIO about getting work experience or intern work. Lauren paired me up with Jon Holmes Show which was Monday to Friday 1-4PM however the working hours were 10AM till 4PM. From working with Hayley and Jon Holmes Show team, I learned how a talk radio show is put together and produced.
Working with Hayley, I would help answer the phone, put messages from the audience in the form of Text, emails or social media messages to the presenters on the system used at the station. I would also help source stories for the presenter and help find guests to talk to the presenter. Working with Hayley I felt very much an assistant producer working on the show.
Working on The Jon Holmes Show, I didn’t have to use the phone and messaging system as there was already an assistant producer on the show, as work experience, I mainly just made cups of tea, getting guests from reception and either taking them straight to the studio or putting them in a holding area and getting clips ready for the show.
I would say I learned more working with Hayley than I did working on the Jon Holmes Show. Mainly because I was doing more with Hayley by sourcing guests and assisting her with the shows content and answering calls and putting the messages received on air for the presenter to read out on air.
With Jon Holmes Show, I felt I was more a runner for the show making tea and coffee for the presenter, production staff and guests. Getting the guests from reception to on the show. The only experience I got from the Jon Holmes Show was editing the clips together and seeing a daytime show being broadcast and produced which was a great fun environment to be in.
Below is some clips from my work experience. 1st clip is work experience review and the second clip is the opening of the John Holmes show were clips from the previous show is mashed together.
Working with an external commissioner for my individual audio project wasn’t what I expected it to be. They were relaxed on what I was doing. After setting what they wanted from me, which was to produce a piece for broadcast and to be 25 minutes long and submitted at the same time as the university. Share radio let me get on with it.
Share radio was kind in letting me use their facilities and offered me help in finding a presenter. I already had a presenter in mind thanks to a brainstorming event at university. The Presenter also had connections with Share radio as well and regularly presents a show on the station.
I offered Share my rough cuts and looked for feedback from my contact at the station. I had very limited contact from my commissioner at Share radio and apart from gaining the commission the only conversation I had with them when recording the main links with the presenter of the project and even then, they didn’t want to hear any of the audio and only asked how the project was going. At this point all that was needed was the presenter links then it was editing the piece together.
Since I have submitted the project to university and Share radio, I have had no feedback from them, however, I have had feedback from the organisations that I’ve interviewed and finally from the presenter who voiced the piece, I don’t know if Share has used the audio project on their station output. To reflect on this, I don’t know what I’ve learned from working with Share radio. However, I feel after listening to shows which are broadcast on the station, I feel I hit the brief well and hopefully kept it engaging for the audience to listen too.
Blog 3: Where you hope to go next, what sort of career you are aiming for, drawing on your work experience and Individual Audio Project, and FIVE practical steps which you will follow to help you on the next phase, post-graduation.
Looking at where I would like to go next, I have already made the step into the industry. Once I completed my week’s work experience at TalkRADIO on the Jon Holmes Show, Cornelius recommended that I speak to Lauren the production manager if there was any work going as the stations are always looking for staff. From this, I was introduced to James Masterton who is the Technical Operator’s Manager and he said I was asking just at the right time as they were looking for new people to join the station. So, I was in the right place at the right time.
I am currently a freelance technical operator, but I have stable shifts on TalkRADIO working on the weekend doing 1pm till 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. I also pick up cover shifts on TalkSPORT when the opportunity presents itself and have picked up extra shift during the holidays.
At present, I am working on the Jeremy Kyle Radio Show which airs Saturday’s 1-4PM and Jeremy likes to involve every member of his team and get them talking on air. Looking forward to what I am aiming for as a career in radio, I would like to move into either producing/presenting but entertainment shows on either Talk or Music radio. Having worked on Political shows, I don’t think
this would be the path I would take having worked at TalkRADIO and the shows are mainly political however there are entertainment shows on TalkRADIO, for example, Jeremy Kyle’s Show as well as Jamie East who does a pop culture talk show on a Sunday, I wouldn’t mind working producing these shows.
The experience gained from the individual project in future if I am doing work commissioned, I think regular contact should be a must. This is to make sure the client is happy with what is being produced and I would imagine there would be a briefing when the first cut is done so the client can give feedback on how to improve the piece if they aren’t happy with the product.
Looking at the five practical steps to follow on the next phase;
- Continue to use websites to look for job opportunities – for example LinkedIn, Global, BBC and websites such as media.info.
- Continue to network as knowing someone, could help you apply for a job if a position comes up.
- For presenting, keep producing demos and getting feedback from people where appropriate. Always make sure the demo which is sent is current and up to date.
- As I am currently employed by the wireless group there is always the opportunity to progress within the company and the station uses freelance producers as well so there are always opportunities to pick up shifts when needed.
- Finally, keep my personal website and CV up to date as well as LinkedIn profile as you don’t know who will be looking out at my profiles and could be contacted via these about a job opportunity.