Introduction

During my career in radio I have had a handful of work experience opportunities at different radio stations over the past 7 years including radio stations like Transmission Roundhouse, Absolute Radio, Total Rock Radio and Wizard Radio, where I volunteered. I am currently interning as a ‘Production Intern’ at FUBAR Radio in North London, where I started interning on the 14th October. Once a week I work in the FUBAR Radio office, editing audio and video for their podcast and social media platforms. This was an opportunity I took on board as a way to top up my production experience as I felt like I wasn’t giving myself enough opportunities to make content either for myself or for another platform. During this synoptic reflection, I will be having a look at how I built on my experiences and how I will continue to put myself in a good position to progress further up in the industry in the future, as well as analyse my current internship at FUBAR Radio and where I feel I am improving and where I could work on improving myself, so that I am in a good position for when I graduate and leave University in a few months time. My previous experiences including being a presenter on a handful of community and online radio stations, including Radio Harrow, Transmission Roundhouse, Total Rock Radio, Wizard Radio and Hard Rock Hell Radio, I also interned at Rock Music PR Company ‘The Noise Cartel’ in 2018, which was an opportunity which came up as I had a friend which worked at the company advised that I get in touch with them as they were looking for new interns for the new year.

Researching & Applying For Work Experience Opportunities

I managed to get involved with FUBAR Radio by replying to an advert which was posted on the Student Radio Association Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/studentradio.londonse/) by London and South East SRA Representative Jordan Scudder at the beginning of October, after an interview with producer Abby Weaver, I was given the internship to start a week later, where I have been producing video and audio content for FUBAR Radio’s website and social media accounts, as well as helping out with the live show on a Monday afternoon, which is presented by comedian Ian Boldsworth. In regards to researching and looking for work experience opportunities I have been fortunate by having opportunities outside of presenting emailed through to me, although I have been putting in a lot of work to network and build up my base of contacts, which I feel as though I am working on all of the time and spreads to contacts in the US, not just in the UK. Because of my radio work I was able to report on Download Festival for Smoke Radio last summer and in previous years I had covered other festivals like Reading Festival and Slam Dunk Festival for my rock show on Smoke Radio. I had also covered major rock festivals for Transmission Roundhouse before I joined university, which I had applied for accreditation for by getting in contact with the Festival’s Public Relations Officer. I had an internship emailed through for talkSPORT International by my tutor during the summer in 2018, I got in touch with Tom Rennie, who is the editor of talkSPORT International and we had a meeting at the beginning of August, where I made notes on when goals were scored and kept the “talkSPORT Live” Twitter account updated while games from across the Premier League were being played, I also got to help with making packages and break exits which were used between the live coverage of the main Premier League game being commentated on. Because of that internship I started working for talkSPORT as a technical operator over the Christmas holidays, and I officially started on the 8th March 2019. I had been given a list of emails to get in contact with including Head of Production ‘Dave Richards’ and Head of Technical Operations ‘James Masterton’, I sent emails to both of the heads of departments and I got a reply from the Head of Technical Operations ‘James’ within a week of sending the email. Even though I am now working in the radio industry, I am always looking for new opportunities for experience in the radio and in other industries like Music PR, which are often looking for new interns, but with the hours that I am currently working, it is quite difficult to look for new opportunities, although my interest in sport and working in a sporting environment at my current job has also lead to an opportunity of working with Rugby League side ‘London Broncos’, after University of Westminster alumni Matt Smith put me in touch with their first team reporter, because of previous conversations with Matt, I was offered the role of reporter for the team’s reserve sides. I am also looking for ways to move around in talkSPORT and at News UK, asking the head of production ‘Dave Richards’ about the possibility of working as an assistant producer, which has lead to working as an assistant producer on talkSPORT’s ‘Weekend Sports Breakfast’, as well as being an audio content producer for the ‘around the grounds’ coverage, putting packages together of the goals which had been been scored across the weekend, this was my main role while working on Boxing Day and across the holiday period. I have also been lucky by being in the right place at the right time, as I was contacted by Archie Veale, a sourcing specialist at Sky TV, who contacted me on LinkedIn, telling me that Sky were looking for new people to work as a ‘Multi-Skilled Operator’ for their TV station ‘Sky Sports News’. I applied and I am still waiting for the interview to happen, which will be on Wednesday 5th February.

What I learned from work experience and commissioning process

For my commissioning process, I got in contact with a couple of companies which I thought would be interested in my audio documentary. I had made a short documentary called ‘From Arsenal To Uxbridge’, which was about a small amateur football team called ‘Piccadilly FC’, who were reigning champions of the London Underground Football League Division 1 and about the league as a whole and how the team had built their way up over the past few years after nearly folding in 2015. I had got in contact with Cem Toygar, the manager of Piccadilly FC and London Underground Football League Fixture Secretary over the summer about another idea to do with a sporting podcast, that idea turned into another idea which is now a podcast I host called ‘Guitar Stands For Goalposts’ and the audio documentary came to mind within the first few weeks of the audio project coursework. Cem had put me in contact with the league’s secretary ‘Andrew Okocha’, who I had hoped to pitch the idIea to for the London Underground to use possibly on their social media platforms. I also got in contact with Laurie Palacio, the deputy head of talkSPORT who was happy enough (after a little bit of persistence) to give me a commission to produce the short documentary for the station, with the possibility of airing it if he felt that the quality was good enough for the station’s standards. I have learned from my experience working in a radio station like talkSPORT that the company are always happy to listen to new ideas for podcasts and radio shows and that they are happy and willing to let you experiment with new ideas and that the company is place that is happy to let you grow and progress through the company. Although the short-documentary didn’t make it to air, I would love to pitch the idea again and I know that it would be a possibility for the documentary to be giving the green light providing that I had more time to work on the documentary. My work experience has also taught me that being just a presenter isn’t enough to make it in the radio industry, especially if you want to work in a radio station which is considered a bit more niche, as a lot of presenters I have worked with and spoken to have told me about their routes through the industry, many of which have had to work 2 jobs while presenting to make ends meet. This is an experience I have been through, and it makes me appreciate working in the radio industry and interning at radio stations even more.

Where Do I Hope To Go Next

I have a few directions I would like to go into when I have finished with university at the end of this semester. I would like to keep going with my current job at talkSPORT and develop my production skills more and start to work my way up into being a producer, which is one of my goals to hit over the next 5 years, although I am also at a crossroads with my upcoming interview at Sky, as I possibly won’t be able to pursue both careers. Another direction which could possibly off shoot from either career is that I would like to get back into presenting again and I am aiming to present on a Bauer owned radio station in the next few years, preferably the rock station ‘Kerrang! Radio’, as my main passion is rock music, I also haven’t hosted a radio show for over a year, as my recent plan is to send a radio demo to Vibe FM in Watford and try and present on a semi-regular basis, even if I am just sending in voice tracks which can be edited in. I am also planning on starting up my football in music podcast ‘Guitar Stands For Goalposts’ again in around about April/May, just in time for the end of the current football season and the beginning of the international football going forward. In the long term, I would love to present on Absolute Radio, as that has always been a dream for me since I first started listening to radio when I was in primary school. Ideally presenting a show later in the evening, as that has always been the time of day that I have been drawn to more than any other, even when I was listening in primary school it would be the late evening and overnight shows that I would listen to more than any of the others, listening to the radio at night seems to bring the night to life for me and I would love to have a career in making other people’s night come alive over the radio as well, regardless as to whether I am presenting on Absolute, Kerrang! or any other station that I end up at in the future.

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