What research you undertook into the job market for your work experience and for gaining a commission for Individual Audio Project.

When looking into the job market I investigated what skills were needed for what positions. This enabled me to investigate work experience roles that would enable my skills to be developed. My work experience was on community radio where our drive time team was made up of me and 2 others which meant I was covering a series of different roles while on work experience. I ended up doing work experience for nearly two years working within the same show. I also investigated the job market to see which roles were the most suitable for what I was learning over three years at university. To undergo research, I used Indeed to look at what the job description was and what necessary skills were needed. During my work experience I researched to ensure I was doing things on the Drive Time that should enable me to learn and put myself in scenarios compared to industry radio. Such as making sure the news jingle and news input were put in correctly at the top of the hour. In reflection I wish I had looked at additional websites such as the Radio Academy in order to have more industry based research.

For gaining a commission I went about researching how to write a pitch with suitable structure. I decided I wanted to make my Individual Audio Project about something I was passionate about and local to where I’m from. I thought the new ownership at Wrexham A.F.C. had a large potential to illustrate to set about getting a commission from the media team at the club. I had to research who was suitable and in charge of the media team to reach out to them. To get a good understanding and the details of the new ownership I had to research the history of the club in further detail as well as learn about the structure in place at the club in order to impress the commissioner I was trying to gain. I was happy with the commissioner I managed to secure overall and I was happy with the research I managed to complete before approaching the commissioner I had identified.

What you learned from your work placement and what you learned from working with an external commissioner for Individual Audio Project.

From my work placement on Tudno FM my local community radio and mainly took on the role of being a producer.  I had responsibilities such as creating a schedule for the show, choosing the music, lining up ads and making sure the presenters were aware of timings in the studio. However, I also acted as a chatty producer, chipping into discussions and in doing so became more confident in my presenter style adapting my presenting skills.  I supported an outside broadcast hosting competitions and raising funds for the station in a shopping centre which taught me a complete new set of skills being able to be face to face with the listener. My skills to produce an outside broadcast and set up the output to the online feed was an enjoyable experience that pushed me out of my comfort zone. On the drive time show especially it meant desk driving had to be done to ensure travel and weather were scheduled at the top of each hour of airtime with the jingle coming in 7 seconds before the top of the hour. My keeping to time skills were tested here as a producer as I had to make sure the presenters were aware to stop talking and have the jingle align perfectly with the external news input. I had to juggle the faders which helped improve my organisation and awareness skills.

My final audio documentary was a 15 minute audio documentary about my local football club in North Wales, Wrexham A.F.C.. Wrexham A.F.C. have been a recent topic of conversation globally having been bought out by Hollywood actor and businessman, Ryan Reynolds, and producer and scriptwriter Rob McElhenny. Some fans have been left sceptical, but others left with joy and excitement.  Making this, combined my fan status whilst it also gave me an insight into operations at the football club. From working with an. External commissioner, I learnt that you must work to their requirements and that they change things until they are happy right until the final moment. I had to adapt and change certain elements of my final piece to include things they thought was necessary. What I learnt was that the external commissioner was that they have a strong knowledge and understanding of what will work, be able to problem solve, know when to take risks and fight for ideas that will be successful. This was good for me as it helped guide me along steps to construct the audio in the right way to create a narrative. What I found most useful about working alongside an external commissioner was I was able to understand their angle of production which taught me how specific programmes are made, production schedules, and the decisions which need to be made and be able to liaise successfully with broadcasters that potentially would want my piece of work. My communication skills developed while doing my Individual Audio Project to be able to work collaboratively and foster creativity in others; have strong leadership skills and create a good workplace environment. From working alongside the media team at Wrexham A.F.C. they taught me some of trading issues when making a commissioned piece if work. I had to be careful understand the legal processes behind broadcast and rights as well as having the ability to meet production deadlines.

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.

After undergoing work experience and constructing my Individual Audio Project about Wrexham A.F.C I hope to work within audio focussing on sports audio content creation. After university I am preparing suitably for a future in audio production. In university, my aspirations became more focused on sports radio and sport content production. However, I also have the ability to control an audio and radio studio, drive the desk, organise presenters and direct and keep to schedules, to name just a few of my production values I have learnt from being at university.  Combining my passion for sports and audio content is where I wish to head next, although focusing on football and F1, in particular, is an aim of mine. My work experience at Tudno FM enabled me to be familiar with studio settings as well as working as part of team that helped me experience what it was like in the industry. Then my Individual Audio Project tested what I had learnt through 3 years of university and then combining a passion of mine which is football. As someone who’s listened to a lot of sports radio and sports content since I was old enough to walk immersing myself in the club culture at Wrexham really got me excited what it feels like to work in and around sports content creation.

5 practical steps I will be taking post-graduation:

  1. I want to use the skills I’ve developed during university, such as communication, work ethic, time management and creative thinking, to invest in your passion and turn it into a job. For example, I want to get into working in the sports content production industry, so I need to be actively looking at sports news and listening to sports radio. I also watch a lot of sport and I’m confident about talking about my opinions. Over recent months I have been working on my Twitter profile and LinkedIn presence as well as producing and recording some sports shows talking about football.  
  • For me, the best option after university may be pursuing an entry-level job to gain skills and experience. I already have gained a lot of experience at university, and I’m aiming to try and search for companies that offer career progression so that can get the opportunity to advance to a permanent. Even if the job doesn’t turn into a permanent role or if you decide that you’re not suited to the company, it can still help me in building your CV and gaining experience in the relevant area.
  • If finding a suitable job doesn’t work out for me, I’d love to move to a new place after thoroughly looking for a job. Many companies expect applicants to move away for a job which I’m open to and may pay relocation costs. Moving to a different place may also provide a needed change of scenery or more job opportunities if you move to a bigger city. In this case Manchester appeals to me as there’s a lot of opportunities and is regarded as a good media hub. Sport has a massive base in the North East with BBC Radio 5Live having their studios there as well as BBC Sport operating out of Media City in Salford.
  • Returning home after university is a possibility to compose my thoughts and figure out what it is I really want, look for jobs and consider my options while in a comfortable, cost-effective setting. Using my time at home to network with local businesses in the media industry and connect with other graduates is something that could be good over the coming 2/3 months. Taking time to update my CV and establish myself across platforms professionally will be an aim of mine. I also want to take some time to myself after university and go on holiday for a period of time to rejuvenate.
  • My long-term dream job is to be able to be paid for watching sport. For me there’s nothing better than that. Being able to voice my opinions during football commentary is the lifelong goal.  To do this I would start by volunteering as it is an excellent way to enhance my CV and set yourself apart from other graduates. Volunteering at my local football clubs shows I have the drive and can confidently speak about football. Volunteer opportunities can also help in developing my transferable skills like communication, empathy, time management and adaptability. It may also lead to a paid position with the organisation or a full-time job elsewhere through networking while volunteering. An internship is something I would consider also after university as it can be a great way to gain experience and ‘test-run’ your potential future career but also get your face out there. Although internships often pay less than full-time positions, they may result in a full-time position after the internship.

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