Reflection (Synoptic Assessment)
1.I commenced my search for work experience while I was in the second year of my studies, as I wanted to ensure that I had gained some work experience for the start of my final year at university.
As part of my search for work experience opportunities, I googled what radio stations are in and around London and enquire if there were any vacancies for work experience.
My first work experience opportunity was with Westside Radio. This was a great opportunity to gain some much needed, experience in the industry. I emailed Sone who is the station manager at Westside Radio and arranged a meeting to discuss what their requirements were, and what they could offer and what I could do for the station.
Around the same time, I also looked elsewhere for work experience, as I wanted to make sure that I have multiple work experience opportunities on my CV. From this search, I also applied to become a station assistant at Radar Radio. This was insightful to see how two different radio stations operated, and how they are very differed from each other.
Westside Radio was very calm and peaceful, as I would sit there and create a content sheet for the drive time show with Rebecca Judd. Yet with Radar Radio it was always busy with multiple different DJ’S and guests coming into the station all the time. It was good to see how different radio stations work and the different job roles that I had been given from both stations.
I also researched the branding and ideology of each station to see what their core values are, and what genre they play. Westside Radio, is more of an RnB station going from new skool RnB music to Old skool RnB music. I am very interested in this type of music and personally is what I listen to myself. With Radar Radio, I liked how they are an online station and they weren’t held down by certain regulations such as swearing on the air. All the people that worked there had a passion for radio and while it was only for a short time, I learnt multiple different skills which I will take with myself for further jobs.
I am currently a presenter/producer/ads team member for Love the beat radio, which I applied for in the first term of third year. I applied through Indeed online. They are a very new station which interested me, and found that while discussing the role with the station manager, he would give me free reign on what content I would like to put into my show as well as me choosing the music to be played on my two hour show which airs on Wednesdays between 8-10 P.M.
While researching what I wanted to achieve for the Individual Audio Project module, I wanted to make sure that I was realistic in getting a commission, and that it was achievable. So, I decided to contact my old secondary school and sixth form, as I thought it would be good to create some content for them. I knew I wanted to make an audio book or guide for someone, and at the start of the project I was thinking of making a dramatized audio book for a children’s book.
However, when looking over what book I could apply this to, and what commission I would achieve for that idea It wasn’t that realistic. I then got in contact with my commission who was Cathy Urquhart a media studies and an English teacher at Lydiard Park Academy in Swindon.
I spoke to her about my ideas and to gain her thoughts regarding which one she thought would be a good idea, and from this we discussed the ideas I had. This resulted in me choosing what I wanted to do.
We came to the conclusion that I should create two dramatized audio -book for the school making sure that it is targeted towards students to help them learn their chosen texts for GCSE and A-level studies. I also decided to add comprehensive questions after each book, to make sure that the students were listening to the books and understanding the content and questions that are being asked.
2. I have learnt things from my work experience/placements. For example from Westside Radio, I learnt what it takes to run a station and what different type of roles there are in a station. An example of this is where I worked as part of the marketing team at Westside Radio, emailing and contacting different ticket sites to try and gain free tickets for the different shows on Westside Radio to use for competition prizes. This has helped me, as in my 3rd year of university we have to create a pop-up station, where, one of my roles for this station is sales and marketing, where I would be contacting different companies trying to gain information to create an advertisement as well as trying to get prizes for on-air competitions. Therefore, the experience gained from work experience has helped my in my studies.
I also worked on helping the drive time show with the content that will be played on air, making a content sheet for the presenter of the drive time show, Rebecca Judd. Adding my own useful notes and stories that she could use in her show if she chose to.
I also learned that as an employee, I wouldn’t want to be doing this role for a career, as it was very time consuming and hard work. I like completing hard and rewarding work but where it resulted in me sending the sending emails for six hours, I decided this role with Westside Radio was not for me I also felt that the station manager’s role carried out by Sone did not give me the best support possible or help in my future career choice at all. However, these are all learning curves, and this has help me understand what role I would like to take up at a radio station. This I have been able to do with Love the Beat Radio.
With Radar Radio, I learnt what it means by having certain aspects of a radio station and how vital theses are. For example, I worked very closely with the social media team at Radar Radio. My role was to make sure that all the tweets for the following days for this station were scheduled and correct, making sure that the content of the tweet was engaging and eye catching. I also created and uploaded artwork for the artists and guest that were coming into the station for a show, or to be a guest on a show. I was also being trained on how to make sure a studio is set up properly for a guest to come into, to carry out a mix for the station and how to produce a show, making sure all the levels and content are correct for the certain show going out on-air.
Unfortunately, due to certain circumstances, the station was shut down, and after this happening I understood and realised how unprofessional Radar Radio as a station were. I was fortunate to learn many different things from them, but as a working environment, I don’t believe it was the best. I would be kept waiting for at least an hour at the start of my working time, waiting to be told what to do. Initially. I would wait for instruction, but after so much waiting around I eventually used my own initiative and gave myself certain roles to start. An example being where I made sure the social media tweet scheduling was up to date.
Working for Love the Beat Radio, I was able to learn multiple different tasks, from being part of a team for the station. I learnt from this what it takes to have your own show on a radio station, as I was given my own show slot on Wednesdays from 8-10 P.M. presenting a RnB show. This has been a lot of fun and a really good insight into what it is like to have your own show.
I have been very independent as I’m able to choose what content is featured in the show as well as the music playlist. Even though it is a lot of work making sure I have something for every week, it is very fun and rewarding. Looking into the future, this would be something I would love to do as a future career.
I was also successfully in winning a competition at Love the Beat Radio, by having the most listeners tuning into to my show, over all the other programmes on the station. This was very liberating and rewarding as it allowed me to accept that what I am creating and doing is good and successful. I have learnt multiple different skills working for Love the Beat radio such as time management, taking initiative, working hard and being part of a team trying to create the best content on my show, with a light -hearted fun feel.
While working with my commission I learnt what it takes to work in the world of education and what type of criteria you would need to achieve when you are teaching different age groups such as GCSE to A-Level students. I had to learn this due to the comprehensive element of my individual audio project and to make sure that the questions asked for each year group weren’t too hard whilst not being too easy. I also learnt through negative aspects of creating my individual audio project to make sure that I always keep the commissioner in the loop, as while I was creating the piece, I didn’t really tell the commissioner of my progress in the project due to my pure focus on project itself and trying to get it done before the deadline. After the commissioner showing her concern and wondering how far I had come with the audio piece, I assured her that everything was fine and that I was just trying to focus on the project. After this hiccup everything was okay and I made sure I kept in regular contact with the school to show them each step of what I was creating, so that they could show the students the process of making an dramatized comprehensive audio book task. Finally, they were impressed with my work and have said they will use the piece with the upcoming GCSE and A-Level students.
- My next step hopefully after university would be finding a paying role in the industry which uses my experiences, allowing me to create a career in radio for my future.
After working at multiple different places with slightly different roles I have come to the conclusion that I would like to be a presenter and if possible a producer for my own show, allowing me to have full creative reign on my work. This will also allow me to be my own boss which I believe would be the best position to be in because you can manager yourself
without any other limitations holding you back, but at the same time, working with my commissioner, it has opened my eyes to the world of education, and in the future I could see that this could be a possible route I could choose as well.
I am aware that finding a good, well paid radio position will be challenging, but I am ready and equipped for that challenge. I do believe that it is also worth finding a plan B if all else fails and my plan B will be becoming a media studies or drama teacher for Secondary School pupils. I have chosen this due to my very positive schooling life and the way that some of the teachers treated me, which has made me the person I am today.
I would like to leave a footprint like that in the years to come. With this in mind, I have taken the step of starting my application for a teacher training course when I finish University. I don’t necessary want to teach straight from university but if I have this qualification it gives me the flexibility chance to do this in the future.
- Work Experience at Create
2.Carry on with Love the Beat Radio shows- creating and establishing my own self brand
3.Finish application for teacher training course
4.Work experience at Glenthorne High School in London for possible teaching placement
5.Apply for audio editing job roles + other radio experience
By William Hambidge- w1598680