There are many ways to gain relevant work experience in the media industry and they don’t all involve traveling to London!
I recently represented the University of Cumbria at a BBC Digital and Creative Careers Day at Media City in Salford. One of the biggest things I took from the day is the need for graduates applying for training schemes, jobs and freelance work to have relevant work experience.
How much experience should I have?
As a current student or recent graduate you are not expected to have years of experience in the sector you want to work in. Instead, you need to demonstrate that you are committed and interested in working in your intended field. You can do this by attending relevant work experience, reflecting on what you have learned and asking for a letter of recommendation from the employers you work for.
Work experience opportunities can range for a day’s shadowing, a week or two, a few months or a longer-term internship. With such a wide variety of opportunities available it is important to focus on the quality and relevance of a work experience placement rather than the amount of placements you do.
How to get relevant work experience:
- Send a CV and covering letter to companies and ask for shadowing/work experience
- Make your own content
- Volunteer for university or community radio and TV
- Apply for advertised work experience
It’s all about the money…
Some work experience opportunities will be paid, others may not be. If you are planning to take part in unpaid work experience I suggest deciding (before you apply) under what circumstances you will work for free and for how long.
Think about: what benefits you will receive, what skills and experiences you will gain, if you have done the same thing or something similar already, how much it will cost you, when you are available, if you can get funding and how it will benefit your career.
When thinking about if you should take part in an unpaid placement consider:
- Are you being asked to do work that you would usually be paid for?
- When you are on placement are you doing the same work as paid staff members and are you being given responsibility for work?
- Are you being asked to take on an unpaid placement for more than 6 weeks?
If the answer to any of the above is yes the placement offered should be a paid one.
Note – we know it can sometimes be difficult to judge whether a work experience placement should be paid or not. If you are unsure you can e-mail email@example.com for advice.
I have included a list of work experience opportunities below and some information on the upcoming Media Industry Day on Wednesday 13 April 2016.
Careers and Employability Coordinator
University of Cumbria
Careers and Employability Service
#UoCMedia Industry Day
Wednesday 13 April 2016 – 9am to 4.15pm – Brampton Road Campus (registration at main reception)
Registration has now closed but UoC students are welcome to just come along on the day.
Media Careers – Work Experience Opportunities:
BBC Work Experience
There are four application windows every year and each one will last two weeks.
There are four windows of opportunity to apply each year, with the Insight Programme open in January, April, July and October.
Discover Wildlife Magazine
BBC Wildlife welcomes work experience students for a period of one week throughout the year.
C4 Pop Up Events
C4 Pop Up is a day of industry talks, creative workshops and down to earth careers advice and support from Channel 4. Dates for the London, Belfast and Cardiff events are already up with more to follow.
Event Volunteer Quays Festival 2016
Quays Culture – North West England
Deadline – 30 June 2016
Volunteer Venue Assistants and Festival Runners
Bradford Literature Festival – Yorkshire
Deadline – 6 May 2016
Wild Rumpus – Staffordshire
Deadline – 18 April 2016
Lake District Summer Music – Cumbria
Deadline 25 May 2016
Volunteer media opportunities at the Animal Refuge and Carlisle Youth Zone
Contact Max Evans-Kirkman – firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact David Mulholland (Company Director) for potential work experience opportunities
07770 676766 / 07879 444443
Contact Lou Kneath Gibson (Company Director) to find out more
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