Getting started – If you want to work in the media – perhaps in broadcasting, film, journalism, digital media, or in a related field such as public relations or marketing – now’s the time to start building useful skills and experience.
Start by reading up on the area that interests you: Media, Creative and Cultural and Advertising, Marketing and PR. Then dig a bit deeper and explore specific roles, entry routes, vacancy sources etc. on Prospects and Creative Skillset
Student Media – The Mancunion, Fuse FM and other student media offer great opportunities for budding writers, editors, presenters, producers… Contact information is included on the Student Union website. If you’re involved in a student society why not help out on the marketing side by starting or contributing to a blog, newsletter etc.?
Do it yourself – of course, you can also generate your own content and get hands-on experience that way. Think about teaming up with some like-minded friends? Facebook, You Tube and blogs are all useful outlets for creative projects. Make use of these while keeping an eye out for new online developments.
Think about how you can use your own experience to develop your media portfolio. For example, if you’re travelling over the summer or taking a gap year, could you take a digital recorder, do some interviews and create a short documentary on a particular theme? Or, why not keep a blog of your experiences, start tweeting or ask about writing an article for your local paper? This will showcase your work and show future employers that you’re enterprising and really passionate about creating media.
Short courses and workshops – short courses and workshops can help build relevant skills such as research, scriptwriting, directing, editing, filming, interviewing… Look for these at local organisations such as Creative England, WFA and Futureworks. There’s also The Network, which provides free training and forms part of the Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival. For opportunities and tips on scriptwriting, try the BBC’s Writers Room
Get talking (and listening!) to people in the industry – jump on every opportunity to meet people in the industry. The careers service Media Club sessions let you hear from professionals happy to discuss the work they do and give tips for getting into the industry. There are industry associations which welcome student members such as The Royal Television Society, Radio Academy and the Manchester Social Media Cafe that are great for networking. You can also follow the Media Club on Twitter – we follow lots of Manchester media professionals so it’s a good way of connecting with people in the industry and hearing about opportunities.
Industry work experience – this not only looks good on your CV, but is a crucial way of developing knowledge and contacts which can lead to paid work. This is the most common way of getting a ‘foot in the door’. With some exceptions, such as the BBC’s work experience scheme www.bbc.co.uk/workexperience, opportunities are found by making speculative approaches. This means getting in touch with an appropriate person within a company or organisation who is in a position to offer work experience. Information on how to network and make speculative approaches can be found on the careers website
The majority of media work experience is unpaid. It is therefore important to guard against exploitation. We recommend that you read our information on unpaid work experience and the DTI guidelines for the television industry which can be found on the Creative Skillset site
For other useful organisations and sources of information, pick-up a copy of the starting point sheet on journalism and broadcasting from the careers resource centre – you can also find it on the careers service site.