Broadcast Media graduate Tom shares his journey into working as a TV Researcher
I graduated a whole year ago in 2016 and although that time has flown over, I can still remember asking if I could do ‘The Robot’ across the stage to get my certificate. The answer to this was of course no and lucky I didn’t embarrass myself or fall over! I graduated in Broadcast Media and I’m currently a freelance Researcher in the wonderful Television industry.
What does a week typically look like in your job?
What’s best about a week in TV is that it could change on a daily basis! One day you could be serving Busted their lunch (I cannot divulge what they had due to contractual agreement) and the next you could be talking to someone who is chasing £3,000 off a builder who has left their home damaged! No two days are the same and that’s the best thing about my job. I’ve previously worked on The Voice, Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and Judge Rinder, all of which have given me different experiences and challenges. It can be hard to stand out in such a fast paced and busy industry, but the reward is unlike anything else in the world. Seeing a show you’ve worked on on TV and your name on the credits at the end of the show is something you cannot beat.
How was the journey from Graduation to now?
I would be lying if I said the journey was an easy one from Graduation to where I am now. It’s a lot of hard work to make a good impression in Television, one of the hardest parts is getting given the chance to work on these amazing shows. That’s why University was so great: it gave me a chance to hone the skills I needed. I enrolled on an amazing scheme called ‘The Network’ at The Edinburgh International Television Festival (shoutout to the guys there and all my fellow Networkers!) which helped me gain industry connections and insights. Definitely apply to the scheme when applications open and tell them you got the idea from me so I know who you are! I’ve been very privileged to get a chance to get my foot in the door and one day hopefully you will to.
Top 5 tips for getting into Television!
- Hone your skills while at University, you won’t get a chance to practice like this again. If you make a show at Uni but do something wrong and lose a studio day then it’s ok, you can retry. If I did that now I could cost a company a LOT of money!
- Work, work, work! It’s really hard work, long days, unsociable hours and your feet may well drop off while you’re running on your first show. Trust me though, it’s worth it!
- Don’t be scared. Television is a huge industry and it can be really really scary at first. Even now there can be hundreds of people applying to the same role. Something I wish someone had told me is that there will be times that you might struggle with not finding work or think it’s never going to happen but it will if you keep trying and don’t get disheartened!
- Be yourself. While it’s a huge industry it’s also a really sociable one, people will remember you and it’s best if you leave a good impression!
- Network! A term that strikes fear into my very soul, but it’s vital for a career. Meet everyone and say hello, nothing bad will happen and you may make a great connection.
Good luck if you’re taking your first steps in Television and when you’re at the top remember this article. You can look back and think “Ahh I’ll see how Tom is, let’s get him on my next award winning project”.