I’m not new to the work experience scene but the first morning is always nerve-wracking. It is the little questions that bother us young eager to please work experience students. What should I wear? Am I overdressed? Am I under dressed? I am two minutes late, is that bad? How are the people there?
Of course, any self-respecting person will tell you that it is always better to be overdressed than to be under which is why I went with the safe option of wearing my trusty silver-grey suit that I purchased from Moss Bros. It turned out I was overdressed so that suit was left at home the next day.
I am currently doing a work experience placement at ITV in the ‘On Assignment’ section. Although there is no official secrets act to sign, I can’t exactly reveal the things we are working on for fear that competitors may jump onto the same bandwagon. On Assignment is a short documentary program which usually runs for thirty minutes and contains three different topics per episode.
Now why did I decide to do work experience there? To be honest, it being such a dull summer on the internship front, when I received a reply from the producer whom I’d met at the National Student Television Awards, I immediately jumped at the chance. It would look great on my CV were my first thoughts but after having spent just three days on the team, I feel like I have found the direction I want to go in terms of my career in the media world.
Journalism? What area of Journalism? That is usually how the conversation goes when I inform a relative of my desired career path. No idea yet I would reply. My previous experience with the media world did not really point me in any specific direction but I can definitely see myself working ‘On Assignment’ as a full-time job.
Why? I am interested in the news, I keep up to date with current affairs but the thing I dislike about working in a newsroom is that it is all about breaking news and increasing the hype of stories. You end up becoming a conveyor belt of news stories, churning out the same types of things day in day out. With the attention spans of people decreasing ever more, those working on news have to condense information into minuscule paragraphs and soundbites. Its fast-paced, can be fun, but I like to explore and learn about topics. That is why working on documentaries would be the ideal role for me and why it is something I can see myself doing in the future.
Furthermore, this work experience placement has been great in the sense that they accept you as part of the group immediately and you are almost doing the same job as everybody else when it comes to preparing for documentaries: RESEARCH. As many of their documentaries are filmed abroad -another bonus to the job is you get to travel a lot- a vast amount of research is needed. Scouting areas to film, people to talk to, what angle to take, planning the documentary, all the hard work is done well in advance of even thinking about travelling to the location. Since Monday, I have felt like I have definitely contributed to the plans of the documentary by finding interesting people and locations that fit the angle of the programme. That is a rare feeling for any work experience student to have, especially in the busy world of journalism and so for that, I am extremely grateful to the On Assignment team.
Time to rest and relax, work begins early tomorrow and finishes late. I must mention that it isn’t an easy and glamorous life. There is no 9-5 structure. I arrive at 10 and leave around 6 and every day the producer has been there before me and left after me.
Which means that for the first time since I started the gym nonsense, I have broken the make sure you work out at least every two days rule. Tomorrow the plan is an early morning session, wish me luck!
Until Next Time
A Worried Student