Find out how one graduate discovered their passion by travelling halfway across the world
Daniella asked me to write this blog about my career, but I’m not entirely sure that career is the right word. Seven years after graduating I’m still figuring out what exactly it is that I want to do.
I studied history at Newcastle University and if I’m honest I didn’t really begin to think about the ‘real world’ until my final year. Up until that point my main concerns were boys and booze! After graduating I got the fear. What was I going to do? Where was I going to live? Was I actually ready to get a ‘proper job’? I decided the best way to deal with this angst was to move a few thousand miles away. So, six months after leaving university I upped sticks and moved to Melbourne, Australia.
At this point I knew that I wanted to work in a creative industry; film and theatre being two of my biggest passions. I spent the next 18 months in Melbourne working part time in a bar to fund a marketing internship for a performance circus, as well as working as an events coordinator for a newly established film festival. It was hard work (and involved some first class time management), but it was an excellent foundation for my post university CV and more importantly a brilliant life experience. Now don’t get me wrong, I despise the idea of long term unpaid internships, it creates an elitist work force that only hires people who can afford to work for free. However, in some industries it’s sad to say that it’s expected and required. In my current job I support young entrants to get into the TV industry and I always advise that they do not work for longer than 1 month unpaid.
Several years later via a stint managing a small theatre venue that worked with the local youth community, I‘m now working for the Edinburgh TV Festival as a producer, co-ordinating the festival’s two charitable initiatives; The Network and Ones to Watch. In honesty, I had no rigid plan to get to where I am today and I don’t know where I’m going next. For me personally what’s important in each job I do is, that I believe in the ethos of the company, that I get interact with a wide range of people, that I’m busy and get to stretch brain and most importantly that I get to continue to develop my skills.
What I love about my job is nurturing and supporting young people to achieve their goals. I also love working to tight deadlines and under pressure, so the fast paced world of events and project management definitely suits my temperament. Ultimately that’s what I think it’s all about, finding a job that suits your interests and plays to your skills. You’re not going to find that perfect job straight away and you’ll certainly land upon some duds along the way, and that’s not a bad thing! Hopefully with each job you take on, you’ll develop new skills, meet people you might never have met and help you focus your ambitions, taking you a few steps closer to where you want to be. It really is the marathon not the sprint.
Rhiannon Robertson is the Talent Schemes Producer at the Edinburgh International TV Festival.
If you’re interested in a career in TV and have less than 3 months paid experience why not apply to The Network? Applications open 30 January 2014, please check our website for more details http://www.thenetwork-tv.co.uk