Matt W.

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Happy to be contacted

About me

Matt W.
Economics and Related Studies
Economics and Economic History
United Kingdom

My employment

Depictar Limited
United Kingdom
Small business (0-49 employees)

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A day in the life of a Director in the United Kingdom

I always wanted to work in radio, and had to be pretty driven to make that work at the start, but the pivot into TV and online video I didn't see coming.

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

I started Depictar to take the storytelling skills I’d learnt from years of working at a big broadcaster and applying them to making videos for brands and businesses.

What do you do?

I manage the company and oversee all our productions. I also look after our pitches to broadcasters and companies, but my real passion is being out doing shoots with clients and I still get my hands stuck in operating a camera when I can.

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

I started my career in radio, working briefly for the radio station that is now Capital in Leeds after I graduated, before going on to work at the BBC. There I mostly worked at Radio 1, but also worked across Radio 2, Radio 4, 5Live, and the World Service until 2014 when I decided to focus on doing TV and video. From around 2015 I focused on making documentaries for youth audiences, and then in 2022 I left to set up my own production company.

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?

I always wanted to work in radio, and had to be pretty driven to make that work at the start, but the pivot into TV and online video I didn't see coming.

Describe your most memorable day at work

Broadcasting a live programme from a refugee camp on the border of Lebanon and Syria is right up there as memorable, but truthfully I've been lucky to travel a lot and be in a lot of unusual situations for work that anything from being on a snowmobile with the Royal Marines in the Arctic to going to a legal cannabis shop with three British MPs in Canada will stay with me for a long time.

Are there any challenges associated with your job?

There are always challenges, especially with more complex productions. Sometimes we're dealing with contributors who are flakey or wary of mainstream media, sometimes we're trying to organise things in countries with a large time difference and a language barrier, and sometimes we're just juggling difficult clients. The challenges are part of what makes the industry fun though, and every production is unique. Of course it can definitely be frustrating if suddenly one person drops out of filming and your whole film seems to be falling apart, but hopefully the end piece makes it all worth it.

What’s your work environment and culture like?

Media tends to be very casual and we don't have a dress code for most of the work we do. I always try to encourage a collaborative environment where even the most junior people on the team get a voice and feel like they can have real input on the content. Because every production company, and every production, is different it's hard to say what a typical day is like, but most people now will probably have a mix of office/home days and days on location filming, depending on their role. Our company is slightly unusual in that we have a mix of corporate, charity, and broadcast work in our portfolio. It means changing hats a bit, but it ensures we always have something fulfilling to work on.

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

My main thing at York was being heavily involved in the radio station, URY. That was what landed me the job at a radio station in Leeds on a very casual basis for a couple of months just after I graduated, but the skills I learnt from being involved with YUSU and my college JCR were a big help too.

What would you like to do next with your career?

I'm working hard at the moment to try and bring the storytelling skills I've built up from working in TV and radio to a wider audience, especially charities.

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

It can be a very competitive field, but don't give up. I have lost count of how many job applications I did for one place before I finally ended up even getting an interview. If you can make a really strong case why you fit a specific role then that will make you stand out. Nearly every CV and cover letter I get mentions really generic soft skills, so if you include them at all try to back them up with actual examples. You'd be amazed how many generic copy and paste emails with a generic CV attached I get sent... they nearly always get binned.

What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?

Anything related to video or audio production, or working in the industry.

Next steps...

If you like the look of Matt’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Matt a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Matt to be your mentor.

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