Sarah A.

Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Sarah A.
United Kingdom

My employment

Flying Object
United Kingdom
Advertising, marketing and PR
Small business (0-49 employees)

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

Producer of videos and online content within the advertising & marketing industry. Training in broadcast but strictly digital now. Happy to offer advice on getting a foot in the door of TV or on creative career progression.

What I do

A producer makes ideas happen. In practice this means:

- Drafting and dynamically managing project timelines and budget
- Assembling the creative team e.g. film crew, to turn the idea into actuality
- Contract freelancers and any contributors
- Be a point of contact for client - good communication is a must to manage expectations
- Acquire the correct licenses needed for music, images or any other type of copyright used
- Ensure delivery in the formats required
- Creatively problem solve to achieve the goals set at the beginning of the project and still deliver on time, and in budget

Skills I use and how I developed them

Having good writing skills is also very important for the job role and fortunately I had developed these in my degree. My specialist knowledge from history has also helped me think analytically and find the entertaining/interesting approach to real life subjects, or marketing research.

A year after I graduated, I won a place on the Aim High Production Trainee Scheme in Northern Ireland, run by BBC NI, Northern Ireland Screen and Creative Skillset. This 18 months scheme gave me technical training in cameras, sound and editing. It also gave me work-base experience on a variety of productions.

Excellent organisation and people management are essential to be a producer. Unfortunately, its less easy to acquire these on a training course! But it takes experience, and observation of senior team members, to hone these skills.

Managing production budgets was made easier by my own personal financial budgeting - also necessary when I was earning minimum wage on the trainee scheme!

What I like most

I like the diversity and variety of my job. I can work on very different projects at the same time. I love thinking about new audiences to reach, new platforms to use to reach them and looking into technological advances that could help my company achieve something innovative.

What I like least

With responsibility comes high stress! But if you're lucky you'll work with supportive managers who will give you the support you need.

How I found out about the job


The recruitment process

My position at Flying Object was advertised on Linkedin.

It's not a position for new graduates, but they were looking for someone who was already working at this level. I had roughly a year's experience working at Producer level prior to application.

My career goals when I graduated

To find a job that I enjoyed, and put a roof over my head!

My career history

Work Experience during and shortly after my degree:
Oct 2009 - June 2010 Intern with IPUP at York Uni
Mar-Apr 2010 - 3 weeks at BBC work experience
May 2010 - 1 day running for BBC
July 2010 - 1 week at BBC work experience
August 2010 - 2-3 weeks experience at Darlow Smithson production company
Sep-Oct 2010 - Roundhouse London Bloomberg Broadcast Volunteer Programme
Oct-Dec - making a short film for National Theatre with the Roundhouse
Jan 2011 - 4 week internship with Nutopia

Paid work:
Feb - Sep 2011, Junior Researcher, Nutopia
Sep 2011 - Mar 2013, Aim Production Trainee Scheme, BBC
Mar 2013 - Mar 2014 Assistant Producer/Digital Producer, 360Production
April - May 2014 - Producer at creative studio, Nice and Serious
May - Aug 2014 - Digital Producer, 360Production
Aug 2014 - present, Producer, Flying Object

Courses taken since graduation

Roundhouse London Bloomberg Broadcast Volunteer Programme

Where I hope to be in 5 years

Senior Producer

My advice to students considering work

Give yourselves time to think about your employment prospects before you hit your final year when most of your time should be spent on your final exams and dissertations. It's OK to test out different industries with a few weeks of experience here and there, but when you've picked an industry/job get as much experience in that area as you can before graduating. It will give you a head start once you do finish uni. Make the most of every opportunity available to you at York - societies, clubs, projects, volunteering, York award, because you well never be in one place that offers so much again. You also need to find your niche or your thing to make you stand out amongst the other graduates.

Next steps...

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

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