Oliver J.

Assistant Producer
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Oliver J.
Theatre, Film and Television
Writing and Performance (Drama/Film/Television)
United Kingdom

My employment

Assistant Producer
United Kingdom
Large business (250+ employees)

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

Assistant producer for ITV's 'This Morning'

What I do

I'm an Assistant Producer for Television. Currently I work at ITV's 'This Morning'.

Mainly working in live television I work to set up items, book guests, prepare briefs, write script, as well as briefing presenters, guests and contributors before the programme.

Skills I use and how I developed them

The ability to write and understand how to tell a story is invaluable. A degree in WDP really helped with this.

Degree skills:
Check it, check it, and check it again. The academic skills you apply to research for essays is something you have to take with you to a job in television.

Extracurricular skills:
Get involved, in everything! I was at University Radio York, sat on YUM, was involved in DramaSoc, was the producer for Central Hall Musical Society. Being involved in societies was what made me stand out of the crowd.

What I like most

How different each day is. No two days have been the same. Things are high pressured and tough at times but the opportunity to move so much around the organisation is well worth it.

What I like least

The hours can be erratic, sometimes long, and you just have to do it. If you like the 9 to 5 this isn't where you'll find it.

How I found out about the job

Personal contacts

The recruitment process

My current job at ITV was initially something I found through personal contacts I had made in the industry - but then I interviewed for a full time staff position (something quite rare in TV these days).

My career goals when I graduated

Work in television or radio production - ideally getting onto one of the industry training schemes.

My career history

I was formally a BBC Production Trainee after leaving York. I joined the BBC in 2011 and since then worked my way through various departments and moved companies a number of times.
Each year the BBC opens up recruitment for trainees in production, journalism, business and design. Each scheme is designed to give you the best possible start in the media through placements all across the organisation in the BBC's different production bases in Salford, Cardiff, Bristol, Glasgow and London. The job is one of the only graduate jobs that will give you experience across both radio and television.

Since leaving the trainee scheme I worked across the BBC - on everything from Children in Need to The One Show before leaving for ITV and the indie sector.

What has helped my career to progress

Perseverance and being polite! The media works through good contacts and recommendations.

My advice to students considering work

Don't sit back during the summer holidays. Get out doing work experience. I managed to get mine by writing to all the production companies that made programmes I loved. Apply for everything you can and use your time at York well. If you can come away with a CV that shows how much you want a job in the media you will get one. You just have to be determined and have the evidence.

My advice about working in my industry

Don't give up. A friend I work with got his first job in TV by sending a shoe in a box to a producer with a note saying 'now I've got my foot in the door can I have a job' it worked for him.

Next steps...

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

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