BBC Producer with 10 years experience, working across a wide range of video projects

About me

Matt W.
Economics and Related Studies
Economics and Economic History
BA (Hons)
Goodricke
2006
United Kingdom

About this profile

Producer
BBC
United Kingdom
Broadcasting
Large business (250+ employees)
2006
£17300

About the job

What I do

I work across a wide range of video projects, from short form fast turnaround news content for Radio 1 Newsbeat, BBC News Online and the BBC News Channel, to longer form documentaries.

Recently I have produced and directed two short docs for BBC iPlayer; After the Band, which follows musicians who have left successful bands, and Civilians to Soldiers, which follows new recruits to the British Army during their 14 weeks of basic training.

I also do a mix of production and technical work for Newsbeat on Radio 1 and 1Xtra, as well as producing some specialist music shows for both networks.

Skills I use and how I developed them

Academic qualifications will only take you so far in TV and Radio production. A good degree from a good University won't hurt, but it certainly won't get you a job on its own. I studied Economics and Economic History, which I think it's fair to say hasn't been directly relevant to any of the jobs I've done since graduating.

I was lucky enough to be given 3 weeks of training when I first joined the BBC, and have managed to get additional video journalist and directing training since that really helped lay down the foundations of producing and directing video documentaries.

Having relevant experience of making radio shows for URY whilst at York was hugely valuable, and without it I doubt I'd have pursued the career I have.

What I like most

I get to work on content for Radio 1 every day, and being a small friendly team I get a lot more creative freedom over what I make than I've had in previous jobs.

What I like least

It can be hard work, and the hours can get a bit crazy during big projects.

Finding and applying for the job

How I found out about the job

Employer's website

The recruitment process

It was advertised internally, so only open to other BBC staff. I phoned the editor of the programme before applying and he gave me more detail than was on the job advert. As is typical with BBC jobs the application form simply asked what skills, abilities, and experience I had that would make me suitable for the job.

Once shortlisted there was just one interview with the programme Editor and Deputy Editor, but for some jobs there can be other elements such as a practical/technical test and occasionally a written test.

My career

My career history

I joined the BBC shortly after graduating from Goodricke in 2006, following a brief spell at Capital FM in Leeds. Since then I've worked across Radio 1, 1Xtra, Radio 2, Radio 4, 5 Live, and the World Service. Most of my career so far has been working on news programmes, but I've also Produced and Assistant Produced shows for Radio 1, Radio 2, and 1Xtra.

In the last couple of years I have shifted to doing nearly exclusively video content, mostly for the Radio 1 iPlayer channel.

Where I hope to be in 5 years

It's hard to say because the industry can change fast, but for now I'm happy focusing on making documentary programmes. I guess in 5 years I'd hope to be better at it and to have made many more docs across a wide range of subjects.

My advice to students

My advice to students considering work

Make the most of all the opportunities outside of your degree (whilst trying not to compromise it too much!). All types of student media are really beneficial in teaching you the basics; whether it's print, TV, or radio. An award (or nomination for an award) will instantly make you stand out amongst everyone else struggling to make the jump into professional media.

Being multi-skilled is more important now than it ever was, so the greater the variety of experience you can gain the more you will stand out, and if you can pick up some work with production companies before you graduate it will make the transition easier.

My advice about working in my industry

Get solid experience and enter for awards. The more you can get whilst still at Uni the easier you will find it once you graduate.


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