Leaving university is a daunting experience, not just because it’s the end of that ever so sweet monthly financial installment, but because for the first time in a long time you are left with no structure, no one to tell you what to do or how to do it, sounds great….doesn’t it?
When I left university I sent out relentless applications within the television industry and spent most of my unemployed life slumped over my laptop trolling through job websites. I found the whole process utterly soul destroying, as I would spend hours completing applications to no avail. Or if you were one of the lucky few to be acknowledged by the industry, their response wasn’t always the one you were searching for.
However, after much persistence and tedious interviews, which felt like rounds in The X Factor, I was offered the job as Office Runner at a London based television production company, known as Princess Productions. Being an Office Runner wasn’t the position I originally applied for, but if I have learned anything through my experience it’s that you have to be willing to start from the bottom and work your way up, and if that meant doing the recycling and stocking up printer paper then so be it!
Office running wasn’t exactly what I thought I would be doing when I left university, and I can’t deny that I was reluctant to undertake the position. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t expect to just walk into the company and become a Series Producer, but I thought I had the capability to do a little better. After all, I had just left university with a first class degree, was Undergraduate of the Year and had produced a pilot chat-show, so the prospect of looking after offices originally felt like a step backwards, but oh how wrong was I.
As strange as it sounds office running was exactly the position I needed after university, a job I quickly grew to love. This wasn’t due to the daily office duties of fruit bowls and snack time, with snack time being served promptly at 4pm- or face the sugar deprived monsters. Being an Office Runner enabled me to build a rapport with some of the company’s Directors and Producers, whilst giving me a professional insight into the ways television is produced. I found myself working alongside like-minded creative individuals, who like me were looking for their big break into the industry and where else better to find that break than in the hub of creativity. I was working where some of televisions biggest entertainment programmes were being developed, created and produced, which gave opportunities, opportunities I snatched up with both hands. After a few weeks at the company I was given my first credit as a Production Runner and started working on ‘Got To Dance’ ‘Sunday Brunch’ and ‘We will tweet again’.
I believe students nowadays need to be open-minded when looking for jobs within the industry, the reality of becoming a researcher straight from studying is 0-1. Welcome opportunities as you never know where they may lead, it’s not a race to the top it’s a marathon and sometimes the marathon is more enjoyable than the race.