Studied: Level 3 Diploma in Film, TV & Radio Production
Progression: Now a Senior Technical Operator for BBC News East Midlands
Serena tells us about her journey after college:
“For as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated by visual medium, story-telling and optical technologies. However, after finishing school I was very uncertain as to whether a career within the media industry was something sensible to pursue, having repeatedly heard how uncertain the industry could be and that it was an “unrealistic field of work.” Nevertheless, at the age of 19 I decided to go back to education after a break from school to pursue the TV & Film Production programme at Coventry College.
The programme provided me with the opportunity to learn and develop a multitude of new skills, whilst working in a highly professional environment, using industry standard equipment and software. We covered music video production, short film, editing, motion graphics, stop-motion, multi-camera productions, corporate videos and more. The College has its own television studio and gallery, which enabled us to develop technical skills in vision engineering, studio sound mixing, camera operations, vision mixing, directing, producing, and VT (video-tape) operations. It was both challenging and amazing fun!
The lecturers at the College were incredible. They treated learners as their equals and helped us to find and nurture our best qualities, whilst improving in the areas that needed development. They all had an understanding of how challenging the industry can be, and they never shied away from that; instead they prepared us for what was to come, all gained from their own knowledge and prior experiences. Just like in industry, the programme was very focused on team-based working. The enthusiasm we all had for the subject meant we produced high-quality work, which strengthened our portfolios.
After leaving college I successfully secured a position as an apprentice on the BBC Broadcast Operations Scheme. I worked alongside journalists and a dedicated technical team of Broadcast Operators in Bristol’s Regional Newsroom. Three times a day we broadcast to the West of England covering the news for Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset & Devon. At the end of my two year apprenticeship I secured a 6 month contract with BBC Bristol as a Technical Operator.
Since then, I have progressed into the next step of my career as a “Senior Technical Operator”, working in Nottingham’s Newsroom for their regional News Programme – BBC East Midlands Today. I now work in the field as a Newsgathering Camerawoman and Editor, operating a portable single camera and editing news packages. Coventry College helped sculpt my career into what it is today. I would never have dreamed to have been working for an organisation like the BBC, nor be at a “Senior” level at such a young age.
Without the technical and personal skills I learnt during my time at the College, I don’t believe I would be where I am today. My advice to learners who want to pursue a career in the media industry is to keep working hard, and be proactive in pursuing your future.”