How Media Trust Changed My Life

Hi everyone. Thank you so much for your patience these past couple of months. There’s been new transitions that I am still settling in to – which I will elaborate on in this article.

Let’s rewind back to last May, when I graduated from The BRIT School. I felt secure in something as I got a D*D*D* from my BTEC in Performing Arts, which resulted in me getting a scholarship and an unconditional offer to study Events Management at Bournemouth University. I was absolutely destined on that plan, until I got an opportunity to intern at MTV and ITV over the summer. These internships/work experiences occurred due to recommendations via BRIT.  ITV have Insight Programmes that open 4 times a year, which is an online pool that helps people over 18 get a chance to do work at ITV! Details for experience/interning at Viacom is here.

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My mentor and Front of House Manager from The BRIT School, Dan Clark

Don’t get me wrong, being at University is definitely an experience to appreciate when encountered, but I am also a believer in thinking that if you are not 100% prepared or willing to spend a minimum of 3 years to attend lectures, get into debt and potentially live away from home, then you shouldn’t do it. I wasn’t ready to leave, it was not my calling. Interning at organisations that I can see myself working in one day was not something I was ready to put on pause. It was enjoyable and vital to get the experience.

Going to The BRIT School was a tremendous experience for me. The support the teachers and my peers were essential  for my growth, however, the transition from a highly prestigious school to no employment was definitely a wake-up call. You could go to the best school, you can have the best grades, but it does not guarantee you a job the second you leave the institution. They taught me the beneficial skills on how to survive in such a competitive industry and how to utilise the tools taught from college into a professional environment. These lessons learnt from BRIT are some of the things that have inspired me to achieve my objectives.

Headteacher of the BRIT School Stuart Worden and Myself on my last day at BRIT

Next thing I know, it’s now August. More experiences came through over the summer and it was time for me to move to make a decision. University, or gap year? I vividly remember turning to my parents and saying “I am not ready to go”. They were so supportive. I decided to spend a year out and see where my calling is in the world of work.

I was on Twitter and I started looking for training courses specifying in music and TV. Luckily, I came across a 3-month intensive training course ran by Media Trust called Creativity Works: Multimedia Genius Training. I was so relieved for many reasons. One being that I fit the criteria of an 18 – 24 year old living in London, not being in education or work, and that they also covered publishing, broadcast journalism, radio, advertising, marketing and editing! Their remit is to provide opportunities for young people from under-represented backgrounds and to help them gain the vital skills and advice for careers in the media industry. It was the perfect training course for me.

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Season 5 Media Trust Creativity Works Trainees. The training is funded by Mayors Fund and the Berkeley Foundation. Credit: Richard Pascoe

I went in for an interview and I secured a place on the programme. The first 6/7 weeks were masterclasses and trips to organisations such as Sony Music, ITN, Sky and Google. Not only that, we had professionals come in to teach us – MOBO, The Guardian, BBC and The Beat London. It was so inspiring meeting these people and learning so much from them.

Many of the trainees I was on the course with have entered the career of Broadcast Journalism, Vlogging, Writing and Podcasting!

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Creativity Works alumni Rey and Abi – Both currently working in Marketing and TV.

Having Media Trust staff such as Jasmine Dotiwala, Reshma Biring, Richard Pascoe and Nicola Cross being with us from the start, is not something any of us took lightly. This is because they’re perfect examples of influencers in the industry that make a difference to our lives. The advice we received, the 121 meetings, even down to the opportunities that they were willing to give to us constantly kept us going. These four people support the Creativity Works Programme to the core, and are perfect ambassadors in the media industry. They’re always supporting me and they even attended one event that I organised a few weeks ago, for Series Producers to network with new entrants that want to get into TV.

One element of the programme that made everything feel so worthwhile was the mentoring. From the CEO to the volunteers that came in and helped us on their own accord, they all benefited us in some way. After our masterclasses were done, we had a speed-matching event at Oath, as this was when we had 3 minutes to sell ourselves to media professionals!

We were allowed to pick mentors, and they also picked us. I had Ria Hebden, who is a TV Presenter, Broadcaster and Creator of Wonder Women. She has worked for MOBO, BBC, ITV and Women In Film and TV with years of Broadcast Journalism and Event Management skills under her belt! The advice that’s been given to me has been absolutely priceless. Because of her, I managed to work on numerous projects such as The MOBO Awards, RTS Programme Awards and Wonder Women Live!

My mentor Ria Hebden and Myself at The Hospital Club, Covent Garden

Her guidance through the industry is what will stay with me. It’s one thing for Ria to devote a few months of her free time to mentor me, however, she’s continued to do so after completion of the programme, as she wanted to continue to work with me and help me strive for my future endeavors. I can never thank Ria enough for her endless phone calls, recommendations and coaching.

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Ria Hebden interviewing Sir Lenny Henry CBE for MOBO Paving the Way Award

Before I got my full-time job, I freelanced for a while. They were mainly 1-2 day jobs, so the work and the income was not frequent. I loved the experience, but I began to get borderline frustrated, as I felt as if I was not progressing.

I’m a strong believer in everything happening for a reason – through the Wonder Women Live event, I met someone who worked in the TV industry for years. They were the Show-runner on the Wonder Women Live event that Ria organised for International Women’s Day. This event definitely contributed to my big break in the media industry, as me connecting with them allowed opportunities to occur not so long after. The ripple effect is ironic! Working hard in everything is key, as you never know who is watching.

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Head of Youth Media Jasmine Dotiwala and myself at my Media Trust Graduation

A few weeks ago, I was invited by Media Trust to attend a dinner with influential individuals in the media industry such as Matt Brittin, President of EMEA Business & Operations for Google, CEO of Media Trust Su-Mei Thompson, Partner in Lewis Silkin’s Digital Media and Brand Entertainment, Cliff Fluet and Chairman of Media Trust Richard Eyre CBE. So many people are currently lacking role models, access to opportunities and hope for the future, which is why I want to make a difference. I explained my job function and why it’s important to help young people, by providing the necessary strategies and tools to make things more accessible for them. Media Trust is a massive part of my journey, and it is so comforting knowing that I have the potential to also help others to strive for their dreams and passions.

I want to give a massive thank you to everybody that has been a part of my journey… From my mentors and teachers at BRIT, to my parents, family, friends, peers, work colleagues and even people I don’t know personally that have reached out to me and has sent words of encouragement.

“If I can achieve this, so can you.” – Rudolph Walker OBE.

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