Careers Workshop – MAMA Youth Project
Earlier this week our Account Manager, Laura Davis, and Marketing Executive, Elle Finn, co-presented a career development workshop with TV and media industry expert Terry Smith at MAMA Youth Project in East London – and they loved it.
MAMA Youth Project (MYP) aims to equip young people from 18-25 years of age with the skills and experience to secure long-term, fulfilling employment in the TV and media industry.
The participants we worked with were all enrolled on the MYP/Creative Skillset training program to get experience in the industry and become self-shooting researchers. As part of this training, they had to create their own hard hitting project that explored a modern social issue, to feature as part of a one-hour current affairs magazine format show, 4 Reel. Their items ranged from gaming addiction to the social stigmas attached to homelessness, including an interview with the CEO of The Big Issue.
The workshop was split up into three sections: the realities of the employment market in the production industry, insight into the skills and personalities employers are seeking, and advice on presenting yourself for employment.
Within these sections we covered four key topics. We began by discussing CV construction, especially the do’s and don’ts with accompanying examples – Tip: Remove that selfie and check for spelling mistakes! This was followed by guidelines on the ideal covering letter and what should be elaborated upon and what should be thrown out – Tip: Ensure every sentence is relevant and concise. From this, we moved onto interview techniques and what to expect, including a mock-interview exercise with peer review – Tip: When you’ve answered the question, stop talking! Finally we explored the concept of professionalism and presentation on social media profiles, especially LinkedIn. This was a popular topic with the trainees as the digital era enables so much scope for employer investigation and it was covered extensively – Tip: Don’t post anything that can reflect badly on you, and consider how it sounds in isolated context.
Throughout the workshop, the message was clear; be the best version of yourself. If you are hardworking, willing to put in the effort, low maintenance and helpful when starting out in production roles, you can begin to establish a positive reputation for yourself. When freelancing, the more flexible you are the more employable you are. Be willing to travel and do unusual hours (even the graveyard shift!) because there are always chances to build a network of contacts which will prove to be invaluable – plus you may get the opportunity to travel to some awesome places around the world!
If you ever find yourself stumbling, waffling or just generally struggling in an interview, use this structure to shape your answers effectively. The percentages relate to how much time you should spend on each section.
“Tell me a time when you… Overcame a challenge/Worked as part of a team/Successfully implemented an idea/Took control of a situation.”
We got magnificent feedback from the trainees for this workshop, so thank you MYP for having us!
“The reality check we got on the industry was eye-opening and incredibly valuable. It was so good not to be mollycoddled and be presented with a realistic presentation of what to expect.”
“The idea of networking completely changed my perception of how to approach people. It highlighted the importance of contacts and being able to build a network of like minded individuals.”
“The CV and cover letter pointers were a crucial part of the talk for me. I now feel confident that I have the best chance of getting an opportunity to work in the industry.”