The value of an industry placement


Abbie Smith TV-Bay Magazine
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"Do a placement after the second year of your degree they said, it'll be fun they said!" You know what, they were right!

Hello there, my name is Abbie Smith and I have just returned from my placement year to conclude my third and final year studying BA Film and Television Studies. Undertaking a placement within your university degree is heavily promoted within the University of Portsmouth, but truth be told I was quite apprehensive about taking a year out to pursue such a thing. I would imagine most students reading this would agree that it's a big decision to make, and one that takes a bit of time to become comfortable with.

Well, can I just state here that it is the best decision I have ever made and it is one that I would strongly suggest ALL students consider doing!

My placement saw me applying for a position in NBCUniversal, one of the world's largest multimedia companies engaged in production, distribution and marketing of entertainment, news and information for a global audience. I got an internship as On-Air Creative Intern which was a pivotal role in the creative team. I created promotional videos for on air and off air, social media assets and marketing reels for the UK and wider European channels. On a daily basis I would watch the different channel content, come up with an idea and edit it to market a new programme, series of films or marketing stunt. I also acted as head runner on many different production shoots for our channels, while also filming behind the scenes reels for the social platforms.

Not once was I ever made to feel like an intern, and the longer I worked there, the more I became trusted to submit my own ideas and work on bigger projects.

University study is great and I love the degree I am doing, but I think every undergraduate has that little worry in the back of their head about the future and future employment, and one thing a placement does is make employment less of a worry. Although I have not been guaranteed a job after I graduate, I have been told that NBCUniversal would be very pleased to have me back, and that is lovely to hear.

Particular high points were when I saw my work on television. I really did feel a sense of achievement when I saw what I've worked hard on aired on the UK channels for a wide audience to see. A stand out high point would be all the times I have been able to go on production shoots as well, specifically one that was based in Southend where we were filming a promo using a classic Cadillac car. I was able to shoot behind the scenes for this and I got to spend a few days by the beach, what more could you ask from a dream job?

Another high point was receiving praise from the Managing Director of the Universal Networks division about one of my promos, that really meant a lot and It's great to feel like I have really contributed to the company in some way. NBCUniversal was also a proud sponsor of London Pride 2016. I helped out on the day by taking pictures and filming our team on our bus in the parade.

My editing and writing skills have improved a lot. I am now fluent using Avid Media Composer and my confidence and editing skills have also grown. My copywriting skills have got a lot better as I was writing scripts for my promos daily, coming up with puns and clever wording to advertise the specific film or programme. So now it is back to a different grind stone, one with study and essays and artefact production, but I feel different since I've returned. I find myself incredibly focused to achieve the best grade in my degree, and I feel more confident and able after this amazing experience, indeed I would defy anyone to not feel the same after a brilliant time working for NBCUniversal. My future plans are to carry on in the television promo industry, and once I graduate I hope to find a Junior Creative role somewhere. Ideally I would really like to get into the film trailer industry.

Quite simply this placement was the best year of my life so-far, and it's only made me more focused and determined to go and work in this amazing industry once I graduate. Thanks to everyone who helped me regards the placement. Best decision ever!


Tags: iss119 | tvfutures | placements | student | Abbie Smith
Contributing Author Abbie Smith

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