Production at the BBC

Alice Hawes

Numerous individuals from amongst our graduate community are currently working for the BBC at a variety of bases across the UK, including Media City, Television House and BBC Yorkshire.

Over the past few weeks we’ve spoke with three Production graduates, Freelance Broadcast Assistant/Producer - Adam Winch-Furness and Technical Operators - Charlotte Hayes and Adam Campbell, about their route to the BBC from the Degree in Music Production at Leeds College of Music.

In the final edition of our four-week feature, we caught up with Alice Hawes to learn what it takes to work as a Technical Operator for one of the world’s leading public service broadcasters:

What route did you take?

I studied on the Foundation Degree in Music Production course between 2013-2015, and then progressed onto the BA (Hons) in Music Production course between 2015-2016. I studied a range of different subjects including studio production, music to moving image, software environments, and also learnt about professional studies including self promotion, music marketing, copyright and IP and the ethics of music business.

What work did you do outside of your academic study?

As part of my Foundation Degree I had to find myself a work placement. I was fortunate enough to already work for the BBC on a part-time basis and, therefore, my manager gave me the opportunity to take my work experience here, but learning a different technical skill.

I decided to learn how to Technical Direct in our Presentation Gallery – this gallery is used for the transmission of Look North’s weekend bulletins. The gallery is operated by one director, where you vision mix, direct, control server items, operate the sound desk and opt for the Yorkshire region.

How did this experience outside of studying help you achieve your career goals?

This work placement helped me to add to my skill set at BBC Yorkshire. When I joined the BBC in 2013, I started as a Sound Operator for Look North, the Super League Show, Late Kick Off and the regional Sunday Politics show. After completing my sound training, I started to learn different skills and my skill set now includes studio and outside broadcast floor managing, studio camera operations, media hub operations, technical directing at weekends and vision mixing and directing of the late Look North on weekdays.

My work experience helped me to add to my skill set, which gave me the chance to board for a full-time position in March 2016, in which I was successful, and I started my role mid-April. (Yes 3 weeks before I completed University…)

How did your study help you in your current role?

My experiences during my first year were invaluable. I learnt a lot during my studio sessions and software environments lessons, which meant I could transfer my skills to the BBC. When I started at the BBC, my initial skill was sound operating; however it has opened up many opportunities to train in different and exciting skills.

Why was your course important to your aspirations?

This course was important to my chosen career because I wanted to work in the media industry and this helped me to get where I am now. If I hadn’t learnt these transferable skills during my time at Leeds College of Music, I probably wouldn’t have got to where I am now. Even though sound is not my primary role now, I really enjoy doing my other skills and love expanding my knowledge of this industry.

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To read the first of our four-week feature - where we interviewed Freelance Broadcast Assistant and Producer, Adam Winch-Furness, follow this link

Alternatively, you can read our feature with Technical Operators - Charlotte Hayes and Adam Campbell.
  
If you’re a graduate of Leeds College of Music, why not let us know what you’re up to - sign up here
 
To find out more about our BA (Hons) Degree in Music Production – click here.

Alternatively, follow this link to learn a little bit more about our Foundation Degree in Music Production.


 

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"The course was important to my chosen career because I wanted to work in the media industry and it helped me to get where I am now."

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