1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As an apprentice broadcast operator my duties include some of the technical and craft aspects of making a news program. For example; camera work, vision mixing, lighting, sound mixing, editing and working on the media hub.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have gained two IT qualifications as well as having been to many training courses with the BBC academy. The training courses have revolved around working on a mock TV program in an actual TV studio. We have had industry professionals teaching us sound, radio, cameras, lighting, vision mixing, directing and so so much more.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The programme has been amazing and there has been so much invested in all of us by the BBC. During the work placements you are given a huge amount of responsibility which is great, and are actually responsible for creating TV news packages and sound mixing etc. for the live shows. You are made to feel part of the team and everyone is really keen to share their expertise with you. Unfortunately the college side of it which delivered the IT qualifications was not nearly as well taught or as fun.
4. How valued do you feel by BBC?
I feel valued by the BBC as I have been able to contribute a lot to the show and have received recognition and praise for it.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I had a lengthy induction, a huge amount of training. My access needs were addressed straight away and I had a lot of support from the academy. As I was the first year of this particular programme it was not as well structured as I would have liked. Our timetable has changed significantly and I was not told that I would be studying at a college 300 miles away from home for weeks at a time. Moreover the college side of things has been poorly delivered and the qualification we had been studying towards was also changed part way through. This was very stressful.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Not a huge amount of support. We had over 20 tutors teaching us so there didn't feel like there was any consistency to build a relationship with the training provider and thus have a support network.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Quite a lot of support. We have regular meetings to see how I'm getting on, and they have helped me with job applications, as well as giving me study days to revise for exams.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Ok. Our travel expenses are covered as well as our meals when we are away from home. There is also a pay rise in the second year.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
No gym. There is a canteen and a club which does games nights. Sneak previews of what other BBC program makers are up to. The building is situated in a really lovely area of the city so there are plenty of places on the doorstep to go for meals and drinks. There is also a park you can walk in at lunch.
9. Would you recommend BBC to a friend?
Because I have gained so much confidence and so many skills in the two years. I am so much happier than I was before and feel like I have had an amazing opportunity which has given me a sense of self and a real direction. I've also had so much fun and I've got so many stories to tell now!
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BBC?
Just apply apply APPLY! They are there to train you so don't let a lack of experience put you off. They just want people who are enthusiastic and want to learn and have a positive attitude. The application is online initially, then there is a task to make a video. Following that you are invited to an interview in Birmingham which involves group tests, maths test, a technical test and psychometric tests. It sounds daunting but its actually really fun!
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