Broadcast Engineer at BBC

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Start Date:
Programme Type:
Degree Apprenticeship / Sponsored Degree (Level 6/7)
Review Date:
July 2020

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1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


The role is extremely varied and differs day-to-day. We go on placements that break up uni blocks of learning and these are great opportunities to get hands on experience. I have been placed internally with a number of different teams who have important roles in the broadcast chain and have looked at upgrading machines, experimenting with kit, helping out with events and doing important, critical configurations. There is also the chance to be placed externally with other companies such as ITV or Arquiva which gives a broader view of the broadcasting chain and the industry in general.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?


Before starting this apprenticeship, I had very little technical knowledge and my skills have greatly advanced in a variety of areas. I am now more proficient at using a range of computer operating systems as well as in using a wide range of broadcasting software programs that are used for content capture or output. The uni side of the course has greatly improved my skills in terms of mathematics, camera operation and how to operate a radio or TV studio. I am most proud of learning the skill of programming and I am now able to code pretty well in languages such as python, C++ and JavaScript.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I am really enjoying my program. The fact that it involves both time at university and on placement is a key benefit for me as it allows me to balance my time well and get a broad range of different experiences. I like that I actually feel a part of something and as if the work I'm doing is relevant and is having an impact. Another key thing that I'm enjoying is that the scheme still caters for a social life and I can enjoy spending time with members of my cohort and still get the social aspect that I may have missed from not attending university.

4. How well organised/structured is your programme?


The course is very well structured and there are set blocks of university time and placement time of roughly two to three months. There are clear study weeks that are laid out also when attending uni which allows me to plan my time better and ensure that work and assignments will be completed. The course organisers are very good in providing information and updates also and have clear communication to inform us of any upcoming events or changes.

5. How much support do you receive from your employer?


Employer support is good on this scheme and I frequently have catch up calls with both my placement manager and scheme leaders. I feel confident and happy to bring up any workplace issues or problems with these individuals and problems are solved quickly and solutions are found. The team also has a friendly and positive attitude and I am not scared to raise concerns. The scheme is very good at making support accessible and frequently send emails detailing services or flyers we can use to get support on more personal issues.

6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?


The training provider (BCU) gives me sufficient support when completing university work and assignments. I regularly contact tutors with any questions or worries and am replied to promptly. Tutors are also there to give clear support and guidance if needed and have a positive, warm attitude. We are supported through exams and assignments very well via additional revision sessions being available for support if requested and tutors offering to run through past papers or questions.

7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?


Several of the modules studied at university are extremely useful and provide transferable skills and knowledge to help me perform better in my role. The Cisco Networking university modules stand out as I have had to use my theory knowledge from this module into practical use on placement and comes in handy on a day to day basis as IP addressing and networking are vital to the role. When returning to placement after a uni block, I certainly feel more knowledgeable and qualified and look for ways I can put what I've learnt into use.

8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)


There is a number of opportunities to get involved - either through the BBC or via the university. Social events are frequent and very fun and my fellow apprentices have become friends for life and frequently arrange outings and fun things to do together. When spending time in Birmingham, there's a lot of activities we can take part in! The uni also offers many clubs we can join such as cheer leading, hockey and other sports, board games and many more.

9a. Would you recommend BBC to a friend?


9b. Why?

This apprenticeship has had a very large impact on my life and has greatly improved my skills both technically and socially. I have seen myself grow in confidence and am now able to hold technical conversions with individuals more experienced than myself where I can understand key concepts and provide relevant comments which is something I could not do when beginning the scheme. I have learnt so much and have also had fun while doing it which has been great!

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BBC?

The application process for me initially was terrifying! I studied maths, biology and chemistry and was applying for a technical apprenticeship in which I had no prior knowledge or experience which was a very daunting idea. At the application day I tried my best to be friendly and positive and show a 'willing to learn' attitude which I think was my key to success. I think it's important to make an effort and at assessment days try to talk to people and don't be afraid to strike up a conversation with the assessors during breaks! Most importantly, be yourself! Employees are looking for someone who wants to learn so don't worry if you don't have the same skill set or experience as others around you!

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