Want to get in to the Media industry? Terrified by the competitive nature of it? Take a look at these tips by Careers Consultant Venita Girvan and perhaps you’ll get ahead of the game!
The Media sector is a large part of the UK and it is a popular form of communication that many of us rely on or use in our daily lives. The ways in which things are communicated through the media industry vary from broadcast to print:
Broadcast Media – This is information that is communicated electronically, for example, through television, film and radio.
Print Media – The communication over print media is usually done so in a printed manner, for example, newspapers and magazines
However the media industry is currently going through a vast transition period because of the increased developments in technology and this is having a massive impact on the sector. For example, many television programmes now have their own website linked to that broadcaster. Likewise most news channels have a presence on social media. There is the opportunity to now discuss things that are being broadcast as they happen by using the hashtag (#) on Twitter. A lot of print media will also have an online or mobile version now too.
Within both broadcast and print media there is the potential for career opportunities in areas such as advertising, marketing, animation, film, journalism, publishing, research and sales.
Media is a highly competitive sector so it is not surprising that like most sectors, work experience within this industry is vitally important. There are a huge number of opportunities available at Leeds for you to start developing your experiences. For example, there are 8 media related clubs and societies at the Union – such as Leeds Student Newspaper, LSTV and LSR. Get involved with these groups and actively contribute to them to help develop the skills needed for this sector.
It is also important to get work experience in industry. Some organisations will advertise relevant internships – keep an eye on our vacancy database and register your interest for the Leeds Internship Programme. Also check out the website Gothinkbig – an extremely useful website with ideas and advice on gaining work experience and jobs in the media industry.
To gain work experience in this sector it may also be important for you to try and source out relevant opportunities yourself. Think of your network and people you know who work in the industry to try and gain experiences in relevant organisations. For example, if you are aware of a local newspaper – get in contact with them to find out about the potential opportunity for work experience. Search for relevant organisations and send off speculative applications for work experience opportunities.
Networking and social media
As well as the people you may know in your personal network, think about other ways to develop your network in this sector. There are some Leeds alumni who work in the media sector so make the most of them. You can check out all the contacts by accessing the Leeds Network and search for individuals in the relevant profession. Most alumni are keen to hear from prospective students and offer their advice about entering this discipline.
As mentioned above, social media and technology are having a massive impact on the sector and it is therefore important that you are aware of it and know how to use it. Having a presence on social media and creating a professional brand can help, especially when you are applying for work experience or jobs – employers will be interested in this and will want to see a positive image of you being portrayed online. Get involved in networking online – begin to follow influential media professionals, Tweet, Retweet and engage in conversations on LinkedIn groups. Your networking both on and offline is extremely important for this industry.
Twitter is a really important tool that you can use to your advantage when it comes to a career in the media, especially the Journalism and Public Relations areas. Aside from being active and getting your name out there it is also a great source of internships and job vacancies. There are many Twitter accounts that source and circulate paid and unpaid internships and jobs in the media – try to follow at least a few of these so that you can keep up to date with any vacancies in your area. Lots of the vacancies tend to be short term, perhaps a few weeks or a month, so they’re great to fill your holidays with useful experience and to get a taste of different parts of the industry. Here are some Twitter feeds that advertise media vacancies to get you started – but they are by no means the only ones: The Media Directory, Media Muppet and Media Moose.
Skills and attributes
It is essential that you have excellent communication skills – both verbally and written as you will be communicating information to a high number of individuals. Likewise accuracy and a creative flair are key to helping you develop within this sector. Having a can do attitude will also be helpful especially when you first start out in the sector. Persistence and determination are vital not only when breaking into the sector but also whilst working.
- Prospects website – sector specific information on media and publishing industry
- The Media section of the Guardian newspaper
- Creativeskillset – the UK Creative Industries’ sector skills council
- The media, journalism and publishing sector of Target jobs
- The Careers Centre website has further information and insights into the sector