"The Power of We" Blog Action Day 2012 Entry:
The University of Sunderland got a chance to hold a special 4Talent Days session with Channel 4 at the Tom Cowie Lecture Theatre this Thursday, the 11th October. It has united those interested in creative industries and want to become a part of a “4Talent family” that will hopefully help them build a career in the media.
A dozen students from various backgrounds came along to listen to Priscilla Baffour's inspiring talk about all the opportunities 4 Talent can offer across the board, new media, TV, film4, online, journalism and many more.
What are 4Talent Days like?
For those who have never heard of them, as it is stated on Channel 4 website, 4Talent Days are events where they "spill the beans on how their creative industry works", encouraging new, young people, who have fresh ideas and bright minds to join their team through placement opportunities that might lead on to something bigger.
Who are 4Talent Days for?
They refer to anyone who is over 16 and who wants to break into the media or creative industries."We never say ‘you must have this’ or ‘you must be like that’ – we love it when the group is really diverse. All that matters is that you’re truly passionate about our industry, and that you’ve got a bit of raw talent that sets you apart from the crowd," reveals Channel 4 website.
What it was like to attend the 4Talent talk in Sunderland?
Priscilla Baffour started her talk straight to the point encouraging us to think out of the box. “You are all here at the university at the moment, doing fantastic job - doing your degree - but it is all about what’s next. While you here what you guys can do to get yourselves prepared for work in a big media industry.”
Priscilla was very artistic and friendly. “Do you guys have your phones? I want you to take the phones out, I want you to use your phones - I want you to get tweeting!”
She pointed out that now we can do so many things ourselves using social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube) for promoting ourselves and we should all take advantage from that. “You can put your content out there and you don’t have to hang around and wait for someone to give you that job!”
She also shared examples of people who made it and who are now "getting millions" and I’m sure that inspired some students who haven’t thought of using social media tools much more professional before.
Apart from honest responses and advises guest speaker Priscilla Baffour gave us, what really surprised and inspired me was how much some people working in the media and creative industries can be determined to help and assist to young people. Especially it helps those people who have nothing yet, but who are at the same time willing step by step to get all that so needed experience in the creative industries.
Attending such inspiring talks can definitely be a life-changing experience for some students. Miton Gafur, doing his second year of a Media degree in Sunderland, said: I've always wanted to work for Channel 4. This masterclass was really useful. Now I'm at least one step forward and who knows."
Josh Coles, Media Production (TV & Radio) graduate from University of Sunderland, said the talk was really encouraging. "Finding the right job in the media is very difficult, it requires both, knowledge and relevant experience. It gets easier once you're in the row and that's what Priscilla was basically saying."
Now as we’re part of 4Talent family - what shall we do to kickstart career in creative industries?
Now we know it’s very competetive and hard to get into. Thus, it’s changing so much. We were inspired and taught to be really out there networking, meeting loads of people like Priscilla, not being afraid to talk to people you admire, as the worst thing that can happen is that they’ll say “no”, speaking to colleagues who are over there, knowing what’s going on in the media industry and who can we meet and get information from. And even more importantly before that we need to know exactly what we want to do.