Capital North East presenter Alex Burgess; how she broke into the industry.
A happy little announcement from our sister radio programme.
A love letter to one of my good radio friends, & the success of her podcast.
Warning: Gushingly positive opinions lie ahead.
(Here’s Tim John’s original post on tips for how to make the most of, and not screw up, your work experience placement.)
“Well the speculation in the papers this morning link Sunderland with the Brighton pair of Liam Bridcutt and….erm…who’s the other player?”
I’m sat in the broom cupboard-sized phone-in booth, alongside Vicki, the show’s producer. There’s four computer screens crammed on to one work bench, which barely has room for two people.
As any football fan knows, January means the mid-season transfer window is open. That makes it the perfect time to go on work experience with a sportsdesk, particularly one that covers two high profile, well-supported clubs in Newcastle and Sunderland.
In January, rumours are always swirling around about which clubs might sign whom and inevitably on a daily football phone-in, those rumours, truthful or not, will be discussed.
The show’s presenter, Simon Pryde, is talking about just that; speculation in the local papers that Sunderland are after two Brighton players. One problem, only Liam Bridcutt’s name springs to his mind.
Straightaway, I press the red switch on the talkback mic into the studio and excitedly shout “Will Buckley” into Prydey’s headphones.
“Will Buckley, of course,” he exclaims. And the show carries on as normal.
Now I must confess, the title of this post is slightly misleading. That one small incident didn’t really get me my first job in radio. Knowing Will Buckley’s name isn’t something listed on the BBC Careers Hub competencies for a broadcast assistant’s job.
I was 14 when I told my parents I didn’t want to do the family route and study science. I finally admitted them I wanted to write and it freaked them a bit, because they didn’t know how to get me where I wanted to be, whereas in pharmacy/nursing they know people.
You can consider me the black sheep in the family if you will. Myself and my cousin both take media courses – herself journalism and me studying Broadcast Media Production.
I won’t lie, I was scared breaking out in the media industry. Taking an easy route into a job wasn’t what I wanted to do and I wanted a challenge. Since joining Spark Sunderland in 2013, I’ve clocked up a whole calendar of hours (I’ve stopped counting since 150) of radio, and working behind the scenes. I love doing it. I love choosing the songs for playlist for my Urban Show on a Monday, choosing what content I should put in my daytime show, being in control of all the specialist programming, I just love it.
But the one thing that bothers me? I’m one of the seven ethnic minority in the station. Media is not solely focused on BAME [Black and Ethnic Minority], and many just assume to put us in the Urban setting.
So, when given the chance to go down to London to attend a masterclass held by BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra, I jumped at the chance. It was a masterclass hosted by creative access, a programme committed to providing the best advice, experience and internship for BAME industry beginners.
The first day in London, I panicked. Well, of course I did, I was in King’s Cross and was about to burst into tears because I didn’t have enough money to catch the tube home. Oh how stupid I was, thinking that I could be so comfortable down in London on my own.
Eventually, I got to my aunt’s house. And my cousin was so excited for this masterclass that she wasn’t even going to. “You’re going to make it, Steph, believe me.” I tried. I really did.
On the day, I wanted to look really good. I mean, I’m going to my future workplace, I wanted to stand out. Before making down in London I went to Newcastle and bought a whole new outfit, that screamed “I KNOW WHAT I WANT AND I’M GOING TO GET IT.” Continue reading “Meet Stephanie Chungu.”
I did a talk on this subject at this year’s Student Radio Conference in Cardiff.
Yes, some of it is blindingly obvious, but I thought it needed saying because I see people come in for radio placements/internships/shadowing at Radio 2 a lot. And so often, people get the little things wrong.
Don’t be useless at making phone calls
If you’re asked to pick up the phone and book a guest, take a deep breath and go for it. You need to be charming and persuasive. It can be slightly daunting making this first phone call in an open-plan office but if you come across badly and the guest says “no” that’s not great.