I'm Dave, the new editor here at Lloyd Morgan Productions (now Rockadove) this blog is to explain, in my opinion, why work placements/experience are important for people looking to work in the digital field.
The first thing that placements do is give you opportunity to learn new skills and develop existing ones. For example, in my time at Bournemouth University where I studied Television Production our tuition in post-production consisted solely in the cutting stages of editing. When I did my first placement I discovered there were other processes such as colour grading and motion graphics that make a big difference in producing professional projects. Now, I create motion graphic titles on a daily basis and every project we cut here is graded in Color to ensure it looks it's best for the clients.
Seems a bit cliche, I know, but it definitely helps to develop you as a person. Work experience teaches you how to carry yourself as a professional and how to be more adult (sort of!). As much as you think you're growing by spending 3 years at uni, not living at home and washing your own clothes doesn't really improve you all that much. Work experience is a short trial of real life, essentially. Everything you do while you are on a placement with a company actually matters, it has repercussions for other people, usually their clients! Not trying hard enough on an essay at University affects nobody but you, but all of a sudden you are working on projects for other people.
Another thing work experience shows you is that there are a lot of people out there who are a damn sight better than you at what you do. It's knocks your confidence a little and you realise that you have a lot more to learn if you're going to make a career in this industry work. The good thing is, a lot of those people were in your position a few years ago so they're willing to share the knowledge they have and give you advice to help you on your way.
Through Work Experience I've filmed out of a biplane, been a boom op and PA on a micro budget feature film (Death in Ventnor) , filmed bands like The Cancer Bats and Millencolin at an extreme sports festival, worked in the media hub of Soho in London, and cut together footage for Ferrari, and that's just the half of it! While some of it may not have been so rewarding, everywhere I have worked has given me an insight into each side of the media industry, from corporate to television media and it's all different. From this I know what to expect, how to carry myself in a range of different workplaces. Ultimately, I'm a lot more aware of what the industry is really like and that knowledge is invaluable.
Having a wide range of prior experience on your CV is essential, in my opinion. It shows that you're serious about working in the industry, that you know how to work and act in the workplace.
Most importantly, you can talk about everything you've done in interviews with your potential employers, and make yourself sound great!
I started to do work experience when I was studying Media Production at College, and doing that (the micro budget film, in particular) was what made me decide to go to university. As part of the course we had to do 4 weeks of work experience which i split in half, spending two weeks with Lloyd Morgan Productions in June and the other two in Soho during the Olympics. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and working with Lloyd was great because he let me work the way I work, and offered suggestions and solutions when I needed them. I finished my course, did some more work experience and a bit of contracting, before coming back for an interview early October, here at LMP. They must have been impressed, because I was offered the job 2 days later!
Whether you went to university or not, I can't stress enough how important work experience is in this industry. It's made me more employable, given me some great times, and most importantly, helped me to get a really good job before I'd even graduated! So, if you want to try making it in a digital industry, apply for placements now and see where it gets you!<Back