A taste of BBC Bitesize in North Yorkshire

BBC bitesize

I was thrilled to be asked to be on the panel for a BBC Bitesize School Tours event at St Francis Xavier School in Richmond, North Yorkshire recently.

The presenter was Jonny Nelson from CBBC and my fellow panelists in the hot seats were Mark Easby from Better Brand Agency and Mona Ansari-Beni from BBC Learning.

The three of us were there to talk to 400 teenage students and offer them an inspiring insight into the world of creative work  – as well as highlighting opportunities and different routes into these sectors that the students may not have considered.

It was a very slick set-up with professional riggers, cameras, lights, scripts, well-known children’s presenter and…. ACTION!

Mark and I had taken different paths into the creative industry, but neither route had been totally straightforward and we’d both had different jobs along the way. Mark now runs Better Brand – a successful creative agency – in Teesside and London.

Mona was starting out in her creative career with BBC Learning but had managed to secure this fabulous role from studying English, making the right contacts, and grabbing opportunities.

I’d written features, beauty and the problem page for national teenage magazines, written for regional press; worked on 20 different TV productions;  and produced BBC Newcastle radio shows before running my freelance PR company so I think was probably able to paint a reasonably accurate picture of the highs  – and lows too –  of working in the media.  Main points being you have to grab every opportunity that arises, be super- focused, pay attention to detail and be prepared to work very hard for long hours. But the good times and the fun make it all worth it (mostly!).

The school students were great – very lively and fun.  They asked loads of questions: “How much do you get paid?”  How many days a week do you work?”  “What qualifications do you need?”  There were no single answers to any of these of course.  I think in the end the combined answers came down to loving the work – and having the right attitude.  Maybe not quite what they wanted to hear!

It was certainly a great experience to take part in this exercise – and a valuable chance for the students to really gain a true insight into what’s involved in creative careers. I wish we’d had these kinds of events when I was at school!

Thank you to BBC Bitesize for inviting me, to the production team and to Mark and Mona for being such supportive colleagues!

BBC Bitesize is a BBC online service dedicated to supporting and helping all students across both primary and secondary age with their studies outside of the classroom.