Thom graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a degree in entertainment technology. After gaining a large amount of experience working within the industry, Thom is now a freelance radio broadcast assistant/producer and has worked for large companies such as the BBC.
I have always had a love of radio but it was when I worked for my university’s student radio station that I knew I wanted to go into broadcasting as a career. I got my first broadcast assistant role after seeing an advert for it on The Radio Academy website. I sent off my CV, got an interview and that was it.
I think the best way to get into the world of broadcasting is to get as much industry experience as possible, with student, community or hospital radio. My work on student radio was very beneficial as it developed my knowledge of broadcast and production. I would also recommend listening to lots of radio, especially shows you don’t listen to often; a genuine passion is key. There are a lot of people who want to get into radio for the perceived glamour without having a real interest in broadcasting. They will be disappointed as there really isn’t much glamour in the job and there is quite a lot of tedious paperwork.
Although my degree had some radio-centric modules, it was a more general media-focused course, so I found that I learned the most through work experience. I guess a specialist radio degree would be an advantage but, to be honest, I think employers would rather see that you have had extensive industry experience. Get in touch with any radio station you are able to get to and volunteer yourself, paid or unpaid. Being able to use industry standard software and production techniques is also a great selling point to a potential employer.
My current role is extremely varied. My tasks include: producing all sorts of multimedia content; editing/mixing audio; creating web and video content; overseeing show production; assisting the production team; and much more. You can also be asked to work across other parts of the broadcast process and if you work for a company like the BBC, that doesn’t just produce radio, you can find yourself working on all other aspects of the company’s output. Overall, it’s a brilliant job!
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