Case study

Channel coordinator — Simon Brand

Simon enjoys the global nature of his work as a channel coordinator. Find out how his qualifications and experience helped him secure a job

How did you get your job?

Even before I graduated with an MA in film and screen cultures from the University of Roehampton, I began applying through industry contacts and online opportunities - all with the aid of the careers service at my university.

After interviewing at MTV and Sony Music I secured an internship at BBC Films. This allowed me to add a large broadcaster to my industry experience and afforded me enough confidence to get the job I wanted at ABS Broadcast.

Is your degree relevant to your job?

My degree was fundamental in every stage of my employment - from my initial application, through the interview stages and currently in building international client relationships.

As I've studied the industry for six years (I also have a BA in dramatic arts from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa) I can now professionally apply the theories, practices and industry knowledge I've acquired.

My Masters dissertation was focused on television audiences around the globe and now I help TV channels programme and broadcast content for territories across Europe, Asia, North America and Africa.

My education was also paramount in equipping me with the tools and insight required to predict industry trends - an area I feel my postgraduate education has given me an edge in the workplace.

What's a typical working day like?

I work with various TV channels to develop broadcast strategies for foreign and domestic territories, understand and monetise audience ratings and appropriately broadcast within communication regulations.

There really isn't such a thing as a typical working day, as sometimes they can be simply scheduling commercials into point breaks or helping a channel understand how our software interprets overnight ratings.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I love the fact that we create culture. My job allows people to connect with stories from all over the world, and I hope that audiences can share my love for television.

Whether it's drama, hard hitting journalism, sport, event broadcasting or simply watching the pantomime in parliament, television allows people to expand their world.

What are the most challenging parts of your job?

As in all media industries there really isn't anything resembling regular working hours. I learnt this in my career in production, but when you're working in a fast-paced media environment to strict deadlines, the hours don't seem too vicious.

Any advice for others wanting to get into this career?

I would recommend getting as much industry experience as you can from the moment you leave school - or preferably earlier.

Even if you're a runner on low budget shoots, this industry is built on capitalising on relationships with people you need for the next job. I started shooting low budget music videos in Soweto when I was 18 and that enabled me to get a foothold in an industry that has allowed me to work across the world.

Where do you hope to be in five years?

I would like to go back to Broadcast House and work in commissioning and acquisitions, hopefully in the BBC Storyville department.

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