Case study

Researcher and coordinator — Josefin Dahlin

Josefin graduated from the University of Stirling with a first class honours degree in film and media. Learn how her qualifications and experience helped her secure a job within a TV production company

How did you get your job in television production?

During my degree, I took every opportunity to be involved in internships and projects, including winning a short placement with Raise the Roof Productions, a TV production company in Glasgow.

My lecturer had close links with Tern TV, an Aberdeen-based, award-winning TV company, and recommended me for my role. I was invited for an interview before being offered the job.

What's a typical working day like?

There's a huge amount of variety in my role, but a typical working week starts on Monday, preparing for the week's filming. Tuesdays are filming days, where we're on location for the whole day. I'm responsible for 'logging', taking time codes from the different cameras and recording what has been filmed, to make life easier for the director and editor.

On Wednesday and Thursday, I catch up with paperwork, then help create the programme fact sheet to accompany the week's episode, for publication on the website. On Fridays, the completed programme is sent away for broadcast.

I have a range of responsibilities, including booking crew, managing diaries, arranging travel, liaising with editors, and organising specialist equipment. My hours can vary depending on what I'm working on.

What do you enjoy about your job?

The people! It may sound clichéd, but I love it when everything and everyone comes together to make a successful programme. I like having a clear role within the team, and knowing which tasks I have to complete in order to do a good job makes it very satisfying.

What are the challenges?

Because most of the work is based on TV production, short-term contracts are common - you're hired per production until you become more senior. This means you need to be flexible about where you can work and be willing to move around, often at short notice.

How relevant is your degree?

It's very relevant. I studied all-round production, including development processes, research, coordination, camera, lighting, editing and sound. The last two years of my degree were very practical, allowing an insight into every stage of TV production. By experiencing all these, I found that I particularly liked coordinating.

What are your career ambitions?

Within TV, there are lots of different paths I could take. My role has developed since I started, as people come and go in production. As a result, I've had the opportunity to step in and try different roles. I really enjoy the coordination side of TV production, and I like being creative.

I plan to stay in TV, though due to the nature of short-term contracts it's hard to look far into the future as to how my career might develop. At the moment I'm happy to take new opportunities as they arise.

Any advice for others wanting to get into this career?

During your course, make a good impression upon the teaching staff. They'll have good industry links and can help you build your network.

Make sure your CV shows your personality as well as your experience. Have a friend look at it to check you haven't undersold yourself.

Finally, if asked to do something, be positive and never say no - no task is too small, or too unimportant.

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