For this week’s installment of #CreativeIndustryTrailblazers, we’re chatting to Creative Access alumni and member of our steering group, Hetty Ashiagbor! Starting off as a location runner via Creative Access in 2015, Hetty’s career history so far reads like a dream resume, having worked as a social video producer at Mail Online and producer for BBC Good Food. She is now living out her creative dreams as a content creator at The Lego Group.
Here, she tells us about her current role, her insights into what skills are needed for a career in production and her own career inspirations…
Can you briefly tell us how you got into the role you’re currently in?
I needed a new job and to progress within my career. I wanted to work within multi-platform video content. My search mainly consisted of LinkedIn but I also applied for roles within media sites such as APA and Creative Pool. I submitted my CV before being contacted to take part in a three-stage interview process, and my final interview was a presentation.
What skill would you say is essential to possess in your role?
This may sound like a cliche, but I would say that it is imperative to have excellent communication and organisational skills. You have to be passionate about the content you’re producing and have an understanding of the production process. The production process can be split into three sections: pre-production, production and post-production. An understanding of costs and budgets is also needed.
What’s the best/most helpful career advice you ever received?
If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no. There’s no harm in asking for what you want.
What project are you most proud of working on?
One of the first projects I ever worked on was a one-off documentary for Channel 4. I played a major part in the development stage, which was later commissioned by Channel 4.
Why should people consider a career as a producer?
It is such a fun role. No two days are the same, so you’ll definitely be kept on your toes. You play a massive part in bringing together a project and ‘making things happen’. Producer roles are so versatile that there’s almost always a producer role that would be the right fit for anyone who wishes to work within the position.
What can people do to move up the ladder in production?
Learn as much as possible in every role you’re in, stay up to date with what is happening within the industry and network where possible. Don’t be afraid to move around within different roles and companies in order to progress. Be bold, take risks, ask a lot of questions and don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.
Which creative industry trailblazer inspires you and why?
Dr Joanna Abeyie MBE. Joanna has made a significant impact within the creative industries and has been an inspiration to my career since my first few roles working as a freelancer in TV production and development. Joanna is a champion for diversity within the sector, having launched Shine Media which focused on entry level recruitment for ethnic minority groups within the media industry. As diversity grew within entry level roles, Joanna saw an opportunity to work to increase diversity within senior positions. There was and still is a lack of diversity within senior positions across the sector. As a result, Joanna launched Hyden to cater to this specific need.
Joanna’s career from working as a journalist to being a social entrepreneur and catering to the needs of the creative sector is an inspiration. She has progressed significantly within her career in such a short space of time and has won awards and has received an MBE as a result.
I have crossed paths with Joanna on a number of occasions. The most prominent time was when she accepted an invitation to be a panelist at a networking event I organised, and hosted for creative professionals. She was so humble, kind and gave a wealth of knowledge as a panelist. Her experience is invaluable and she was transparent in her advice. You could tell that she just really wanted to help people. She thanked me after the event but really, I couldn’t thank her enough.
One of her most recent roles was working as the head of creative diversity at the BBC. Her career trajectory is incredible and she continues to make ‘waves’ and ‘headlines’ for the amazing work that she does.
Looking for more career inspo? Check out the rest of our blogs here.