Creative Access host an inspirational Creative Industries Showcase at Channel 4
Creative Access brought together some of the brightest talent and seasoned creative professionals to give the audience of recent graduates and final year students unrivalled insight into the types of career prospects that are open to them in the creative sector.
Our fantastic panel included industry professionals from The Sun, b3media, BBC, Tiata Fahodzi, John Murray Press, Big Talk and The Rye Social who talked about everything from how they started their career in the creative sector, to how they managed to overcome professional challenges, to the importance of diversity in the media.
Channel 4’s Factual Commissioner, Nasfim Haque, welcomed the audience to Channel 4 and reiterated their commitment to diversity. Our compere, comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli then took over the mike. True to form, Hardeep provided a humorous take on the evening as he introduced the panel.
Our first panellist Big Talk’s Head of Comedy, Saurbh Kakkar, explained why he thinks it is important to commission stories with writers from diverse backgrounds.
He said, “My desk is full of scripts that have been written by 20 something, white middle class males. I wouldn’t mind one but TV doesn’t need them all. We need more diverse stories.”
Next up was Kavita Puri, Editor of “Our World” at BBC TV Current Affairs. She told us that “I started as a lawyer like a good Indian girl but I always wanted to be a journalist on Newsnight.”
As a journalist and documentary filmmaker, Kavita offered some valuable advice to anyone wanting to launch a career in media. Her two key pieces of advice were:
1. My advice would be that if you want to work in TV and be a journalist you will need to live and die by the stories you want told.
2. Every single person on this panel will have been an intern so to succeed, you just need to get your foot in the door and don’t leave.”
B3 Media’s Creative Director, Marc Boothe talked about why it is important to take advantage of every opportunity that is presented to you if you want to succeed in the creative industries. He also highlighted the importance of collaboration – particularly in the film industry. Marc said, “If everyone of you in this room collaborated, you could create a killer film. It’ll put you miles ahead of the people who do nothing and make excuses.”
Artistic Director and Chief Executive at Tiata Fahodzi, Natalie Ibu encouraged the audience to be determined and make their own opportunities where they can.
She said “Make your own club. Look around you, this is the new club. Get to know the person sitting in front of you, behind you, to the right and left and over there because these are your contacts, this is the next version of the “boy’s club” and isn’t it thrilling?”
Next up was one of Creative Access’s success stories, Yassine Belkacemi, who is currently a Press Officer at John Murray Press. We placed Yassine at John Murray in 2014. Since then he has not only gone on to secure a permanent role with them but was also recently awarded the Best Newcomer Award at the PPC awards.
Yassine talked about his experiences as a Creative Access intern and how it helped get his foot through the door. He said, “I was a late starter in publishing. After uni I worked for the NHS and in construction. I then decided that I wanted a career in publishing and before I found Creative Access I had sent hundreds of job applications to publishers.”
The Sun features writer, Cherry Wilson was next up to talk. She started by telling us about her typical day, which could include anything from getting a snail facial to having to call over a dozen women to find out their bra size. Cherry offered some wise words to our candidates by advising them to brush up on their skills if they want to succeed in journalism.
She said “If you want to be a journalist you need to get the core skills and really be a people person. I meet a lot of aspiring journalists who can’t even talk to people.”
Finally, the Rye Social founder Genevieve Ampaduh spoke about how she went from being a PA to launching her own digital company. Geneivieve reiterated the importance of taking advantage of every opportunity you get and reminded the attendees not to let obstacles stand in the way of achieving their goals.
She said “Throughout my career I’ve never focused on my colour or gender so my advice to you would be to only focus on being the best at what you do.”
The evening ended with a drinks reception where the attendees were given the opportunity to network with our panel and a host of industry guests.
We would like to say a massive thank you to our amazing panel of speakers who did a fantastic job of sharing their experiences and offering their words of advice:
Welcome – Nasfim Haque, Commissioner, Channel 4 Factual
Compere – Hardeep Singh Kohli
Saurabh Kakkar, Head of Comedy, Big Talk
Kavita Puri, Editor, Our World, BBC TV Current Affairs
Natalie Ibu, Artistic Director & Chief Executive, Tiata Fahodzi
Yassine Belkacemi, Press Officer, John Murray Press
Cherry Wilson, Features Writer, The Sun
Genevieve Ampaduh, Founder, The Rye Social
Marc Boothe, Creative Director, B3 Media