BRIT School’s Rozeena on her first job
My name is Rozeena, I’m 24 years old and last year I completed a one year internship at BBC Radio 2. This year I secured my first BBC job as an Assistant Producer on Radio 2. I’ve had the most amazing time at the BBC, I’ve learnt so much about the industry and this opportunity would not have been possible without the help of the BRIT school and The BRIT Trust.
I attended the BRIT School for 4 incredible years. From a young age, I’d been really interested in the arts and when I found out about the BRIT School when I was 12, I knew I had to go there.
Once I started, it was everything I wanted it to be and more. The opportunities I had there were incredible; when I entered university I quickly realised that all of my experiences where far greater than those of my peers. What the BRIT School is great at, is offering young people valuable first hand experience in the creative industry. The school helped to build our knowledge, understanding and instilling the importance of a strong work ethic – values which we have all been able to take with us into our current careers.
This is why I feel the school is not like any other. It offers the most life changing experiences for children who may not have access to these wonderful opportunities. We were given the chance to explore mature subjects, take on mature roles within the industry and most importantly they gave us a voice at such a young age. It also allowed me to get a better understanding of all the different job opportunities I could pursue within the creative industry.
Before I started, I was a shy and reserved young girl but once I got there my confidence began to shine and the school definitely brought me out of my shell. They gave us confidence that no matter where we came from or what we wanted to do, we can all succeed in what ever paths we chose.
If you’re trying to get a job in broadcast radio or any creative industry, I would say be direct with what you want. I’ve heard a lot of people say that it’s alright to not have an idea what you want to do yet, but from the moment I stepped into the BBC Radio 2 building I made it clear that I wanted to be a producer. By doing this, the lovely team I worked with were able to give me advice and help me to achieve just that. Whenever I was asked what I wanted to do for my career, I made sure that I had a clear answer or an answer with direction. If you don’t know what you want, how can someone help you, or point you in the right direction of someone else who might be able to give some useful advice.
My second tip is, be aware of everyone and everything around you. Have conversations, you never know who’s listening and who might recommend you for a job or work experience. I was offered extra opportunities by volunteering to work on projects during my internship. I recently got the opportunity to work on the BBC Biggest Weekend in Scotland. I managed to get that job because last year I volunteered to work on Radio 2’s Live in Hyde Park event. My manager on the day, sent my editor really good feedback on my performance, which meant I was one of the first in line to be offered the chance to work on the Biggest Weekend. It’s important to put yourself out there, opportunities won’t come to you, you have to go and get them.
As a young person we can see all of our friends having fun and going out on social media, but I always try to remember, the work you put in now will help you go further in your future. Try and get as many experiences under your belt while you’re still at college or university.
I started working on BRIT FM (The Brit School Radio Station) when I was 15, I was asked to join by my English/Media teacher Mr Preston. At the time, I was studying a theatre BTEC and had no passion for radio. But once I started I really enjoyed it! I was able to gain first-hand experience presenting and producing radio shows, which allowed me to build my confidence, take on a leadership role and gain lots of experience to put on my CV.
I continued to produce shows on the station even after I left the school, during my summer holidays at university. I found that putting in the extra hours back then helped me to carve out my future, as now I’m working at the biggest radio station in Europe.
And finally, when you’re on an internship or work experience, it’s an opportunity for you to learn about a job/industry. While you’re there ask questions, make mistakes but don’t beat yourself up about it. You always have to remember that most of the people you’re working with have done their jobs for longer than you; so make mistakes, and use your internship as an opportunity to gain experience of working with and learning from all the professionals around you. It’s important to always ask questions if you’re unclear. Don’t sit quietly, employers will respect you more if you make it clear that you’re unsure rather than sitting at your desk doing nothing.