Feb 282012

Enterprise Week is a new innovation in the Department of Media Technology. Bringing together students from across the department with professionals from the media industries and business. Across a series of lectures and workshops learners get a chance to find out what it takes to run your own business, work as an independent producers, or get to the top in a large media organisation.

On Monday I ran a session that brought together three speakers: James Stodd, Chris Skinner and Andrew Dudfield, who talked about their experience working in the radio industry and on the BBC’s web design team. Learner’s were keen to hear about each of the speakers approach to maintaining a career, and what the rules are that they stuck-to or broke as the went about getting established.

James Stodd is a successful sound producer for the BBC. He’s worked independently and has extensive experience working in the independent radio sector. James talked about how ‘breaking the rules’ is an important way to get noticed, and that to stand out you have to be different. James talked us through the process of developing sound packages for radio and television and explained how the combination of content, music, voices, talent and skills can lead to content that is distinctive and which the audience will remember and cherish.

Andrew Dudfield is an BSc Media Technology graduate. After leaving DMU in 2001 Andrew went on to various web design jobs that eventually led him to the BBC, where he worked on the design for the BBC Home Page,via the Dr Who pages, and is now working on the new design for the BBC iPlayer. Somehow Andrew and his team have got to find a way to make the eleven million pages on the BBC website more accessible. Andrew talked about how enthusiasm and asking questions were the key that started his career, even when he felt that was continually trying out new skills.

Chris Skinner also graduate from BSc Media Technology in 2002, and always knew that he wanted a job in radio. Chris is the producer of The Bugle and Dave Gorman on Absolute Radio. Chris described how his approach has been one in which multiskilling has been his most personal valuable asset. According to Chris, when you are working for yourself and need to build-up clients, it’s essential to be able to offer a range of skills. Chris was most surprised that the skill of soldering cables has been on that has most unexpectedly come in handy.

After an hour of entertaining and engaging presentation and discussion the message from our three guests was simple: you are too young to specialise now; be a diplomat; know when to obsess; know your audience; use your audience – but know their limits.

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