Charlie O’Connor graduated from the University of Portsmouth in 2016 with a degree in BSc (Hons) Entertainment Technology which included a placement year at Disney. He tells us how his placement helped him achieve a 1st and get his current job at AMC, the company behind Breaking Bad and Mad Men.
Who do you work for?
I work for AMC, the company behind premium television programmes such as The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad and Mad Men.
Which department do you work in?
I work in the Content Management Traffic department where we deal with incoming programme and support materials.
What is your role? What are your main duties, tasks and responsibilities?
I’m the Content Management Assistant and my role mainly involves distributing support materials (e.g. Scripts and Images) both internally and externally. In addition, I work closely with external distributors such as Lionsgate and Sony to ensure that programmes are delivered on time for broadcast.
I did my placement year with Disney Channels who showcase some of the best children’s television content. I worked in EMEA Regional On-Air which was responsible for producing and distributing on-air assets.
What was your role?
I was the Asset Management and On-Air Intern. My role mainly involved distributing on-air assets to international creatives who would in turn make them into promos for their respective markets. In addition, I assisted the On-Air supervisor with an on-air marketing initiative called Stunt In A Box.
What are the benefits of doing a placement?
There are many, but one of the main benefits is being significantly more comfortable dealing with high work loads and pressures.
What have you got out of doing a placement?
I would like to think the first class degree I achieved was partly down to the fact I did a placement year. I believe the skills I further developed at Disney helped me a lot in my final year. My presentation and public speaking skills improved significantly over the course of placement and this helped me in achieving a high score on a presentation task when I returned to university.
What did you most enjoy?
Working with people from around the world, met some really great personalities and got a better insight in to how other international television markets work.
Is there one part of your placement that really stands out?
Seeing a promo I produced being broadcast on Disney Junior.
What was your greatest success or achievement?
Creating the above-mentioned promo or presenting a high priority Spider-Man television stunt to a large audience consisting of Vice Presidents and experienced creatives
What did you least enjoy?
The size of the company in terms of the amount of people. It was sometimes difficult to build close working relationships with other departments.
What concerns did you have before going on placement?
I was concerned that I might not be accepted but my colleagues accepted me and gave me a lot of responsibility.
What advice would you give to someone concerned about doing a placement?
Do it! Your degree will reap the benefits!
What new skills did you develop?
I was able to further develop my communication, editing, software, presentation and organisational skills. The video editing skills learned from University helped me a lot on placement.
What training did you do?
I did various software training including Adobe Premier training which gave me a better understanding of video editing software. This helped me cut better films when I returned to university.
How did the placement help you with your career decisions?
It allowed me to plot my career path and also made me aware of what jobs to avoid.
Did the placement help you get your current job?
Yes, I believe having prior experience at another major broadcaster helped my application.
What advice would you give to students who aren’t sure whether to do a placement?
Do it! It could have a very positive impact on your career.
What advice would you give to students regarding their placement search?
Don’t get disheartened, do your research on the company, practice interview techniques, demonstrate passion and most importantly be yourself!
Find out more
Find out more about BSc (Hons) Creative Media Technologies (formerly known as BSc (Hons) Entertainment Technology).