Placement experience: Jake Saunders, BSc Television and Broadcasting, working as a Digital Content Logger for IMG Studios

Jake Saunders, studying BSc Television and Broadcasting is currently on placement with IMG Studios as a Digital Content Logger. Read on to hear more about his experiences with IMG and the Premier League.

How did you find your placement role?

I found my placement through talking to Creative Careers regularly. I had expressed an interested in the company after IMG visited the Uni to do a talk on the company and what roles they have to offer, once the placement became available, Creative Careers informed me.

How many applications did you make? (approx.)

I was very fortunate with how many companies I applied for as I was very set on working for IMG, so I only applied for them, however, I did spend a very long time on my one application.

How did Creative Careers support you in your placement search?

Creative Careers were incredibly supportive throughout my application for IMG. They arranged for IMG to come down and do a talk on the company and what roles they have to offer, from here I knew that I wanted to work for them. There was an open day at IMG specifically for Portsmouth students in which Creative Careers were a big part of organising. Here they showed what candidates would be doing.  Creative Careers then managed to guide me into creating a creative CV that was specific for the company and well presented.

Company

IMG Studios is an international sports broadcaster, based near London Heathrow. The company works on a variety of different sports from The Premier League to Euro League basketball. We create the content that broadcasters such as NBC use to broadcast to their millions of viewers. We create a variety of content from the live matches to short promotional clips.

I work for their premier league productions department. There are a variety of different departments within Premier League productions in which I work in Media Management.

Placement role

My role is a Digital content logger. This means that it is my job to go through footage of various games and label them according to what is go on in the clip. Although this can be tedious, there is ample opportunity to get involved with different departments and different roles. The department is very keen to push me to shadow people in their jobs so I regularly spend time with editors and go to the camera store where I can take out any camera I want and learn during working hours.

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Best & worst things

The best part of my placement so far would be having the opportunity to shadow camera operators and being able to do some hands on filming.  I expressed an interest and have regularly shadowed, I now often film interviews with current and retired footballers for our premier league news show.

The worst thing about my placement experience is rent, rent, rent! Relocating to an area I didn’t know was daunting and the rent is double what I was paying in Portsmouth, however the placement is paid so it’s not all too bad!

Concerns

My biggest concern before going on the placement was essentially the unknown. I didn’t know the area nor anyone at the company. In regards to the area that worked out okay, the area is very quiet compared to Portsmouth, and not ideal for getting into central London. The people I work with turned out to be great; there are regular drinks and days out when there are no Premier League fixtures for the weekend. For anyone who has concerns about doing a placement my suggestion would be to be open minded and to go in there confident!

What skills have you gained being on Placement?

There is a variety of different skills I’ve learnt since being at IMG. Camera work is something I have always been interested in and since starting I’ve managed to get hands on with several different cameras I would not have had the chance to do at Uni. I’ve also learnt how different formats work and why certain ones are used in different scenarios.

Highlights so far?

There are numerous different highlights I can think of but the top two for me would have to be having the opportunity to meet and film retired and current footballers. The other highlights for me would have to be the Christmas work parties; they throw two over the festive period, one for IMG and one for Premier League Productions.

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Thinking about the future

Doing a placement has really shaped what direction I want to do in for next year and for after I finish my final year. I know I eventually want to get into camera work so for my final year I will focus on gaining as much experience as possible. For after my final year I will consider my options but would be happy to go back to IMG, if they’d have me!

Advice for students thinking about doing a placement

I honestly couldn’t recommend doing a placement more. Since starting at my placement I feel my confidence has grown and  I’ve become far more employable for when I finish my final year. If you are unsure on going for a placement or not, my advice would be to just send out a load of application and see what happens, it’s better to have a lot of option rather than just having the one option of going into final year!

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