I applied to Media Trust & ScreenSkills Emerging Talent Mentoring Programme in the summer of 2021. I remember the time quite vividly as it was after my 21st birthday and while I was self-isolating with Covid. I was applying for numerous internships and runner jobs and signing up for anything and everything I could find on the ScreenSkills website.
I hadn’t had much luck securing industry experience after graduating. I found it hard to find anything due to the lack of productions where I live in North Wales. And then I spotted the ad for the mentoring programme, and instantly recognised Media Trust.
Despite having no real expectations when starting the programme, I knew it would help me gain access to the industry as it was run by ScreenSkills and Media Trust. All I hoped to gain was a push in the right direction and to be able to network as much as I could, as I know how important that is for the kinds of roles I’m interested in.
During the programme, I was mentored by the lovely Bethan Evans who is the Script Executive at Bad Wolf, a television production company based in Cardiff in Wales. She was so kind in helping me decide what I wanted to do in the industry and gave me advice on establishing myself as a freelance script reader. I’d never been mentored before, and so I was excited to use these sessions to get to know Bethan more and learn about her own career path.
Now, I’ve started to work with production companies as a script reader, and I’m landing on reader databases to work with both major broadcasters and indies like ITV, Bad Wolf and Duck Soup. I’m hoping to eventually find a more permanent role, preferably as a development assistant. I have a few interviews coming up with production companies for this role, which is very exciting, and at the same time hope to also meet and talk to more production companies and get to know industry (and specifically development) professionals.
The mentoring sessions have helped me to prepare for all of this, especially the session about finance, which helped me to understand how to efficiently do my invoices and taxes, something I know a lot of others struggle with!
Before the programme, I wasn’t sure what area or department I wanted to go into, but what I’ve learned has helped ignite my passion for development. It’s enabled me to create a clear career path and a solid grasp of what I need to get there. It’s opened so many doors for me.
As well as knowing what I wanted to do and what practical steps I’d need to take to get there, the programme has hugely helped my confidence. I suffer from anxiety, and I’m a very shy person, so speaking to big audiences is something that makes me extremely nervous. Despite that, the programme helped me come out of my shell, and has meant I now feel far more able to network with industry professionals both generally and when talking about work.
I would very much encourage everyone and anyone new to the industry to apply for this programme. It truly prepared me with the knowledge and skills needed to embark on my career. You meet so many lovely, ambitious people who are just genuinely rooting for you. So don’t be afraid, go for it!