I was lucky enough to undergo my work experience at the BBC for a radio show called The Forum which was hosted by Bridget Kendall, diplomatic correspondent for the BBC. The Forum was a general knowledge radio show with episodes focusing on a particular word or subject, and then experts from different fields talk about their work relating to the subject. For example when I was there, I worked on the subject of wind. Three guests came in to speak about what relation they have with wind. There was an expert on solar wind, a sculpture artist who used data from wind to create sculptures, and a scientist who had an idea to harness the power of wind by using wind sail ships to capture energy and transport it back to land. Each person gave an insight to what wind means to them, or how they view wind. The subjects were varied, which was interesting as it exposed you to interesting people from all walks of life, and different viewpoints. Other subject matters were “boundaries”, “bicycle” and “the state”.
The B-KEW bursary was essential for me as it allowed me to travel to London during peak times, when ticket prices are very expensive. Without the bursary, I would have had to miss out on valuable days of work because of the cost of travelling, however the bursary allowed me to go to work five days a week, to participate and fully maximise the opportunity at hand.
I worked in a team with four others and I was in charge of social media for the radio show. My role was to monitor the traffic the website and the social media handles were getting. I had to schedule social media tweets to go out at certain times throughout the day to promote the latest episode going out.
Another aspect of my role included research and suggesting guests for the show, and write a report on them, and give my opinion on their suitability. It involved looking at their bibliography, and if they had any website or YouTube videos, to see if they had a media friendly personality. Then I proceeded to write a report to offer to Bridget, and the producer Chris. I felt my work involved and that my work contributed to the smooth running of the programme.
I got to meet experts from across all fields of life, from historians, novelists, scientists, artists and entrepreneurs. I left my placement, knowing that there are many interesting people and ideas in the world, and there are more than one view point and meaning to everyday things. The placement taught me tangible skills that I can implement in my future career. I improved my writing skills, to convey a message and make it enticing to engage the reader. My personal interactions and organization skills improved, as I was often in charge of looking after the guests and answering any questions they had. My career prospects are looking good, especially as I would like to go into production in media.
-Annas El Farsi is a 3rd year Politics and IR student at the University of Kent