10 March 2011
Successful Media graduates from Canterbury Christ Church University have returned to help current students break into the creative industries.
Ken Fox (top) and Canterbury Christ Church University Media graduates. (Bottom row, L to R, Andy Garland, Jackie Sheppard, Stuart Clark. Middle row, L to R, Jon Holmes and and Paula Moore.)
The graduates, including BBC Radio Kent presenter Andy Garland and award winning writer and comedian Jon Holmes, joined other leading media industry experts to launch the new scheme, the Industry Advisory Panel (IPA).
The IPA has been organised by Dr Ken Fox, Principal Lecturer in the University’s Department of Media, with the aim of generating strong connections between the Film, Radio and TV industries and Christ Church Media students. During the first event students questioned the expert panel on the best ways to break into the industry, from how to get work experience to being very persistent, despite the knock backs.
Dr Ken Fox said: “Through networking events, guest lectures and masterclasses from industry professionals, advice and guidance on curriculum development, possible internships and work experience we hope that the IPA will develop strong links between our students and key members of the creative industries. These connections should give our students a greater insight into their future careers, and provide invaluable advice on how to stand out from the crowd.
“I hope that this on-going contact with industry professionals will make the students more determined to focus on constructing the best possible CV that highlights the skills, knowledge and understanding that they have gained whilst at Christ Church. Be pro-active, be determined and be work-ready”
Former student Jon Holmes still lives in Canterbury and is now a successful writer, comedian and broadcaster, with a host of awards to his name including Sony Radio awards and BAFTA nominations. Jon returned to the University to offer words of encouragement and support for today’s undergraduates. He said: “You have to develop a thick skin in this industry. Those who stick with it are the ones that will make it as the competition slowly starts to give up hope!
“When I was at University I hosted comedy nights in the Students’ Union bar, worked on the student radio station and started to write jokes and sketches for the comedy radio shows of the day. Anything that gave me an extra edge over other students. Eventually I made a 15 minute demo tape and gave it to a producer. Then I became very, very annoying and repeatedly turned up at his office, and rang him to ask if he had listened to my tape, eventually it worked out, but be prepared to be persistent and try anything!”
BBC Radio Kent presenter Andy Garland encouraged the students to do their homework when it came to applying for jobs, or even just trying to gain work experience. He said: “Do your research. Find out who you need to apply to, get a name, don’t just write ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ letters.
“Understand the radio station you are writing to, the type of music they play, or are they predominantly speech? Are you able to offer their audience something they will want to listen to? And know the region and area, and the type of stories that are important to their listeners. Make sure you give yourself every opportunity to stand out and prove how valuable you can be to them.”
For more information about media courses at Canterbury Christ Church University visit: www.canterbury.ac.uk/arts-humanities/media/
Notes to Editor
- The media experts attending the launch event were:
- CCCU Graduates:
- Andy Garland (BBC Radio Kent presenter)
- Jackie Sheppard (Producer and Partner in Footprint Films)
- Jon Holmes (write, broadcaster, comedian and producer)
- Paula Moore (multi-platform content provider, previously Head of Production, BSKYB)
- Stuart Clark (film maker and animator for Animate & Create)
- Non CCCU Graduates:
- Annie Caulfield (playwright, producer, novelist and travel writer)
- Damien Marchi (Vice President of Production, Freemantle Media)
- James Corbin (Deputy Manager, CCCU, Employability & Careers Service)
Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.
With nearly 18,000 students, and five campuses across Kent, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional expertise.
- As a leading provider of teaching and health care courses we have produced nearly 3,500 health and social care professionals and 7,000 teachers in the last five years.
- Over 90 per cent of our graduates gain employment or are in further study in the first six months after graduating.
- Along with over a thousand undergraduate, postgraduate and professional training courses on offer, we are also home to world-leading and internationally recognised research in Education, History, Music and Sports Related Studies.
- Canterbury Christ Church University was founded in 1962 by the Church of England as a teacher training college.