Shadowing at the BBC

During my first mentoring meeting back in November, it was suggested that I could spend some time shadowing various teams at the BBC’s HR Service Centre. I have now taken up this opportunity, and found the experience to have really increased my current understanding of HR practice.

When I arrived, I spent three hours with Sarah Gregory, who has recently joined the BBC in the role of HR Director of the Service Centre. We first spent some time discussing her own career path, and it was interesting to hear how she too completed an undergraduate degree in a field far from HR, but then did postgraduate study in Business Management which pointed her in the HR direction. As I am also at present considering doing a Masters in Human Resource Management, hearing how Sarah valued this so highly in contributing to her own career path was very beneficial for me. Sarah then walked me through the different processes and teams within the Service Centre. I found I took a fancy more to the work of Onboarding and the Customer Service Helpdesk where my current recruitment experience is more in line, than I did with other teams such as the Freelance and Changers and Movers. I felt this was very beneficial for establishing where I may like my own career path to take me.

In the afternoon I spent a longer period of time shadowing with the ‘Reward’ team – again I found this to be not entirely up my street, but nonetheless, still interesting. I finished the day by having a long meeting with Valerie’s business partner Amanda, who ensured I had a thorough understanding of the BBC’s HR structure. We discussed the feedback I had received from the interview and assessment centre I had just before Christmas – one from which I was unfortunately rejected, whilst the other I have progressed to the final stage. For this final stage I now need to prepare a presentation to do on the day amongst other tasks, and Amanda has kindly offered to give me any help I may need in practicing for this.

As Valerie was not in Birmingham on the date that I attended the Service Centre, I also had a phone call with her the following week to discuss how I got on and generally ‘see where I am at’ with my career progression at this time. This was really reassuring for me at a time where I am starting to get a little overwhelmed with some application rejections and the pressures of third year! With applications for graduate roles still ongoing and two Assessment Centres coming up in the next few weeks, I now hope that I will be able to translate some of what I learnt whilst shadowing at the Service Centre to my performance on the day.

Katie Jones, 3rd Year BA American Studies/History




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