And breathe…

It’s first term of third year and my friends are telling me about Masters they want to do or have applied for, the grad jobs they have interviews for, it’s a weird environment to be in. I’ve known for a while now that I would like a career in the radio industry and from what I have learnt, it’s a world that isn’t so concrete with lots of graduate opportunities, but rather a place full of freelancers constantly building experience. So my first meeting with my mentor, Alan Davey, Programme Controller at BBC Radio 3, couldn’t have arrived at a better time.

With this pressure of what to do next building, I was keen to meet Alan, if anything for some reassurance that I had time and I was making the right decisions. We were fortunate enough to meet on campus as Alan was in the city for a meeting with Arts Council. We wondered around to find a suitable meeting spot and soon all the pressure and nerves of meeting such a successful person fell away. Alan was quick to put me at ease and ask me questions about my student life, how my studying was progressing and what I was doing in my spare time. I was then able to learn more about his time at Birmingham, where he studied English Language and Literature. He was intrigued to learn more about the research I was conducting for my essays and my dissertation as
I have managed to make that about my chosen career of radio too!

Alan wanted to know more about me and why I wanted a career in Radio. He was keen to listen to my plans and offer ideas on what steps to take next. It was great to get to know each other in a relaxed environment and it seemed a good idea to not dive straight into ‘this is how to get a job’. We were able to talk about my dissertation research and discuss interesting ideas about Radio and what types of radio we both enjoy. I was glad to have this time to talk and get to know each other as I feel more comfortable and my nerves have disappeared for my next meeting which we planned to be in London at Broadcasting House. It will certainly be a far cry from the small tour, I
gave Alan, of the Burn FM studios. Nonetheless, it was still great to show him what we were doing in our student radio so that he can understand my current commitments and plans.

I have already had the opportunity to send my CV to Alan and I am looking forward to hearing his feedback. We talked about how it was important to really demonstrate all the unique factors that reveal my passion for radio.

If anything, it was a relief to meet Alan and realise that I’m on track. I’m doing the things that are necessary and that passion will help in this industry. It was a reassuring meeting but also one that has made me feel excited for the future and less worried. I feel that at the end of this scheme I will be ready to face the next challenge, whatever that may be.

Emily Youlton

English Language

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