A Trip to Media City Salford

Back in early March, the Careers and Placements team arranged a student visit to Media City, Salford. The purpose of the visit was to find out more about the broadcaster’s work and career opportunities.

First year BSc Film and TV student, Stefan Darling and First-year BA Historical Archaeology student, Ariane Da Silva Palmas joined us for this trip and share their experiences of the day below.

First up let’s hear from Stefan

The Careers and Placements trip to Media City Salford was a great opportunity to become immersed in the creative industries; to see them ‘for real’. I tend to imagine a sense of detachment between what I’m learning and how things’ll work in reality, but I was pleasantly surprised to see facts and jargon from my Film and TV Production course exactly replicated within the studios we were shown. I was also able to ask technical questions to our tour guide without having to be corrected or clarified.

Photo of Media City in Salford

As someone who really struggles with new environments and unknowns, the slick organisation of this trip came as a great relief. It was made clear at all times where we were in relation to where we’d be going, and when we had to wait there was no requirement for us to strike off on our own if we didn’t want to. The BBC’s tour was well-constructed too; we were taken to two significant studios (one being used for Saturday Mashup; the other being the BBC Breakfast studio) and given interesting facts and stats about each, as well as plenty of time to mill around afterwards and ask questions. That certainly was a theme that struck me – at no point did this trip feel hurried. The timings were gauged very well, and so it felt like we were blissfully flowing from one engagement to the next.

Another element that definitely seemed unrushed was the food offering. I find that people tend not to talk about catering on trips – maybe because it’s only seen as ‘sustenance’ unrelated to the trip, but perhaps also because the food is often unremarkable. On this trip, though, neither was the case. The food was plentiful and tasty, with good-quality drink options, and wines later-on. I really felt cared-about and facilitated; there was time to enjoy what was given to us – it wasn’t a rushed ‘food break’ before the next scheduled activity. That free time also turned out to be useful for other ends – I had the opportunity to talk to a second and third year on my course about some of the modules that lay ahead.

This trip put my career plans into perspective too. After gathering the courage to admit that I hate approaching people to initiate a conversation, the speakers made it clear that it’s something you have to learn to do in the creative sector. The most intriguing thing about that was hearing that people who get waves of emails asking for job opportunities don’t mind getting them, as long as the applicant is suited to the position. That, and the positive encouragement I received from the staff on the trip, certainly help me towards being less concerned about asking people for opportunities in future. The advice also helped me realise that splitting my CV into separate versions for video-editing and blogging will maintain focus on the relevant field each time.

By Stefan Darling

Ariane shares her account of the day below

The Careers and Placements day trip to Media City Salford on 11th March 2020 (coincidentally, the very day of my bday!!) was undoubtedly a valuable experience which gave me a glimpse into the creative industries. As a student in the humanities area, jobs in the media and publishing sector is a potential employment option for me. 

Photo of the entrance to Media City in Salford

The trip was well organized. When we arrived in Salford, the Careers and Placements staff were always with the students and we knew where we would be going. They never left us alone or behind even when we needed to wait until the BBC visit started. 

The BBC’s tour itself was very interesting and also enjoyable. At first, I had the opportunity to have a photo taken of myself in a stylish chair pretending to be in a famous studio. After this, we were taken to the two BBC Salford studios, the Saturday Mashup, which is a TV show directed at children and to the BBC Breakfast studio, which delivers broadcast news. The guides gave us explanations and also shared interesting facts about each studio and the programmes. Also, we were given plenty of time to look around the studios and ask questions. I also appreciated taking my own time to observe and learn more about it. One thing that caught my attention, particularly, was the professional cameras in the studios; they are huge and impressive. 

Photo of a camera in the BBC studio

We also had the opportunity to talk to a member of the BBC´s recruitment staff about job opportunities. Later in the day, we had a lunch that was served in a special room in the Lowry Theatre which is near the BBC Studios. The food was tasty and plentiful and even wine was served, which helped to establish a network conversation that followed the meal with some of the BBC´s staff (presenters and journalists). 

Finally, the trip has put my career plans in perspective. At the same time that I am a bit shy and do not know if I would be willing to be in front of cameras, it also made me think about possible opportunities of careers in the theatre and media industries where there is not necessarily the need to expose yourself in front of millions of people; it was suggested to me that a career working behind the camera, such as screenwriter, and even as a historical consultant might be a good choice. All that said, I have to thank you for the exciting opportunity.  It was a wonderful day.  

By Ariane Da Silva Palmas