Natasha Burgess graduated in Film and Media Studies in 2016 after picking the course following her interest in the subject at A-level. She tells us that after leaving college, she knew that the area of Film and Media was something that she wanted to pursue as a future career. “The UCLan Film and Media course seemed like the perfect course that offered a range of modules as well as the work experience module in Year 2, to prepare me for my future career.”
Whilst at UCLan, Natasha spent two years as a course representative and was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award in Film and Media Studies. After graduating, Natasha stayed with UCLan working as a research assistant on a project for the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal. She also worked as a chaperone and assistant with The Television Workshop over the summer, where Natasha was involved in chaperoning a short film at Coronation Street and hosting the fourth Television Workshop film festival at Media City.
“I was then accepted onto the British Councils Generation UK Language and Internship programme in Shanghai, China. I studied and worked at City Weekend magazine in the marketing department for two months, which was an amazing experience! I hosted events, wrote press materials and worked with some incredible people. Upon my return to the UK in January, I was offered the positon of Student Support Project Officer at UCLan.”
Natasha has been a member of the Television Workshop Salford Group for the past five years, cementing her decision that she wanted to work in the film and media industry. “I have also gained work experience at a Fashion Networking company in Manchester, worked as an extra on TV sets, and in events and marketing at an international magazine, which has allowed me to gain experience in different areas of the industry. My international experience in China has also allowed me to develop personal skills and experience which I now apply to all areas of my personal and professional working attitude.”
Natasha has recently received some fantastic news that she will be starting a new role as an Assistant Media Scheduler at the BBC. “My greatest achievement since graduating has been applying for the Gen UK Language and Internship programme and being accepted as well as most recently being told that I had received the role as Assistant Media Scheduler at the BBC.”
Natasha reflects on her time at UCLan, stating that her lasting memories of her time at university are, “Definitely my graduation, meeting some great friends, and most importantly, visiting China for the first time in 2015 on a trip to Guangzhou to create a photo exhibition with other students. This was definitely a trip to remember.”
Talking about her degree and her university experience, Natasha explains the impact it has on her employment. “My trip to Guangzhou definitely helped in getting my place on the British Council programme. It gave me valuable experience and skills and I gained friends for life. The visit has definitely made me work even harder in my professional career, and more determined than ever. Without UCLan, I would not have been able to experience China for the first time, and this was a big factor in my application to the Gen UK programme in 2016. After attending a networking event at the BBC in 2015, I knew it was somewhere I would love to work and I was determined to work there in the future. Without my tutor putting me forward for this event, I would not have had this prior insight or experience at the BBC.”
For anyone looking to do something similar to Natasha, her advice would be to not give up on pursuing your interests and desired career. “Although it may be hard upon graduating to secure employment, I would tell graduates to keep gaining experience in any way they can. Even though it may not be their ideal job or in the field they want to work in, the skills you can learn whilst gaining experience are valuable towards any future job. To others thinking of taking up studying, I would say the same, to get as much experience as possible. Even if this means working for free, interning wherever you can, or work shadowing, it shows your passion for the industry and allows you to develop the relevant skills and experience!”