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A Northumbria Student at Channel 4 London

Rezada Syahputra Study

When I look back to the day when I was selected to visit the Channel 4 London HQ and was awarded the ‘4Talent Rising Star Award’, during one of their C4 Pop Up careers and networking events back in November, I can still see the look on my face filled with excitement and relief. I knew that it would be an amazing opportunity for me to pursue a possible career that I have been aspiring for, since my first year at Northumbria. 

You see, being in my final year of uni, I’m going through that point during my time here where the constant thoughts of what will I do post-graduation and what career path I want to pursue is always lurking in the back of my mind. I found out about this initial event in a Facebook group between creatives across the North-East, where we share new insights and opportunities in this industry. I couldn’t turn down the C4 Pop Up event when I saw it! And that’s my advice to you all. Once you’ve enrolled onto your course, always be aware of external opportunities going on in your field, it will seriously improve your networking skills! 

Anyway, fast forward to January, I’m waiting for my train at Newcastle Central Station, It was that moment what made me recall why I got chosen for this trip. I just remember during the workshop sessions back in the November event, I really made it clear to the Channel 4 team about my passion towards this subject field and the Industry, whilst also trying to project my enthusiasm during presentations. I feel like this case can be given to anyone no matter what course subject your studying. As long as you commit and are genuine towards your interests, you can be where you want to be. I met all the other people who were invited to the HQ both during the three hour train journey and when I arrived at London Kings Cross station, who came from other parts across of the country, some from other Uni’s too. Meeting everyone, I knew immediately that these were my types of people, as we all share similar interests and aspirations. 

Now arriving at the C4 HQ, in the centre of London in Westminster, (after finally figuring out where to go on the tube..) I immediately gazed at the sheer size of the building and the huge 4 sculpture up front. The entire exterior and interior looked so sleek, entering the building, I already got that vibe that this is the kind of place I wanted to be and everyone looked so professional. 

During my two days of being there, we got up to a mixture workshops, talks and Q&A sessions. Each one covering specific departments that make up Channel 4. They ranged from Marketing and Partnerships, which covered how the broadcaster comes up with new innovative ways of reaching their target audience and how they work with various brands to collaborate through sales and advertising. Their TV Commissioning team, where we explored how C4 oversees their productions and their programs to be broadcast live to viewers. Along with their Digital Services and Platform team who shape C4’s online streaming service, as well as supporting marketing, in terms of having audience consume content in the Digital era, as opposed to traditional linear broadcast. I remember trying to take in every word the speakers would say, jotting everything down in my notebook with all their wise advice really opening my eyes. 

It was during these workshop sessions, where I could really feel the transferable skills and knowledge I’ve learned and developed, from being an Interaction Design student, start to kick in. It was my chance to share my creativity to such a big corporation, I knew I had to give everything I have to offer to give a good impression. It’s almost as if all the hard work and dedication, spending countless hours of doing uni work in the library or in the studio, has led to this moment. Personally, I’m quite a competitive person when it comes to pursuing careers. Throughout my years at Northumbria, I’d always have a thought cloud hovering over me, thinking about how am I going to be at the job and position that I want to be in and what it’s going to take for me to get there. My experience with Channel 4 was a highly engaging and insightful one. It wouldn’t have been a trip to London without ending it with a little bit of sight seeing and just appreciating the UK’s capital before heading back to Newcastle! 

I’m going to end off this blog by letting you all know who want to pursue and study TV, media or anything creative, that yes it can at times be a hard industry to try and break into. Trust me, there have been plenty of times I’ve been rejected for applications, but that didn’t mean I stopped trying. It’s important to maintain that resilience in these situations. As I’ve mentioned before, this applies to anyone from any course. Encourage yourself to network at these kinds of events for your subject field and gain connections with the right people whilst your at University, It will seriously help set you up in the long run. 

I wouldn’t have been one of Northumbria’s Student Content Creators or chosen as one of Channel 4’s Rising Stars to come down to their London HQ, if I hadn’t screwed up a couple of times and picked myself up and try harder. To put it quite simply, studying at Northumbria helped me open up my horizons and gave me the chance to pursue the person I want to be in five years’ time. If I can do that, then so can all of you

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