Channel 4 is a relatively small company with around 850 employees, which is a humble number when looking at the BBC's 23,000+ staff. However it has been said that the best things come in small packages, and after my second Channel 4 Talent Day yesterday, I am willing to back that statement.
The majority of talks were given to us by Priscilla Baffour, one of the two-person 4 Talent Team that help run the Talent Days that are set up around the country. She gave us some facts and figures about Channel 4, (such as their 850 employee total) which helped put their achievements and influence in perspective for us young creatives. Yet despite the numbers, it was obvious to us that statistics aren't what this network is about; they're all about making mischief and causing a bit of a stir with their programming.
Out of the four possible workshops available, I chose to spend my afternoon with Andrew Davis, learning how to develop my personal brand online. His workshop was heavily based on social media; its pitfalls, its potential and its popularity. I'm already an avid user of Facebook, Twitter (@missannaclarey), LinkedIn, Instagram and Flickr as well as others, so had a good grasp on what Andrew was talking about. However the main thing that really hit home with me, were his comments about the content we put online. It is the User Generated Content (or UGC) we produce that can make or break a person and the social media network they use. Social media works because of people- take away people and you're left with a virtual tumbleweed and no money being made. It's what people produce and put online that can keep you in the shadows or make you a worldwide phenomenon.
Our futures were a constant theme throughout the day; we were all encouraged to take everything that was going on and use it to begin planning our next move - even if it was going to be our first move, towards a career in media. In one of the industry talks, Cilla Baffour asked us whatwe wanted to do as a career: my answer was social media and digital marketing. Fine, easy question right? She then asked us to think about why we wanted to go into that area. I unexpecetedly hit a blank, and so did the people around me. "It's just what I want to do, it's what I like, isn't that enough!?" - was the general panicked response. An answer like this I'm afraid, will, in most situations, cost you more than you realise. After a little think I came to the conclusion that I want to do what I want to do because I have grown up with the development of the internet, the growth and expansion of social networks and appreciate and admire the powerful medium that these have come to be, and want to use them, along with original and creative thought to inspire and convince an audience.
I still feel that I have a long way to go yet, (and I think I'm okay to say that at the tender age of 19) but I am still positive that wherever I'm headed, I'll get there eventually. The 4Talent Day has inspired me now. Inspired me to think more and make more, prove to potential employers that I'm worth their time and their employment.
If you're interested in going to a 4Talent Day, all the information is on their website ( http://4talent.channel4.com/4talent/4talent-days). I genuinely recommend the experience. Take a look at our Graduate Media Jobs