Coventry’s got the X Factor? A Coventry Conversation

This week we had a Coventry conversation with a guy who was very much ‘at home’ with the University, Pete Ogden.

Pete studied at Coventry University and graduated in 2000 with a degree in ‘communication, culture and media’. From there he has gone onto work for many successful shows such as This Morning, Big Brother, I’m a Celebrity and most recently, The X Factor.

He told us early in the talk that he always wanted to get into TV but really didn’t know where to start. He felt it was a bit of a ‘pipe-dream’ but he hammered home the point that nothing is impossible as long as you are good at what you do and be clever about the whole situation. What is it they say, it takes 10,000 hours of practice before you become a master; but there are lots of different paths and there is something for everyone in the industry. If you don’t excel in one, you will in another.

His first ever job in TV was part of a work experience placement he was on where he had to do secret filming in a ‘Burger King’ restaurant as part of a new food series. He admitted that at this time, he felt the TV world was awful and he didn’t feel like it was the right path for him. You will always get good times and inevitably, you will also get bad times.

He also shared that it’s all about finding what’s right for you and where do you fit in. Do you enjoy editing, filming, producing, directing etc. If you have a passion, go for it, don’t hold back. However, as well as having a ‘key skill’ he set aside the need to have variables in your skill set such as being a good people person, persuasive, persistant and having the ability to use a camera and microphone.

The advice he gave to us was fantastic especially when talking about CVs and getting your first job. Your CV should have a short statement at the top selling yourself, but the key is to have your experiences as high up on the page as possible. That’s what employers look at first. Even if it was only for 1/2 hours, put it on. Personal details should be in bold with the right stuff on including an email and phone number. You have to be articulate, cheeky and persistant at the same time. If you dont get a response, try again, and if that doesn’t work, try again. People don’t mind persistance from potential employees and it shows that you really want a chance. As a graduate, you have a fantastic start to a career as you have a degree but along with that, you need good presentation and a whole range of skills, not particularly ones that are suited just for the media world.

Overall I thought it was the best talk that has been done so far in the academic year. He showed us that it can be easy to get into the industry if you persist, stand out and be original. I would highly recommend people listen to the podcast

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