So last Friday I walked out of ITV Yorkshire’s doors for what I’m sure isn’t the end of my time with ITV, but was the end of my ITV Inspiration Scheme. It was a phenomenal experience and genuinely one that I’ll never forget and have taken so much away from. With it being the first time I’d ever done something like this I really didn’t know what to expect, but I ended up overwhelmed with what I learnt and experienced, this is most definitely something that other companies should do!
The scheme itself took place over the course of 10 days, and had me doing something every minute I was there, whether it was breaking the ice with people I’d never met before or filming on the set of Emmerdale! It’s only available to 14-17 year old’s, who must pass the online application and then a group assessment, but if you have a good knowledge of media and a genuine drive and determination to get into the industry you should have no problem getting on to it.
I was a member of the Leeds scheme (the other two are based in Manchester and London) and right from meeting the people running it – #Krew as we called them – was made to feel at home. Yes I went through the awkward process of standing in the lobby, waiting for them to come and get me and 24 others as we stood awkwardly because none of us knew each other but that’s fine! That’s life, as soon as we got into the room it was as if we were all different people, we spoke to one another confidently and soon found common interests we shared with others.
Throughout the scheme we were the audience for many people ranging from business analysts to news editors to speak to. Each of them spoke so passionately about their jobs and made every job seem like the best in the world. Of course it isn’t ever all smiles and rainbows though, as we were told about how to break through into the industry even if it is just making 20 people cups each day you’re there. These talks were the most insightful talks I’ve ever had, much more insightful than any school/sixth form/college careers talk could ever be, these are real people in real jobs that appeal to real young media driven minds. I honestly started the scheme just wanting to be a journalist and thinking that just writing a blog was enough to do so. However I ended it giving my details to anyone I could, telling them I’ll happily do anything to help just so I’m remembered, which brings me onto my next thing to say…
The networking you can do is incredible. Seriously, I have so many e-mail address’ and contacts that I don’t know who to message first. If you come on the scheme for networking alone you’ll be happy with it. But that isn’t all you’ll be happy with for sure, the whole experience is just incredible and if you’re a young hopeful between the age of 14-17 looking to get into the media then this is what you need to be doing next summer.
The whole filming process was truly amazing and I appreciate the opportunity to film on an actual set so much, especially with it being the Emmerdale one – even more so when last week was one of the most memorable weeks in soap history! Bravo Emmerdale! We had to learn to manage our time properly, use real equipment to film, co operate with the other group and just act professional both in front and behind the camera. I respect both the on screen and off screen talent who work on Emmerdale, as it seems like a tiring effort but it is one that doesn’t go unnoticed as that effort helps produce one of Britain’s favourite shows.
I can’t really put my finger on what my favourite part of the scheme was, there was a range of things I did that I can honestly say I loved. The trip to the Emmerdale village was so much fun and it was helped by the glorious weather, seeing the size of it in real life compared to how it is on TV is really interesting. Filming on the set was – like I said before – truly amazing, the talks were ridiculously entertaining. Seriously, a health and safety talk that I thought I would fall asleep in when I read about it was genuinely interesting and caught my attention well. The ITV staff clearly love their jobs and it reflects in the brilliant quality of shows seen, and if you’re lucky enough to get onto the scheme you’ll be able to see it first hand, behind the scenes, as the community spirit and overall loveliness shared is astounding. It will make you want to work at ITV, no other company.
I was able to learn so much about myself and a load of other things. I never thought I could converse and make friends with total strangers in a matter of minutes, just like I never thought sales and advertising could be so rewarding and I also never thought it’d be something I’d want to go into, but believe me I’m looking into it now. The friendships built there on the scheme aren’t just kept within the scheme, I’m in a Facebook group chat with all 25 people from the scheme now and it’s as if I’m in one with friends I’ve known for years. So if it’s meeting new people that’s putting you off – it did put me off at first too – don’t let it, because you’ll be surprised at how confident you can be.
So there it is, a (little more than) few words about my experience on ITV’s inspiration scheme, and why you should participate on it. If that hasn’t sold you, then just think of how bored you’ll be sat at home next summer when others will be out on the sets of some ITV’s most beloved shows making new friends. For any more information on the scheme itself visit their Facebook page and/or follow them on twitter @ITVinspiration. Be sure to keep a look out on the ITV website too for the next time they’re taking in applications!