Want To Be Director General Of The BBC?

Not that the job’s currently vacant, but did you know that the current DG, Mark Thompson started as a BBC Trainee – and that the BBC are currently advertising for the latest round of Production Trainees? These are 18 month trainee programmes, starting in September 08, and the closing date’s midnight on 6th April.

If you’ve been inspired by any of the Creative Industry events we’ve been running over the past month, this is your big chance. Even if you think your focus is not production, this could be your first step – for example, Nick Robinson, the BBC’s political editor, and the one who you’re most likely to see on the News, standing in front of the doors of 10 Downing Street, started not as a journalism trainee but as a trainee producer.

What do you need to stand a chance?

Well, less than a year’s experience in any kind of production environment – this really is your chance to break into this competitive field. You need to be prepared to move around wherever they send you (you don’t get any choice). You might be photocopying or making tea some days but juggling multiple tasks with impossible deadlines on others.

One of the critical things seems to be that you already get involved and interact with a range of media, rather than just being a passive consumer of telly, radio or certain websites (though you will be expected to have an opinion on what’s on the box). 

Have you been involved in student drama productions, written for a magazine or newsletter, got involved in community radio? They even mention blogging – there’s no excuse any more for saying you can’t get things published as you can just do it yourself, and then take it further by showing you can also generate virtual community activity on your blog, wiki or social network (but no, I don’t think throwing sheep at your friends on Facebook counts…).

And sure, there are still lots of Oxbridge graduates in the Beeb, but don’t use that as an excuse for inactivity – go change it!