Currently working as a Production Coordinator with STV in Glasgow, Emily Littler is a recent graduate who has wasted no time in establishing her career. A varied CV includes stints as a Broadcast Assistant, Copywriter and Office Runner with organisations such as the BBC, Raise the Roof Productions and the Leith Agency.
You recently started working with STV as a Production Coordinator. What does a typical day's work involve?
Emily: I’ve only been doing this job for a few weeks, but from what I can tell so far, you can be doing all sorts. The key is organisation. I’m currently looking after a team of nine who are on the road for around three months, travelling around the UK. As a coordinator you organise your team’s logistics, accommodation, and money, but there’s lots more to do and it changes day to day.
You graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2012 with a degree in English Literature. People always seem to be debating whether or not obtaining a degree is a worthwhile pursuit for those aiming to work in television/media sectors. What's your take on this?
Emily: I think going to University is a fantastic experience; you meet some great friends and learn a lot about yourself along the way. In my experience my degree doesn’t make too much difference in getting a job… however the experience you can gain whilst at University helps massively. By this I mean by participating in student media such as GUST (Glasgow University Student Television), from which I met some great contacts and learnt loads about television. Also you can use your long University holidays to sign up to internships/work experience.
What was it like transitioning from being a student to taking the first steps in building your career?
Emily: I’ve been really lucky as I have managed to get a good job in the same place that I studied, so all my friends are still around and I’m familiar with the city. Of course I’ve missed the long lie-ins and watching ‘Friends’ box sets for days on end, but it’s also been really fulfilling working within a production environment surrounded by people who want to help you get started in the industry.
Your first job after graduating was as an Office Runner with Raise the Roof Productions. What were some of the key things you learned during this time, and was the learning curve steep?
Emily: Being an office runner with Raise the Roof was a wonderful opportunity that allowed me to gain invaluable experience of a busy production office. As an office runner you get a good idea of what elements of production you think you would be suited to, e.g. coordinating, researching, etc. The learning curve didn’t seem steep at the time, however looking back I learnt a lot in my seven months, and made lots of good contacts/friends.
Lots of people want to work in media. What are some of the key attributes you think new entrants should possess in order to stand out from the crowd?
Emily: If you’re hard working and a friendly person, you’ll come off well on paper and in interview. The more work experience you have, the more contacts you make and the more opportunities you get. Obviously part of it is luck, but you definitely make your own chances. In interviews, be passionate and animated - show the interviewers that you really care about their production. Also, get your drivers licence! I can’t stress this enough. I know it’s expensive to do but it really increases your chances of getting work.
Good luck to everyone and if you need any further advice please tweet me: @emilylittler.