British Broadcasting Corporation! Founded in 1922 by John Reith and George Villiers, the BBC is a worldwide news and entertainment broadcast company. It operates in all information portals such as Radio, Print, Television and Internet. The BBC generates an annual income of more than five billion pounds and employs more than 20,000 people. There is no nook that BBC has not explored. From magazines to soap operas to worldwide news, BBC has always been on the forefront in bringing to people their news, entertainment and lifestyle.
Many students who undertake Media as a career path aspire to join the intricate network of the BBC to not only learn but also be part of one of the world’s largest media houses. The BBC offers a number of work experience programs in several location across the UK at four different application windows in a year. Even though the application process is simple, due to the extensive number of applicants, it is difficult to acquire work experience. But for the various sectors and concentrations offered for grabs, it is right only to keep trying.
Categories of Work Experience and locations:
The BBC offers Work Experience in the following departments:
- News & Journalism
- Business & Support
Fancy working on the sets of a BBC television program? Fancy yourself shadowing reporters or even being on the set of Top Gear watching the trio prepare for the show? How about going out for a film shoot along with the production team? Then this is the department for you. No matter what your interest, there is something or the other in the department for you.
Here is a glimpse of the many work areas available in the BBC television department:
- Arts Development (over 18's only) - Research and writing proposals for arts documentaries, contributing ideas to team brainstorms and acting as a runner on occasional shooting days.
- BBC Films (over 18's only) – witness first-hand the filmmaking process both the creative, business and legal side of production.
- Documentaries (over 18) - Working in the heart of a busy production team, assisting researchers with finding potential contributors and filming locations; working in post-production by logging tapes and rushes. There may also be opportunities to support the team with filming on location.
Ever spent a day without listening to even one of the BBC radio telecasts? Ever wondered how it would be to be an RJ or ever wanted to know who wrote scripts for those telecasts you couldn’t stop laughing at? On a more serious note, have you always wanted to be one amongst those who, inspite of all the technological advancements, loved radio and consistently remained in radio? BBC Radio is the place for you.
A few of the many work areas available in BBC Radio:
- Radio Drama & Books (over 18's only) – research and evaluate texts and working with scripts as well as observing programmes being recorded and edited.
- Radio 1 & 1Xtra – great all round overview of the department, working with a number of different teams across the network and involvement in idea generation and research.
- Radio 3 (over 18's only) - insight into how Radio productions are created plus hands-on experience behind the scenes from attending live studios, location broadcasts, recording/editing sessions and general admin.
News & Journalism:
Whether you are interested in soft journalism like lifestyle or cuisines or you are interested in hard-core journalism such as world news, there is something for you in BBC News & Journalism. Be in the hub of happening at every broadcast gaining insight into the way news is ordered, scheduled and presented.
Below is a glimpse of work areas available in this category:
- News and Current Affairs (over 18's only) - Where you could work with experienced production teams, gaining an insight into how programmes are developed, produced and finally transmitted.
- The Forum (over 18's only) - A weekly ideas discussion show on the BBC World Service presented by BBC Diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall. You could get the opportunity to use your research and writing skills and learn about the role social media plays in this programme.
- World Service News (over 18's only) - Where you could work with programme teams; contribute ideas, help find interviewees and brief presenters. A great opportunity to experience working on live news programmes.
Business & Support:
No organization can survive without its business and support team. Be it BBC’s news and journalism or its television department, all departments require strong HR professionals and a strong marketing team to streamline the hardwork put in by those departments. If you’ve always pictured yourself being this element of streamlining and channeling, then this is the department for you.
Here are a few work areas within Business & Support:
- Information & Archives (over 18's only) - Successful candidates may get the opportunity to shadow the Media Managers in the different production areas in which we operate at Media City. There may be some project work in news.
- Media Action (over 18's only) - BBC Media Action is the International Development arm of BBC World Service. You could get the opportunity to help organise events, keep our records up to date, and assist with research and donor mapping. All in a busy internationally focused office with links around the BBC.
Though the departments are similar in several locations, the concentrations and work areas in each department differs according to location. All work experiences last from a minimum of 3 days to a maximum of 20 days.
The following are the locations for work experience. All locations cater to all categories mentioned above, though not all work areas mentioned under each department are available in all locations. (If you have a particular work area in mind, go the distance, irrespective of whether the location is accessible or not).
- Cardiff (Wales)
- Wrexham (Wales)
- Bangor (Wales)
- Belfast (Northern Ireland)
- Foyle (Northern Ireland)
The best part about applying for Work Experience at the BBC is that you do not have to hold any specific media based degrees or qualifications. Their only eligibility criteria is that the candidate be as creative as possible. Passion for Television, Radio, Journalism, News and Business is a must and past experiences or hobbies should reflect such passions. The BBC accepts anyone above the age of 14, though particular (and most) work areas expect the candidate to be above 18. You cannot apply to the work experience if you are not in the UK and if you do not already have permission to work in the UK. It is necessary that your hobbies or volunteering reflect your passion for the particular area in which you are applying for a work experience.
Before starting the application procedure, it is necessary that you enter a profile in the BBC Careers Hub at the following link. Upload your CV and give descriptions of your career aspirations and past experiences and qualifications. Make your Careers Hub profile as engaging and interesting as possible. Creativity and the ability to present yourself in a unique manner is an easy way to stand out and draw attention to yourself as most work experiences at the BBC expect the candidate to be very creative and curious.
You will have to fill in an online application form which will ask you questions based on your qualifications, experience and aspirations. Also your location preferences will be asked for and if successful, you will be placed for a Work Experience with BBC.
Application forms for work experience commencing in April, May and June will be released on the website towards the end of February.
Advantages of a Work Experience with BBC:
- BBC ensures to find out more about the candidate’s expectations and learning requirements in order to ensure a mutual and healthy learning environment for the candidate.
- This is the ideal situation to be involved, prove your skills and also network.
- BBC does not require a media degree, so all those who have missed out on that still have the opportunity to apply as this work experience regards only your passion and creativity.
- BBC is one of the world’s largest broadcast companies and an experience in such a company will certainly boost your CV.
The next application window will be announced at the end of February. If you are interested in applying for a work experience, make sure you identify your work area beforehand and update your BBC Careers Hub page so that you are in time to submit an application during the very limited weeklong application window! So what are you waiting for?
Note: BBC work experience opportunities are unpaid and do not cover travel or accommodation expenses. The candidate is solely responsible for all expenses.