Work Experience

BBC Blue Peter

What you do in the job?

Courtesy of Ben Lloyd

What you do: The range of the job:

The BBC Childrens programme,Blue Peter, regularly takes on people for work placements, allowing a great insight into the broadcast industry. Here is what it is like.

About the Department:
Blue Peter is the longest running Childrens television programme shown on the BBC. The programme, aired twice a week, is a factual and entertainment based show with presenters regularly pushed to their limits, completing challenges, educating the viewers and changing lives through their worldwide appeals. The programme is a mix of live broadcast and pre recorded studio sequences as well as films and VTs covering stories and events.

About the placement:

You will be put into on one the teams, which make up the Blue Peter show. The duration of your placement will determine how long you will spend on a team. The production is made up of 4 main teams. Film, badge, studio and development. Each team has a role in bringing the show to our screens. Within your team, you will work alongside a producer or a researcher, helping carry out research, within the studio or filming out on location. The BBC try and make sure you get as involved as you can in what ever area you are put into, so there is a high chance you will go out on location, or help with an edit. When the show is being filmed in the studio for pre-record or live transmission there is also opportunity for you to help within a studio environment.

The placement gives a real insight into what an entry level job is like within the industry, so you should prepare yourself for everything! Each day is different, and you will never know what you are going to be doing next!

The BBC work experience team allocates 2 placement people to the department every 4 weeks throughout the year. The hours at roughly 9.30-6pm, however there is flexibility depending on what the schedule is for the day.

Please see the application for this position below, we think you will find it helpful;

Please tell us why you are interested in this particular placement and how you think it will benefit you.

I believe this placement will benefit me in many ways; firstly my hunger for a subject area which both interests and challenges a creative outcome whether it be self-directed or towards an audience and secondly I believe it will stimulate my creative thinking and illustrate what I enjoy doing the most and thrive at.

My degree course at Loughborough University has allowed me to explore my subject area and it is caused me to want to learn more about the things I love and find both playful and fascinating. I believe this opportunity with Blue Peter will provide a fast moving, fun and enthusiastic placement, which I can adapt to and work tirelessly at, to both enjoy and gain the most possible fulfillment from.

I think the placement will benefit me in many ways, not only will it broaden my knowledge of a incredibly exciting and ever developing multi-media platform, it will give me an in depth and irreplaceable insight into an incredibly exciting industry and working environment.

In relation to the criteria, please provide details of any interests or activities which support your application for this placement.

I completed the level two swimming instructors qualification in 2006. By completing this qualification I was then able to teach children of all ages, abilities and backgrounds from adult and toddler classes right up until they turn 16. This allowed me to follow and develop another of my passions, which is swimming. Having swum competitively myself for a number of years I then got offered the opportunity to coach for the City of Cambridge Swimming Club. I jumped at this opportunity, as it was an exciting challenge due to the fact it was an entirely different set up to swimming lessons I had previously done. This was especially true as I was there not so much in a teaching facility but as someone to train them how to swim races competitively and coach them how to better their strokes.

Teaching children in such a wide age range has allowed me to pass on my knowledge of the sport to them and I hope that my love and passion for it is also passed on to the children I have taught.

Teaching also allows me to connect with the children and learn about their lives, what they like or dislike and what is currently the latest craze of the moment, all of which I think is relevant to what a placement like this would need from a successful candidate.

As part of my degree, I hold a strong working ethos and like to keep an open mind, regularly visiting and digesting fun and exciting places and exhibits. I like to keep a record of things which excite me and spark inspiration from, this I believe a key tool to any creative thinker.

Other interests include travelling, photography, cinema, magazines and delicate and ornate hand-made craft items and toys.
The main highlight to my University life so far I believe was last year, when I was elected as Hall Chair in my hall of residence. This opportunity gave me so many different opportunities, and not only made me a person who was tested at all levels, but pushed me to achieve a high level of organisation, loyalty and enthusiasm. During this year I successfully chaired a committee of 15 other people and took most of the responsibility for 350 freshers moving into university for the first time. I found the whole experience to be incredibly rewarding and gave me a real sense of achievement.

Please give details of your education, skills, qualifications and training to date (please list in chronological order).

GCSE's June 2004: The Netherhall School And Sixth Form College, Cambridge

-Design And Technology: Graphics grade achieved A*
-Music grade achieved A*
-Science double award grade achieved BB
-Art grade achieved B
-English grade achieved B
-English Language grade achieved B
-Physical Education grade achieved B
-Mathematics grade achieved C
-French grade achieved D

September 2004: National Pool Lifeguard Qualification
- Renewed April 2006
- Renewed March 2008

October 2004: ASA Level 1 Swimming Teacher

Advanced Subsidiary Level GCE June 2005:The Netherhall School And Sixth Form College, Cambridge

-Music Technology grade achieved D

Advanced Level GCE June 2006:The Netherhall School And Sixth Form College, Cambridge

-ICT grade achieved A
-Product Design grade achieved B
-Media Studies grade achieved C

2005- 2006 The Netherhall School And Sixth Form College, Cambridge Young Enterprise Regional champion team, NYE ICT/ Multimedia Director.

May 2006: ASA Level 1 Diving Instructor
October 2006: ASA Level 2 Swimming Teacher and Child Protection

Edexcel Level 3 BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art and Design June 2007: Loughborough University School Of Art And Design.

First Aid At Work Certificate: Summer 2007

BA Hons Visual Communication 2007- Present: Loughborough University School OF Art And Design

I have an in-depth working knowledge of using Microsoft Office, including Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook. I also have a proficient understanding of Adobe Photoshop CS3, Illustrator CS3, In Design CS3 and Final Cut Pro.

I am also currently working towards developing my skills in Adobe Flash CS3, Dreamweaver, Adobe Motion and Maya Autodesk.

Please give details of any work experience (paid or unpaid) undertaken to date (please list in chronological order)

In 2005 I undertook a three week work experience placement with the creative agency Ware Anthony Rust in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. This placement gave me my first insight into working in the visual communication industry and reinforced my aspirations to follow this career path. The placement was fun, fast moving, incredibly inspirational and uplifting. I have also found all of these particular aspects whilst studying my degree and today I thrive at trying to achieve my best.

Later in 2007 I completed a 1 week placement with M&C Saatchi as a runner on a series of television advertisements; one of which being the current student account campaign for Natwest Bank. This opportunity formed what is now the base of my undying love for both the degree I am studying and my passion within the creative industry.

Having started University at Loughborough, I have played an active role in a number or extra curricular activities including being elected Multimedia coordinator for Loughborough Students RAG (Raise and Give). This student run organisation is Europes biggest and most successful charity and fundraising organization and last year alone we raised an outstanding 908UKP, 318, 32 for local and national charities. My role within the organization is to liaise with both press and media organizations within Leicestershire and the surrounding areas to increase the publicity and coverage of events and to also raise the profile of the organization within the local and national media.

Another vital aspect of my role within RAG is to participate within the fundraising activities held throughout the year, think of new innovate ways to fundraise and to work along side 10 other committee members.

Over the last year I have also become a member of Loughborough Students Media Centre, working along side the student television channel LSUTV (Loughborough Students Union Television). The experience I have gained from being part of such an exceptional team has allowed me to try out a number of roles and accumulate an invaluable foundation of knowledge within the television and broadcast industry from camera operating to VT editing and production.

Tell us what you like/dislike about Blue Peter (considering that it is aimed at 6 - 12 year olds). Think about studio items, films shown and web content. Is there anything that you would do differently? Please provide some specific examples.

The particular aspects that I love about the show Blue Peter and have done since I began watching it over 15 years ago are firstly the undying passion the presenters always emit to the audience and how they deliver their particular reports with such enthusiasm. When watching the show I always felt a strong sense of connection with the presenters, looking up at them as role models and following their example. My other love for Blue Peter was the fundraising side of the show, and how as a child I could participate in Blue Peters infamous bring and by sales as well as other creative and fun activities that raised money. Watching the Totallers and following the amount of money raised by myself and others gave me a sense of achievement and allowed me to relate to the programme, presenters and ethos of the whole show.

Looking at web content, and the ever moving multimedia platform, I think the website, and content has developed extraordinarily well to suit the needs of the target audience. I think the interactive format of the new site is fun and easy to use and compliments both the show and captures the interest of the user. I think if I was to add or change anything to this, I would add podcasts either on the website, or along side the BBC's iPlayer service where you can watch previous shows. I think a 5 minute podcast from one or all of the presenters talking about what's coming up on next weeks show, what they have been up in the week or giving brief overviews of the activities and reports the presenters have participated in within that show would encourage the audience to watch the next show. Not only would this push the multimedia platforms it would actively continue the theme of relating to the children as they could download these podcasts onto their MP3 players etc, making their access easy and greater continuing to hit the multi-platform media.

Another big part to the show, I believe is the yearly publication of the Blue Peter Annual. I think it is a true asset to the show but could be improved, or even revolutionized to match the shows ever developing look and multimedia platforms. Instead of a print based book could the annual be available for download on the website, or even from online stores for use on iPods, laptops or home computers. Could the annual become an interactive DVD, which all the family can engage in and use as an entertainment and information tool?

Finally, the last area which I think could be improved upon is the film features covered on the show. With a secured target audience of 6-12 year olds, I feel the emphasis could be put more on issues surround them as a audience group. For example; the ever-growing child obesity problem hitting the country. Without directly addressing this, it could be done in a number of ways. One example being more active films and features done by the presenters covering sports, dance and games such as the recent Figure Skating feature broadcast on Wednesday 17th December 2008.

What qualities are required?


You need to have a passion and commitment to children's television production and programming. You should have a good knowledge of BBC output as wells as a good interest in Broadcasting. A good candidate will have a quick initiative to adapt to a fast-moving environment and the ability to get stuck in and help out.

You need to be a creative thinker and have the ability to get involved and voice an idea or opinion. Whatever team you are allocated to, everyone in the office get involved with brainstorming sessions and thinking up ideas.

You need to be able to conduct yourself in a professional and responsible manner. Some of the material you will deal with, for example viewers letters can be incredible sensitive and should be addressed with the upmost respect.

The office is open plan, so you should prepare yourself to a busy working atmosphere and diverse mix of colleagues from all backgrounds.

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