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Industry Titans Inspire Media Students in New Series

The Creative Media Production team are delighted to have launched INSPIRE HOUR!

Each week an industry professional from a diverse range of Media Industry backgrounds will join the students in an hour-long Q&A. Level 2 and Level 3 media production students have been really excited by the opportunity to hear their stories of how they journeyed into the industry and take on their advice and tips.  Students research the guest speakers ahead of their meeting and prepare a wealth of questions to ask the experts.

Inspire Hour got off to a fabulous start with BBC journalist and presenter Sophie Long joining the students live from Los Angeles. Sophie was able to share

BBC presenter Sophie Long guest speaker for Media film tv production students in weston-super-mare

the story of her career journey that carried her from Weston-super-Mare to the red carpet at The Golden Globes! 

After gaining a BBC scholarship, the first bursary endowed in honour of the late Jill Dando, Sophie studied for a diploma in broadcast journalism at Falmouth College of Arts. 

On graduation, she worked at BBC Radio Cornwall as a reporter for Spotlight before joining the BBC's News Training Scheme. Sophie then became a news presenter for Midlands Today breakfast and lunchtime slots, before returning to Plymouth to become a main presenter on Spotlight.

Sophie is currently living and working in LA as BBC West Coast Correspondent. She has been a friend of the Creative Media Production course and was happy to catch up with our students ahead of their Journalism deadline to pass on some expert advice.

Media Lecturer, Mel Edmonds, who launched the Inspire Hour added:

"The 'Inspire Hour' at Weston College was set up to give our learners a real insight into the media world and how it operates at a grass roots level, warts, and all!

"Many of our guest speakers have already reached the highest level in their career, but they all started out making tea, running errands, listening and learning.

"The invaluable advice will really help young people understand the hard work needed - and the many rewards - that they can also achieve over the next few years."

The following week students met with Mike Cass of Virgin Radio. Mike joined News UK in 2017 to head Virgin Radio UK. He launched The Chris Evans Breakfast Show in 2018 and poached Graham Norton from BBC Radio 2 earlier this year.

Mike has worked in major markets across the world in his previous roles as Operations Director for Newcap Radio in Vancouver; Network Content Director for the UK’s Bauer City Network; Deputy Group PD for Nova Entertainment in Australia and Galaxy Group Programme Director for Global Radio in the UK.

Future guest spots have been lined up with Will Shindler, Broadcast Journalist for the BBC for over twenty-five years, who spent a decade working in television drama as a scriptwriter on Born and Bred, The Bill and Doctors.

Year 2 Media student, Sadie, commented: "We have really enjoyed the sessions so far and look forward to future INSPIRE HOUR Sessions!

"Sophie Long was a brilliant guest speaker, she was engaging and helpful. She gave me lots of suggestions on where I could find an apprenticeship and gave me plenty of resources to explore.

The inspire hour was a good opportunity to discover different perspectives of people in the industry- how they got there and all they’ve achieved."

Many thanks to Sophie, Mike and all of the upcoming guest speakers as well as the Media team for putting together this inspirational series using their industry connections.

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