The Network is a FREE intensive introduction to working in the TV industry, run by the world’s leading TV festival The Media Guardian Edinburgh International TV Festival . Get one of the 65 places on The Network and you’ll spend 4 days in Edinburgh learning practical TV making skills from top programme makers. It is a fabulous networking event as well as a brilliant opportunity to get your foot in the door of a very competitive industry.
All the detail on how to apply are here: The Network
Therese Kelly-Dodds was lucky enough to win a place on a previous year and kindly agreed to tell us all about it, so if you want to know what’s involved read on…
I first heard about the Network when I attended a Creative loop session, which was arranged through my college at the time. I was studying Creative Industries and had a huge passion for radio broadcasting and didn’t think anything could alter my dream of one day becoming a presenter, that is until I experienced the opportunities that lay within the world of television production.
Feeling inspired by the session, which was delivered by representatives and previous delegates from the Network, I decided to apply. The application process was like nothing I had completed before, it required me to be creative in my answers and express my desire to become part of the Network. I took a lot of time planning my application as I knew that the competition was fierce and most of all, I was honest with my answers. I waited patiently for a number of weeks to find out if I had been successful or not, and was overjoyed when told that I had been one of the lucky 65 applicants, out of 3500, who chosen to attend the Network event in Edinburgh.
Before the event arrived I was in regular contact with the organisers who required me to pick particular master classes I wanted to attend throughout the weekend. This was a great way to prepare myself for the event and do the classes which I was truly interested in.
The weekend finally arrived and I set off to Edinburgh. Once I arrived the event delegate greeted me and handed over my welcome pack and I joined a group of girls who had also just arrived. I am normally a very outgoing and confident individual but my nerves took over as it was like being on my first day of college and being in a strange environment with strangers but as soon as I sat down I was made feel instantly welcome. Shortly after arriving we were taken to a lecture theatre where we were introduced to the event team and given a pep talk for the weekend, and after this we went straight to work!
The weekend consisted of master classes with some of television’s most influential people including Joe Mace the Head of Development within ITV. Joe lead the creative master classes with his assistant Amy and it is here that I learned about creating, developing and formatting ideas which were valuable skills to take away with me for both my interests within radio and television.
This was just one subject area of the weekend, I also worked on my presenting skills. I was filmed by the producers of CBBC, I attended a pub quiz hosted by Al Murray, I attended an in-depth lecture from the chairman of Google Eric Schmidt and I rubbed shoulders with many influential characters within the media world at the networking events that were hosted including Steven Moffat one of the very talented writers of Dr Who.
The Network is designed for those with a desire to work in the media and for people who are determined to give their all and work hard in every venture that they undertake. It is a jam-packed weekend with little time to sit around. Each step is meticulously planned and the well being of each individual is apparent throughout the whole weekend. The accommodation and food provided was top notch and it was all for free! The networking events that were held were a great way for other delegates to get to know each other and for people to network with individuals whom they aspire to emulate. This process is valuable as it provides individuals to gain contacts within the industry.
The Network on the whole was a challenging yet enjoyable weekend, which confirmed my new love for the media industry. I still have a great passion for radio broadcasting but my eyes have been opened to the many opportunities within the TV world.
From networking I managed to secure work placement opportunities within ITV, BBC and Endemol. Each placement has been so valuable and the skills that I learned at the Network have helped me to progress successfully within each placement and it has also helped to boost my confidence greatly.
I would wholeheartedly recommend the Network to individuals who have got a genuine passion for the media and who are prepared to give it there all. It a fun filled weekend but hard work is most definitely required. You will not be disappointed by what the Network has got to provide and you will make friends you can have for life, not forgetting the contacts that you will make which will give you that essential foot in the door. The team provided by the Network are excellent and always on hand to answer any question, there is also a great follow up network where job opportunities are advertised to previous delegates and there is the opportunity to return to The Network at Work events up to 5 years from the event which you attend.
If I could give anyone any advice on the Network it would be to plan your application, be yourself at all times and make the most of every opportunity which comes your way. Follow your dreams and good luck