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Course: BSc (Hons) Digital Television Technology

Year of Graduation: 2015

Almost every industry professional that I spoke to said that Ravensbourne was the best place to study Digital Television Technology. I did look at other universities, but the facilities and reputation that Ravensbourne had made it a clear winner in terms of where I needed and wanted to go. I wasn’t going to apply for university initially, but I needed to for my chosen career and Ravensbourne was the best fit.

The networking opportunities at Ravensbourne have been so important in terms of getting me to where I am now. In broadcasting, networking is very important, especially as it’s such a niche industry. Networking at BVE and with people that I met while working on internally organised events developed my confidence and skills. More than anything my greatest highlight was forming some great friendships with a range of people on the course who have now gone on to do great things in broadcasting, and have become part of my professional network. 

I had amazing experiences at Ravensbourne, like working alongside TED Talks. A TED Talk was being hosted at UCL and Ravensbourne was tasked with supplying the crew for it. Due to the format of the TED Talk being very similar to the Ravensbourne Lates evening talks, Ravensbourne crew were invited to work at the TED Talk. As I had worked as a sound operator on the Ravensbourne Lates, I could take advantage of the opportunity, which looked great on my CV. The whole experience made me excited about the prospect of similar work in the future. 

After leaving Ravensbourne I was very fortunate to be offered a job as a floor manager with Sky Sports. I loved working on programmes as a floor manager but I began to develop a specific interest in the technical side of broadcasting, relating to cameras and lighting. Sky had a job titled multi skilled operator (MSO) which I ended up moving into which meant on a day to day basis I was responsible for the lighting as well as operating the cameras when the operator was unavailable. After doing these jobs in tandem for a total of two years I ended up applying for a job with the BBC. I have now been working for the BBC as a technical coordinator for two years, working mainly in the BBC World Service division. 

The various projects and skills that I learnt at Ravensbourne have prepared me for the role I'm in now. On a typical day I will work across a variety of news output for different languages and usually in different galleries and studios in Broadcasting House. I work primarily in the gallery and am responsible for managing anything technical to ensure the smooth running of the broadcast. Operating CCUs and RCPs, lining up DTLs, lighting shows and bulletins and fixing technical problems in both the gallery and studio are just a handful of the duties that I find myself doing on a typical day. 

My biggest piece of advice I’d give to students is to enjoy it! It sounds very cliché but it’s important to enjoy yourself whilst at university. Ravensbourne will give you a wealth of resources and you should take advantage of all of them. There will be a requirement to work hard while studying, but if you do so you’ll find yourself well situated for industry. With that said it’s also important to take part in social activities and make sure you blow off some steam when you can. 

William McDonald

Amazing things happen here




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