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Metfilm School

Be an Entrepreneur: BA Graduates lead Career Advice session

By Elise Czyzowska

15 March 2023

Last month, London students on our BA Content, Media & Film Production and BA Film & Screen Business degrees came together for a guest speaker session, forming part of their learning on the topic of creative entrepreneurship.

Organised by MetFilm Futures, our dedicated careers advice department, the speakers for the day were none other than five of our own graduates from BA Content, Media & Film Production, who returned to campus (both in-person and virtually!) to share their industry insights and career advice.

The five graduates who joined us for the day were:

  • Daniele Lopes – Broadcast Coordinator for the British Basketball League
  • Adam MamounPost Production Assistant on Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor Who, now an Edit Assistant at Entertainment One
  • James Parker – Freelance content creator whose portfolio includes producing and editing YouTube videos, festival photography, and traditional filmmaking
  • Michael Shaw – Film Producer who has worked with the likes of Ealing Trailfinders and MTV News
  • Charlotte Smart – Camera Operator for Bubble Production, now starting a new role at broadcasting company NEP Group

Plus, we were joined for the day by one more MetFilm School graduate, Aleesha Rane (BA Practical Filmmaking) who joined us to photograph the event.

Creative Entrepreneurship

During their studies, students on our BA Content, Media & Film Production and BA Film & Screen Business degrees are introduced to the idea of ‘entrepreneurship’ from their first day. With an ‘entrepreneur module’ focused on developing concepts and ideas into products and scalable businesses, MetFilm School brings in an industry partner from a creative field each semester. These partners set a brief for our students, who then collaboratively respond through content production.

Previous industry partners have included Twitter, Kamarama, and MTV, all of whom help to practically demonstrate the idea of creative entrepreneurship to our students – as well as allowing a hands-on approach to developing their own creative skillsets.

Sarah Winstanley, Head of MetFilm Futures, said of the event:

It’s so useful for current students to hear from graduates about what the first year or so after leaving university is really like. We try to give students as much information and guidance as possible, so that they leave us informed and prepared to start working in the creative industries.

Hearing first-hand from our graduates gives them a very fresh perspective.

Sarah WinstanleyHead of MetFilm Futures

Sarah Winstanley, Head of MetFilm Futures, who helped to organise this session

During the day, students took part in a CV workshop, ‘finessing their CV’s to get them industry-ready’, Sarah explained.

‘We then welcomed our graduates,’ she added, ‘who talked about what they had been doing since leaving MetFilm School, and what they found were the best ways of finding work.’

Leading three sessions, our five graduates shared advice on the likes of writing a good CV, where to find work, and how you can ‘analyse’ potential jobs based on the way they are advertised – all essential tools for new graduates.

Our BA students listening to the industry advice our graduates had to share

Preparing yourself for the industry

While there is a lot that you can’t control when looking for a new job, one idea that came up was that of being as prepared as you can. Opportunities can come from any direction, and might not always look like you expect – so it’s important to be ready.

Charlotte Smart, for example, spoke about arriving at Shepperton Studios for (what she believed would be) a short chat about potential future work. In fact, it turned out to be a hands-on interview. ‘Somehow, I got through it, and on set I learned more and more every day,’ Charlotte explained, adding that film school is the best time to prepare.

‘In some of my lessons, I would sit back and let other people do things like the demonstrations. But, actually, the more you can learn, the more you’ll get out of it.’

After working as a Camera Assistant on BBC’s Doctors, as well as multiple smaller roles (such as Covid Marshall on The Essex Serpent, which you can read about here), Charlotte is now working with broadcasting company NEP Group.

BA Content, Media & Film Production graduate Charlotte Smart

Becoming a well-rounded creative

Entrepreneurship doesn’t just mean committing yourself to a single goal, and never looking back. On our BA Content, Media & Film Production and BA Film & Screen Business degrees, one of the highlights is that students try their hand at a wide variety of roles and crafts – one week, they might be training to be a director, camera assistant, producer… the next, they might be leading a marketing pitch or building a company’s business strategy.

Daniele Lopes touched on this during his session:

That’s the beauty of these courses. They help to eliminate what you don’t want to do, and find what you do.

I never thought I’d want to get into producing, but thanks to the university pushing things like pitching… it really improved my confidence.

I’m grateful for the opportunities MetFilm School gave me, and also for the ones I created myself.

Daniele LopesBA Content, Media & Film Production Graduate

Daniele left MetFilm School ready to start an internship with the National Basketball Association (which led to getting to travel around Europe!), and is now working full-time as a Broadcast Coordinator with the British Basketball League.

BA Content, Media & Film Production graduate Daniele Lopes

A final word of advice…

Taking the time to figure out what you’re passionate about can be difficult – especially when first entering the screen industries, which are a particularly fast-paced world. But finding a balance, and listening to your gut often leads to the most rewarding outcomes.

An example of this is the varied career that graduate James Parker is building for himself. Since graduating, he has continued to grow his own content creation business, working as a videographer and editor on YouTube videos for ‘Josh and Archie’ (a channel with 1.45m+ subscribers), as well as working as a festival photographer (shooting the likes of Tyler the Creator), and more recently as Director of Photography on Jamal Walker’s Package, which you can learn more about on our Instagram. As James summed up during his session:

‘The best advice I can give you is to keep it simple, and then you can really do something you’re happy with.’