Natalie is an audience development and social media manager at Endemol Beyond.
'I learnt the valuable skills of pitching, producing proposal documents, budgets, marketing and business plans.'
My course was great and I really enjoyed the practical elements, making short films or working on live shows, but I also really enjoyed the theory side too. The course had brilliant modules with a realistic pace of work – the third-year Live Group Production Project saw us working in groups to a live brief on a tight schedule. Making It in the Media provided insight into the business side of the media industry. Here I learnt the valuable skills of pitching, producing proposal documents, budgets, marketing and business plans. University was a great place to get hands-on with the equipment, learn key camera skills and edit software.
The tutors and facilities were the best part of my course. I was often ill as I had chronic kidney disease, and I lost a kidney halfway through my second year. But my tutors were incredibly understanding and worked with me to ensure I still completed my course to the best of my ability.
The tutors were exciting and engaging and used their real world experience to help bring the course to life. They also helped arrange some useful work experience. I shadowed the third assistant director on the set of The Dumping Ground, a BAFTA-winning British children's TV series, and worked as a volunteer runner for a CBBC live event. I was able to attend inspiring lectures with guest speakers who work in the industry – each provided amazing insight into the media world.
After graduating I got a job at True North Productions, a TV production company based in Leeds. I then moved to London and found a job as a runner for a small digital production company called Spirit Media, working mostly on YouTube content for a variety of clients. The work was fast paced and fun. I worked my way up to become a Junior Producer, before moving to work for Endemol Shine in one of their in-house digital production companies as an Audience Development and Social Media Planner. I helped grow the in-house YouTube channels, Rulem Sports, Icon UK and Legends of Gaming on YouTube and on their social platforms.
I then got a role as a social media planner for a public relations and social media agency called Think Jam – I worked on blockbuster films for Warner Brothers, Fox and Universal. Finally, I landed my dream job as Social Media Manager for a small start-up board games company called Big Potato.
Teesside University’s campus is in a perfect position – everything I needed was within walking distance, helping me keep travel costs down. I chose Teesside because I thought the facilities were brilliant and the campus had a friendly and welcoming feel. And I chose my degree because I wanted to study on a course where I could create content from the start.
Definitely – in my first year I wasn't sure what I wanted to do or if I could even do it. My time at university gave me the confidence and the drive to seriously pursue my career. With encouragement from my tutors, I went from someone who was almost failing first year, to finishing with a first class degree and a lots of work experience under my belt.
I recommend Teesside University to people who really want to work in the industry and are willing to work hard to equip themselves with the skills that they needed to do so. If you apply yourself and actively take part in lectures you’ll learn loads, grow your skills and leave University with the attributes employers in the media are looking for.