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Undergraduate study

Our students

Jing (Coco) Zhao

Coco graduated from Teesside University in 2015. She now works as a producer at the China Intercontinental Communication Centre.

BA (Hons) TV and Film Production

'Apart from the technical skills I learned from the University, the placement and opportunities that Teesside University offered me was most helpful for my career.'

Jing (Coco) Zhao

Why did you choose Teesside University?

Coming to Teesside was one of my top choices because of the good teaching team and facilities for my course. Through research I learned that they take good care of students, especially international students.

What did you enjoy most about your course?

My course was better than I imagined. I liked the environment, freedom, creativity, equipment and teaching methods – and the teamwork with my course mates.

My final-year film won the Best Undergraduate Factual Award at the Royal Television Society awards in 2016.

What kind of skills did you develop?

I got to develop my creativity, team working skills, organisational skills and time management.

Apart from the technical skills I developed, the placement opportunities were really helpful for my career. I got involved in about 20 placements and got my current job through the contacts I made. That’s the best way to get into the professional industry after graduating.

What did you get involved in outside of your studies?

I joined Teesside Dance and learnt hip hop, Bollywood, jazz, contemporary, Chinese. I also did varsity and some shows and competitions and met lots of friends.

What challenges did you face?

It was a big challenge to come and study in the UK. I did lots of research – I liked that Teesside University is a new university in a town. The lifestyle was quite different but I was determined to adapt. I had to be very independent – do things on my own, talk to strangers and challenge myself but it all helped improve my English.

What have you worked on since graduating?

Since graduating I’ve worked as a producer for China International Communication Centre, Lion TV (London), PBS (America), Arte (France), Discovery Asia and as a researcher at Meridian Line Films.

I’ve previously worked as a researcher on two YouTube channels and as a researcher and translator on Designed In China and Chinese New Year: the Biggest Celebration On Earth, as associate producer. This programme tells the story of Chinese New Year. It was made principally for the BBC and BBC Worldwide with a team of five presenters – Kate Humble, Hairy Bikers, Ant Anstead, Jing Lusi. It was broadcast on BBC2 for three nights in 2016. Most recently I’ve worked as the assistant producer on advert shoots for I DO jewellery and Beats headphones.

What are you working on now?

I currently work on China-related documentaries for western audiences with foreign crews. I get involved with generating new ideas, scheduling, arranging media visas, equipment, customs, getting filming access in China, taking care of the crew on set, reviewing edits and giving feedback.