This is not really a blog where I talk about what I did recently. If it were, this post would be about 6 months late.
Last September, after graduating from my Master’s degree in Design and Digital Media from Edinburgh College of Art, I was fortunate to spend 5 weeks on TRC Media‘s Gen Up Scotland training programme for ‘emerging digital talent’. Having heard that the programme has just re-opened for applications, I decided to take the opportunity to write about my experience and give potential applicants an idea of what they might expect.
There we are: the beautiful, talented class of Autumn 2011. Designers, developers, animators, illustrators, a comedian and a sound guy. In previous intakes I believe there were also writers and journalists. The point is that Gen Up is not discipline specific. It isn’t going to transform you into Scotland’s number one digital *insert job title here*. Instead it focusses on developing your understanding of the media, building a network of contacts in your chosen field and beyond, and equipping you with key skills to improve your employment prospects.
So what do you actually do? Gen Up comprises of talks, workshops, immersion days and an internship. Some days you will hear from up to 5 experts in their field about what they do – CEOs, Creative Directors, Producers…, from sectors including TV, Games, Digital, Design, Development and more (these tend to be tailored to suit your cohort); people who are willing to give up their (extremely valuable) time and answer all of your questions. These really are extraordinary opportunities to get unprecedented access to senior figures. Other days you will take part in day-long workshops under the guidance of an industry professional. These hands-on days cover topics including presenting, interview skills, pitching, creative brainstorming and internet research.
The immersion days at BBC Scotland and Channel 4 provide an opportunity discover how large media organisations work and you’ll even get an opportunity to contribute your ideas for potential output. You get to meet people from all over the organisations, some of whom choose to talk to you about their work, whilst others set you tasks or ask you to critique their output.
You also get to undertake a week-long internship at a specially selected organisation, matched to your skills and ambitions. I was incredibly lucky to spend a week at the digital arm of Tern Television, working on their stunning Digital Adaptations project. Others from our group spent time at Raise the Roof, Leith, Axis Animation, the BBC, the Comedy Unit, Realise and Proper Games. The internship is a great chance for you to prove your skill, enthusiasm and dedication; several of our cohort were invited to extend their stays.
Gen Up is an amazing programme, ran by a really supportive team at TRC (Marie-Claire, the amazing programme coordinator will become your hero) and you will emerge with excellent contacts, a stronger CV, awesome things to talk about at interview and oodles of confidence. Apply here, and be sure to make the most of every last minute.