In the highly competitive world of TV production, having practical experience on your CV is vital for securing that all-important first job after graduation. For recent graduate Laura Zwaga, the opportunity to work on real-life projects during her time at Edge Hill gave her the skills and confidence to start her career search.

In the TV industry most jobs demand previous experience, but how can you get that first experience if no-one will give you a job? It’s super-hard. At Edge Hill, I had several opportunities to build up my skills and gain industry experience, which I have been able to use on my CV and in interviews.

In the summer after my first year I worked as an intern with Hurricane Films. This involved admin, compiling research, updating databases, attending meetings on behalf of the company and writing script reports. I also worked as a runner or a sound operator on promotional video sets. My organisation, communication and teamworking skills increased massively during my time at Hurricane, and I learned a lot about film production and distribution, as well as what it’s like to work in a production office and on set.

In my final year I was one of a small group of student volunteers chosen to film footage of bands at the Liverpool Sound City music festival. I applied to be an editor, but due to my experience as a YouTube vlogger, I was given the producer role. This was a big challenge and a lot of responsibility but very exciting. I was responsible for everything from contacting bands for set lists and preparing a detailed schedule for the day to booking equipment, planning camera positions and organising runners.

This real world, live experience taught me a lot about the time, effort and organisation that goes into production management. It also made me realise that I have pretty good leadership skills, which I had never thought about before university.

I think it’s brilliant that Edge Hill sets up the opportunity for students to get involved with Sound City. Having this and Hurricane Films on my CV gave me more confidence in applying for media jobs, and having experience to back up my theoretical knowledge definitely helped me get my current job.”