My first year as a working woman!

So I have just completed my first year as a working woman. I must say it was not necessarily my first choice of a career, but due to location and family situations, I didn’t feel it was the right time to push and pursue the media career.

I started to look for an office job at the beginning of September 2010. I thought this would be the best and easiest way to get myself into the real working world. I can safely say it was no where near as easy as I had expected… at the end of the day it was ‘only’ an office job I was looking for! It was so hard, I had been into every office type places I could think of in the surrounding areas but no one wanted to know as I had ‘no relevant office experience.’

My break came when I applied for a job through an agency for a Sales Team Assistant. I finally had my first interview half way through November! The  interview was all based around the experience I had had working on Big Brother and doing the editing work with Magna Films. I left the interview and was lucky enough to be offered the job an hour later to start 29th November 2010.

The job basically involved being the right hand to the sales team in a technology company. I was worried at first as I am not a technology person, nor am I a sales person, but the role was to predominately carry out any office junior duties and to assist the sales team.

I have really enjoyed my year working there. There have been many ups and downs to say the least, as it is quite an early start up and at times, I thought I may be out of a job. But things have really started to turn around in the last few months. We have new management and it couldn’t be more positive. I have been given a promotion and pay rise to a Sales Team PA. This will be really good to put on my CV for the future.

I am now really good friends with the women that interviewed me for the job. They said that the main reason they gave me the job was because of the experience I had with Big Brother and Magna Films. If it wasn’t for this, I wouldn’t have even been given an interview as most girls my age have waitress on their CV (that is the only other working experience I had).

I need to say thank you again really to the trust as if it wasn’t for this, I would not be in the job I am in now and doing so well. It has also made me realise how hard it is to get what I though was a simple job, or even an interview. You’ve just gotta keep on and on!!

Thanks again,


Au Revoir BB House!

So I’ve come to the end of my placement at Big Brother and I’m now home, working on packing for Uni tomorrow!

I’ve had a great time and been privledged to work in a range of roles that make up the Big Brother production team. On my last day I worked with the spin off team who organise Big Brothers Bit on the Side where I was given the tasks of creating spreadsheets with local universities and colleges contact information and details. I was also sent out to the local high street to hand out flyers encouraging audience members to come be part of the spin off show. This is part of the same team I worked with on my first day, so it was nice to see familiar faces and work with their team again.

As an overview of my time at Elstree Studios, I have learnt a lot about the TV industry and have gained a lot of knowledge and hands-on experience, working with people who have a lot of fun but are still very professional.

I’d like to thank the Tuskar Trust for giving me this opportunity, especially Jim, David and Dermot who have provided me with support and organised this placement. For now, I’m off to Portsmouth tomorrow to start University, wish me luck, and hopefully you’ll hear more from me soon.

Thanks so much again, Michelle

Day 3: Team Task!

Today I worked with the task team for the BB house. These are the funny people who think of the task themes and ideas, buy props, set up and clear down every task. We spent a lot of time in the houses’ garden cleaning and setting up today’s task (which I’m not allowed to reveal) but it smelled foul and was a toughie to clean! Other than setting up and clearing down in the BB house, I helped the team think of ideas for a task coming up next week – I’d watch if I was you, it’s going to be a funny one!

It was a tad daunting working with a team that is so confidential and relies on it’s secrecy for their idea to work, but it’s such a creative job and the possibilities are endless and crazy with them, so they really encourage you to let your imagination run free.

Tomorrow I’m working with the BB spin off show Big Brothers Bit on the Side, but it’s also my last day! I’ll be sad to leave Elstree Studios as it’s given me such a great and diversified experience of working on TV and I’ve learnt a lot about that side of the media industry. I’ll write more tomorrow!


Running Around the BB House

Before I forget, I realised I should post a link to my published articles on the BB Facebook page, so here it is:   Click Here My first article is called ‘Day 4 Rebeckah Gets Upset’ and my second and longest article is called ‘Day 4 The Reign of Pamela’.

Today I was assigned to work on the reality team where I shadowed a runner for the morning and observed in the Gallery room in the afternoon. As I’ve never been to a working film studio before this internship, the size of the entire studio and range of different production teams came as a bit of a shock today when we were sorting the post and delivering breakfast / lunches to all of the Executives and Seniors.  Being a runner for the most part of the day enabled me to get a better understanding of which production teams work closely with others and how the studio is set out. For example, the ‘story writers’, gallery and editors are close to each other as the writers discuss what shots they need for the main news in the BB house, which the gallery then capture and pass onto the editing suites! Everyone really works as a team (I’m not just being a cliche here…) and there is a lot of good communication between the different units.

The gallery was the most interesting part of my day as you get to see all of the individual cameras at once, and can focus on each housemates separate mic to tune in on group conversations. There’s also a room inside the gallery where the ‘voice’ of BB is broadcast into the house and diary room – it was weird to listen in, when you can see the housemates on screen and the BB speaker in the audio box live!

I was also given a tour inside the BB house! This was super surreal as the two way mirrors make it look like the housemates are looking directly at you (when really they’re just checking themselves out on their side). Myself and another runner were also given the task of cleaning a few mirrors inside of the bedroom while the door was locked from the inside, so now I can officially say that I have been inside the BB 2011 house!

All in all it was a good day and I got to see a lot of the different departments and ask crew members questions about how they worked and what they do on a daily basis. Tomorrow I’ll be working on the Task Team – these are the people who sort out all of the props in the house and develop each days task. I was told today this is the ‘fun’ team on the BB crew, so let’s see what day 3 has in store for me! I’m having a great time  :)


P.s: I’ve attached a picture of my ID pass, it makes me feel all official and professional so I thought I’d share it with you!

“Day 1 in the Big Brother House” – Well, the Studio…

So I’ve come to the end of my 13 1/2 hour shift at Elstree Studios, and what whirlwind of a day it’s been.

After finishing my last blog from today, I kept a watchful eye on the BBuklive Twitter account, reporting the the head of team digital on what the viewers were saying – what they liked / disliked about the show. I then took my place in the live audience for Big Brother’s Bit on the Side where Pamela Anderson was the main interviewee! There was a lot of clapping and cheering to be done, while Emma Willis does the fantastic job of hosting the show. It was a tad bizarre to watch all of the camera and lighting men/women in action, they are all so organised and professional and put together a good show.

Tomorrow I’m working with the reality team – I’ll let you know how it goes!


Half a Day at BB

Wow. That pretty much sums up my first day.

I’m just over half way through my shift and I’ve already done a handful of cv-worthy tasks, working with the Big Brother digital team. I’ve written two articles for BB’s official Facebook site and posted two live Tweets on their Twitter account. As a girl who is about to start her first year at Portsmouth University doing a journalism degree, having my first articles published on the BB website has surpassed my expectations and put a huge smile on my face 

Working on the digital team is fast paced and fun, having to constantly listen to the live video/audio feed from the house, making videos and photos albums and writing articles along with the current housemate events. I’ve been in the photo and video ‘grabbing’ suites today, creating my own news pieces and keeping up the interest on the Twitter / Facebook accounts.

Tonight I will be working on BB’s live show Big Brother’s Bit on the Side as a member of the audience! Blonde bombshell Pamela Anderson will be the highlight of the show answering questions about living in the house and while I’ll be learning more about live tv broadcasting.

I’ve also been given a full tour of Elstree Studios today, getting the chance to see the prop, editing, gallery and many other rooms. Tomorrow I’ll be working with the Reality Team, who manage the time scheduling and camera shots in the BB house; so there’s a whole new side of reality tv production to experience tomorrow!

See if you can spot me in the audience by tuning in tonight at 11pm on Chanel 5! I’ll be blogging more tonight.


The Journey to Big Brother

It’s taken me almost  4 hours  of traveling, but I’ve made it to Elstree! In preparation for University, I have braved the London underground armed only with a print out of the stations I need to get to –  but it’s been a success 

Everywhere on the Elstree high street, there is information about Elstree studios history and its famous faces. Makes me excited to start working there tomorrow morning! I don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing during my placement, but I’m up for anything.

All settled into my hotel room now, getting a good nights sleep for my 10:30am start. I’ll blog more tomorrow!

- Michelle

V! = Best Weekend Ever!

I can honestly say that this past weekend has been one of the best weekends of my life! From Eminem and Rihanna’s mind-blowing performance of ‘Love the way you lie’ to the determined attempt of photocopying Nick Grimshaw/Grimmy’s face with the office photocopier late last night after the festival had finished, so I can safely say this weekend is going to be one I will always remember. Alongside the necessary tasks of tape labelling, organising the office, driving the buggy (so much fun!), collecting teas and coffees and generally making sure you do anything, which helps the team, this weekend consisted of so much more.

I actually ended up spending the majority of the weekend in the presenter area where the interviews and acoustic performances for Channel 4, T4 and 4Music took place. On Saturday morning I had the most incredible personal experience as Nick Gill, the Channel 4 floor manager asked if I could help out in the presenter area, however at this point I didn’t realise that I’d be sitting on the set where Grimmy and Jameela take their interviews. I was used to help the camera operators, directors and producers decide where the presenters should sit and therefore I saw the process from the presenters point on view. The bright lights, the red and quirky set, the three cameras, the autocue and the people all made it very clear to me that I would love to wake up in the morning and have a job which allowed me to be in the position everyday!

Whenever I wasn’t needed at Blink TV I kept retreating back to the presenter area and caught live acoustic performances from the likes of Aloe Blacc, Jessie J, Yasmin, Wretch 32…. And of course I had my input by cheering and clapping when it was needed. I got to watch the live interviews that Grimmy and Jameela did with the likes of Mark Ronson and NDubz up in the studio. Who knew that NDubz actually had three HUGE security guards that went with them everywhere?

Both Laura and myself were based at Stage One/ V Stage and therefore the constant sound of music was just awesome. I loved the fact that when a performer came on which we especially liked Holly, Floss or KJ (who were our supervisors) just told us to go watch them and have a good time. It meant I got the chance to watch Ellie Goulding, You me at six, Lost Prophets, Artic Monkeys, KT Tunstall, Dizzee Rascal, Bruno Mars and others from the front!!  And then there was Rihanna and Eminem. Rihanna performed her set first and was incredible! After the first couple of songs Jameela joined us and danced and joked around and I can now vouch for how lovely and hilariously funny she is. It was definitely one of the highlights as Rihanna got the entire crowd dancing and jumping to the beat. At 9pm Eminem took to the stage and his set was insane! However from the backstage view it was even more entertaining to see the amount of security that is used for just one person, he even had the whole place put on lockdown! At the end of his set Ali, who is the artist liaison and therefore connects the music industry with the television industry, gave Laura and myself passes into the VIP Louder Lounge. The Louder Lounge was the VIP of VIP areas although unfortunately when we went we couldn’t spot any performers/celebrities, probably because most had gone home in their amazing tour buses by that point.

All together this was an experience I will never forget and I want to say a big big thank you to Dermot, Jim and David for organising it!

Non-Stop V Talk

The office is buzzing with the excitement/ hectic schedule and organization that is still needed to be made for the festival. With a constant flow of CD’s entering the office, Laura and myself have become key experts at copying the CD’s and creating replicas to send to the key players, plus I think the ladies at the post office must love us with the amount of times we’ve seen them over the past week.

I had my first experience of ringing up people yesterday who are attending the festival due to working with Blink TV and got to answer the phone with “Blink TV, Yasmine speaking” and do you know what, I could get used to that!

I am actually so excited for the festival and experiencing it from the position that we’ll be in. BACKSTAGE! The performers, the crew, the lovely workers that we’ve been with for the past week, the fact that we don’t have to camp, the hopefully outrageous and hilarious requests we’ll get from the artists, the live exclusive performances, the sneaky drinks at the end of each successful day, the total experience that we will get from this…….just WOW!

4 Days til the big festival…. V.

As it edges closer and closer to V, I’m starting to feel the side effect of 7am wake ups and an almost two hour journey to work and back! You’d think I’d be use to it, waking up early for college for the past two years, but apparently not.

Nothing too interesting to tell this week. Matt Edmondson popped down for a meeting yesterday. Yet again, i was in, well… shock. We’ve had quite a treat with seeing the likes of T4 presenters; Matt Edmondson, Nick Grimshaw, Jameela Jamil, and of course, TV personality Keith Lemon. You’d think we were running some sort of celebrity club here!

Although these kinds of people pop down. We haven’t met them. No words of wisdom, no hugs goodbye, not even photos. We’re being too professional about this. Our tasks are to photocopy, and visit the post office before closing and occassionally do a tea/coffee run. I’d imagine you’re sitting there wondering where the ‘fun’ is in this experience, but the weird thing is, this is all fun. We don’t mind making coffee or tea, it helped us learn names. Photocopying is genuinely fun, we’re doing hundreds of copies a day. And visiting the post office has allowed us to head home early. Not that we’ve gotten home any earlier than half 7.

Soon beings V Festival though, which means earlier starts, later finishes and being constantly drained of all energy and abilty to speak. Can’t complain though, it will be amazing. We will walk past artist’s we’ve only ever dreamed of, and the crew are always making us giggle.

What am i thinking right now? How much i just want a nap haha.