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My volunteering experience

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Published: December 5, 2018

Work Experience with BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking

Early this year I was lucky enough to volunteer at the Sage Gateshead for BBC Free Thinking Festival. The festival is where talented thinkers come together to discuss this year’s topic of emotions and includes events such as debates, talks, and live versions of the programmes that BBC Radio 3 Broadcast. I was told about the event from one of my lecturers, so I applied for the opportunity. During the application process, I had to talk about why I thought I would be suited for the role and share my ideas on what theme I would create a radio broadcast around. This was then followed up by a phone interview with Victoria Gunn.

Before volunteering, I was given a schedule of events I would be partaking in, as a Media Production student I was especially excited to be getting to mic run two of the broadcasted events! This was for the opening free-thinking debate 'What is the emotion of now?'  one of the biggest events of the festival. It was a great opportunity for me to gain media-related experience and interact with the audience members.
Another opportunity I got was to work in the green room, this involved making sure that the room was always kept tidy and help anyone out where needed. In this role I was able to talk BBC producers and presenters, with many asking about my interests in the media industry, this was such an amazing aspect for me as I was able to gain insight into the industry from those actually in it.

Another highlight for me was getting to work with the general public, from their involvement in debates to trying out new things. One thing I got to experience for the first time was VR (Virtual Reality) and I got to introduce members of the public to this new technology as well. It was great to be able to see how this works and just how immersive it is! It was interesting to see how the media is developing this area and the creation of films for virtual reality and the interactivity in them.

One of the things I loved most about the festival was being able to meet new people – I met several fellow university students from across the UK as well as students from the University of Sunderland. This helped me feel so at ease, everyone was so lovely and friendly that it made the days much easier.
As the only first-year volunteer, I think this has given me a great head start in being able to look for future volunteer opportunities and gaining experience for when I graduate.

I think it also helped me grow in confidence in myself and on my course as it pushed me out of my comfort zone giving me loads of new experiences.


Topic: Advice and tips