What are the main aspects of your role?
Job title: 4Talent Team Assistant and Personal Assistant to Head of People Services, HR
It’s a bit cliché, but no day is ever the same. Diary management is my smallest yet most consistent task; meeting invites popping into the diary throughout the day and I deal with them as they come.
4Talent on the other hand, is the arm of Channel 4 that does the outreach across the UK to inspire and engage young people to find or create their paths into the creative industries. We hold 4Talent Days which are roadshows all over the UK, a day full of workshops with industry specialist speakers, every other month. We have a team of 3 and my role consists of: cross checking arrangements for the 4Talent Days with the producers, managing the communications for 4Talent (social media, marketing material, website maintenance), public speaking at our events and other events as an ambassador for C4/4Talent. Planning and hosting events to engage young people who aren’t yet in a role they aspire to be in, running assessment days for our schemes: graduate programme, apprenticeships, production training scheme etc. I manage the work experience scheme, so putting the applications live, shortlisting and liaising with department managers. So, not much really!
What is your morning routine before you get in to the office?
As soon as my alarm goes off, I switch on Good Morning Britain (I’m a traitor, I know – watching ITV). I get ready for work and start my journey, catching a train into London, usually reading or listening to music. I’m currently reading a book called Bodhisattva Blues, a personal account of a regular guy who got into Buddhism – a nice easy read! Then I grab my breakfast and pop in to see my mum at work, who manages a Barbers literally opposite Channel 4. And when I say literally, I mean the guys literally look out the window to see if the shop’s busy! Then I reach my home – my desk!
What time do you get into the office and what time do you leave?
I arrive to work most days between 9-9:30am, and leave between 6-7pm, unless we have an event of course – then it becomes a night shift, usually leaving around 9-10pm.
What does an average day look like?
An average day, I can’t put any better than mental! Every day here in 4Talent is very exciting and fast paced, with lots of tight deadlines we have to deliver work by. So our days can really vary, some days may consist of planning for an event and lots of meetings, some shortlisting all day, some preparing for assessment days/ 4Talent Days – all of the admin work, so this includes registration sheets, name badges, confirming room bookings etc. Some may be going out to colleges or careers fairs, presenting 4Talent and promoting our opportunities. It’s all very exciting!
What do you have for lunch?
I try not to eat too much of a heavy lunch as I can’t cope when I get a post-lunch food coma! I love an interesting salad, that has a bit of everything in! (we have a salad buffet store by us, which is amazing!)
What is the hardest part of your day?
Waking up in the mornings! Especially in the winter, when it’s dark in the mornings and you just wish you could remain snuggled up all day. Also gaining the motivation to train in the evenings, no matter how knackered I am!
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I love the rewarding feeling of my role, as we help a lot of young people follow their dreams and kick start their careers in the media or creative industries. Having someone email occasionally saying something along the lines of “thanks for what you said/did that day, I’ve now got a placement at XXX” – the acknowledgement that you helped someone or even just gave them the confidence and courage to do something amazing is just a beautiful feeling; for example having an apprenticeship assessment day on a Friday and being able to give the role to the person that deserves it the most that may not perhaps get the break they need elsewhere, being able to give someone that opportunity just ends the week on such a high! Also that it includes lots of outreach work, not every day is spent behind the desk. We get to travel quite a bit which is really fun.
What has been your career highlight?
I began my career at 16 at Channel 4, two weeks after finishing my GCSE’s in year 11 as an apprentice in the IT department. A few weeks in to my apprenticeship, my apprentice college tutor asked me to fill out a survey about my role and my opinion on apprenticeships – about two weeks later I had an email informing me I’d won the place of being the face to represent apprenticeships for South London! It was an amazing experience. This is where my public speaking began, and I watched my confidence grow. I was invited in for photo shoots and interviews and phone call interviews, and then before I knew it my CRINGEY photo was all over London underground and on all of the National Apprenticeship Services marketing material – which was quite cool!
What do you do in the evening with your spare time?
I spend most of my evenings either at the gym or at an outdoor training club called Spartanfam! On Wednesdays we train in Maidavale at Paddington Rec, and on Fridays we train in Shoreditch. I love it, it’s a fun way to get fit, as well as another social circle.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to other assistants?
One crucial piece of advice I’d give to other assistants would be; love what you do, and you’ll never work a day in your life! This is such a lovely quote, and means a lot to me as I really enjoy my role. Life really is too short to do something you despise and sometimes being an assistant you can be pushed into a corner being made do things you don’t enjoy or want to do, but stand up for yourself when needs be and don’t afraid to be heard.
What would you do if you were not an assistant?
If I wasn’t an assistant, currently, I’d like to be a 4Talent Co-ordinator. Taking on a bit more responsibility, doing what I’m doing now, but having dropped the assistant duties!