Trying to get some work experience is often seen as a scary task for young people, but it really doesn’t have to be! One of our student’s recently got himself a work placement for a couple of days and we wanted to share his experience so that other young people can see that these opportunities start just by asking a simple question!
Oliver, the stage is yours, tell us about yourself?
Hello, I’m Oliver and study on the Level 3 Music Production & Performance course at Dv8 in Brighton. I’m very interested in music production, music tech, and live sound. By the end of my time at Dv8, I hope to have a greater understanding and broader experience in both music production and performance, as well as getting some opportunities to have a taste of what happens in the professional music industry.
You recently got yourself a work experience placement, tell us how that happened?
I got a work placement at local arts venue Komedia. My music class was regularly attending sessions there and I took a real interest in what was going on pre-event and during as I love live sound and music technology. I expressed my interest by asking lots of questions and getting to know the staff who were helping our class. I eventually asked if there were any opportunities for me to do a little bit of work experience and the lead sound tech said that I could come in a couple of times, shadow his work and get involved. I took his email address and we arranged a couple of days for me to come in on.
That’s awesome! What did you do on your placement?
I helped to set up bands and the stage by plugging in cables and bringing out the stage, and generally helping out where I was needed. I also got to do some live monitoring which involved changing the camera angles remotely so that the image fit with what was happening on the stage. For example, when an artist was soloing I would point and focus the camera on them / their instrument. I also got to take part in the turnaround which is basically when bands change over and you have to quickly get the equipment setup for the next band mid-gig which was very fun and exciting. There were lots of opportunities to listen and ask about what roles other members of staff and crew had – all really interesting to find out about!
What did you learn from your experience?
I learnt a lot about the production of live shows and what goes on before artists step on stage; setting up the cables, how soundchecks work, how important lighting is in a music gig, what’s expected from different roles, etc.
My placement went very well and I’ve also been asked if I want to make this a regular experience to which I said yes!
What advice can you give to other students that are seeking work experience?
Show professionals in the industry that you’re interested in what they do and just talk to them and ask if there are any opportunities going. The worst that can happen is that they say no! Once you’re on your placement, show that you’re keen to learn, listen and embrace everything they have to offer!
So there we have it! All it takes is a little bit of confidence to ask if there is any work experience you could take part in. We promise the experience will be worth that initial burst of courage. Have you got any other top tips for young people wanting work experience? Leave us your tips in the comments!
If you’re aged 16-18 and want a real taste of what the world of work is like, take a look at our Paid Internship Programme – you can join us at the end of January!