Thursday, 3 May 2012

What the Media Sector want of Graduates

I attended BBC Academy Open Day for Universities yesterday. Top executives shared with a group of academics from UK universities their ideas on graduates' skills and knowledge. Below is a summary of their main points:

Lucy Adams – Director of Business Operations, BBC and Pat Younge – Chief Creative Officer, BBC opened the session and in summary explained what they would like from graduates:

Able to defend opinion
Comfortable with ambiguity & change
Fusion of skills … towards a polymath
Mental Agility
Need to know how to think
Perseverance of opinions

Pat Younge told us about a kid called Jamal with a dream of working in television. So what did he do? He started SBTV. “What started out four years ago as a teenager, his handycam and a YouTube account, has now evolved into a ten-strong production team who have come together to create something fresh, new and exciting. Founder of SB.TV, Jamal Edwards, set out with no expectations when he first began running around his local west London estate filming with the latest hot grime MCs from around his area. Today that’s all changed and SB.TV the brand, with their 50+ million YouTube views and tens of thousands of subscribers, Facebook fans & twitter followers, have some serious plans for global domination”. SBTV Website
The implied suggestion here is that Jamal could not have succeeded without the qualities listed above.

David Doherty, made a keynote presentation and a summary of his points is below:
Revolution in communications, digital and IT is just beginning – speed and storage issues will disappear
Traditional methods of leadership will work no longer – Leadership in hierarchical structure is cracking up
Universities need to help graduates learn how to learn … teach people how to think
Aptitudes which will win out he suggested:
Self awareness
Multi-cultural collaboration
Capacity to develop new skills and behaviors
Excellent communication skills

A skill is a repeatable process in a predictable environment – it can be learnt through continuous practice. Expertise on the other hand is the application of theory to practice.
Myles Runham – Producer of the One Show claimed the following were qualities he looked for:
Analytical skills
Ability to differentiate between fact and PR
Specialist knowledge
Camilla Lewis, Independent Producer values these qualities
Having something to say
Huw Edwards, Newsreader mentioned
A hinterland of interest
Curiousity about how the world works

1 comment:

  1. It is interesting that the BBC are looking for professional attributes rather than subject skills or knowledge. Attributes are more attitudinal in nature; about how we behave and respond in a professional environment. Can Universities really deliver this through a couple of lectures a week and an assessed essay? Or are these attributes better developed over time as a practice?... a 'professional practice'?