Media Production Lecturer, Bradford College
now work as a Media Production lecturer teaching in Higher Education and I try
to replicate the atmosphere I experienced at Trinity in my teaching. The sense
of community and open door policy I received from my tutors at Trinity is
something that I aspire to offer for my students.
What made you choose to attend Leeds Trinity and what are your best memories from your time here?
I had looked around a few different places in Yorkshire and my native Liverpool but as soon as I visited Trinity I didn't want to go anywhere else! I was taken in by the surroundings and the sense of community, which was obvious from the student ambassadors.
The best memories I have from Trinity are all linked to the truly great people I came into contact with! Living in halls in first year gave me the opportunity to develop friendships with a diverse mix of wonderful people, who are all close to this day. Getting involved in the Union (first as Treasurer and then as Vice-President (VP)) and doing the Hall Warden service in my final year also allowed me work alongside some great members of staff too. It's a special place full of special people.
When (and how long) were you a VP for in the Students' Union and what were your priorities during your term?I was VP between 2004–2005 and was responsible for the finance side of the Union; so looking after the sports and societies, organising entertainment and representing students on various boards. Working in the Union allowed me to put into practice some of the things I'd learnt during the management aspect of my degree. That sabbatical year was lots of fun but it was also a nice stepping stone to the workplace.
How do you feel your time at Leeds Trinity has supported you in your career and life more generally?
In terms of career it's helped immeasurably! The work placements offered allowed me to work at a number of different commercial radio stations and that held me in good stead for when I worked at the BBC in Leeds for a few years, making radio programming with community groups. Trevor Thewlis was my radio tutor and he made me realise that good programming is about getting to the heart of an issue and telling a story people want to listen to.
I now work as a Media Production lecturer teaching in Higher Education and I try to replicate the atmosphere I experienced at Trinity in my teaching. The sense of community and open door policy I received from my tutors at Trinity is something that I aspire to offer for my students. In some institutions students are just a number, I never felt that at LT and I hope my students reap the benefit of that through my teaching.
Were you involved with any clubs and societies as a student?
I was part of the cricket club during my time as VP. I was also a member of the Bowler Hat and Badger Spotting Society, the mascot was a stuffed badger kept behind the bar of the Students' Union but I don't ever recall seeing any bowler hats. It was a very socially driven group with close to 100 members if I recall!
What three words would you use to describe Leeds Trinity?Rewarding, Friendly, Community
Can you give a brief summary of your current role(s) and how it came about?
I teach a variety of production based units across the BA Hons and HND in Media Production including Documentary Production, Radio Features Production, Research and Filmmaking. Having delivered training courses and created programming for BBC Leeds I became really keen to formalise my teaching. When Bradford College offered to provide formal teacher training, an opportunity to undertake my Masters and teach HE students in the subject areas I enjoy, the offer was too good to turn down!
Part of my current role involves me keeping my professional development up to date so having free time to work on my own film projects and writing is an aspect of my job I really enjoy.
What advice would you give current students/recent graduates embarking on a similar career path?I'd say don't turn down any opportunities to continue your professional development and if your employer is keen to provide Level 7 or Level 8 qualifications or send you to relevant conferences then take it with both hands. However, don't lose sight of what you enjoy teaching and keep up to date with your own projects. In addition to enriching your own experience the additional projects you take on will inevitably filter down to your student's learning experiences.