NEP UK Student Open Day 2017 - Giving Broadcast a Brighter Future

The future of broadcasting lies in the hands of today's young talent. It is the responsibility of the industry to nurture, train and develop this pool of future broadcasters, and this is what NEP UK firmly believes.

Bracknell, UK

The future of broadcasting lies in the hands of today’syoung talent. It is the responsibility of the industry to nurture, train anddevelop this pool of future broadcasters, and this is what NEP UK firmlybelieves.

NEP UK has, for a long time, been a leading provider ofbroadcast services, with a team of experts working on world famous events, suchas Wimbledon, the Olympics and Premiere League football. To future proof thesuccess of the company and continue to deliver high quality services, NEP UKunderstands it can not only look at technology but at the people behind,powering it and making the magic happen.

This was the main message at NEP UK’s third annual StudentOpen Day.

Attending students ranged from 15-year-old school pupils touniversity leavers, and the day was filled with various talks and paneldiscussions from industry leaders including BBC, Sky, ITV and BT Sport. Therewas also a chance to get hands on with lots of crucial broadcast kit. 

In his opening remarks, Steve Jenkins’, President NEP UK& Ireland, discussed how NEP UK wanted to raise awareness of the broadcastindustry. The company wanted to provide the future talent with an opportunityto openly ask questions to experienced and seasoned professionals, plus get ataster of what working in the industry is really like. 

Each session highlighted the importance of how having apassion and love for broadcast is key to a successful career and what willdrive the industry forward, and this was very much the theme for the rest ofthe day.

Climbing thebroadcast ladder
The first session of the day saw Darren Long, Director ofSky Professional Services, talk about his experience of climbing the broadcastcareer ladder. He was later joined by Chris Bretnal, Founder of CreativeBroadcast Solutions, Tom Giles, Technical Broadcast Manager at All England LawnTennis Club, Anna Ward, Head of Production for Premier League Productions andNEP UK’s Steve Jenkins, to share their thoughts on what they look for whenhiring new talent.

The key personality traits each panellist was truly lookingfor in a candidate was keenness, passionate, a can do attitude and absolute curiosityfor the industry. It was also discussed how a sense of ‘team spirit’ is crucialto anyone wanting to work in Outside Broadcasting (OB) due to the ‘on the road’nature. 

Working atWimbledon
The All England Lawn and Tennis Club hosted a session onwhat it takes to successfully broadcast the world’s most watched tennis event,The Championships, Wimbledon. Paul Davies, Head of Broadcast, Bethan Evans, BroadcastManager and returning to the stage, Tom Giles discussed in detail the planning,strategy and technology used to broadcast all games from the famous CentreCourt and No.1 Court, plus all the action surrounding The Championships. 

NEP UK’s youngtalent
The ‘Pathways Panel’ saw NEP UK and Royal TelevisionSociety’s Young Technologist of the Year, Kathleen Grey join the discussion viavideo uplink from Poland. The panel also consisted of Anna Patching, SoundEngineer - OBStv, Katie-Jayne Mills, Vision Engineer - NEP UK, Paul Halliwell,Project Logistics Manager - NEP UK and James Starling, Guarantee BroadcastEngineer, NEP UK to talk about their career journeys in broadcast. Againcementing the key to succeeding is the passion for the job, sighting thatwhilst a lot is asked of them there is nothing better than delivering asuccessful project – and sometimes that means working against all odds. Thecrew becomes family, and the places the job takes them are all massive perks ofthe job.

Sharing wisdom
The last panel of the day saw industry veterans take thestage to share experience and wisdom with the audience of budding engineers.Roger Pearce, Technical Director, ITV Sport Productions, Andy Beale, ChiefEngineer, BT Sport, Rob Newton, CTO, NEP UK, Clare Poppelwell, Editor:Ceremonial Events, BBC and Brian Clark, Major Projects, NEP UK discussedamongst themselves, and to the audience, the crucial attributes for succeedingin this industry. ‘Passion’ was again discussed as fundamental to succeedingalongside being able to sell and consistently challenging yourself. 

Trucking on…
Outside the panel sessions, each student was given theopportunity to see inside one of NEP UK flagship double extender UHD trucks,Equinox. Whilst taking a tour of the truck, students could hear from NEP UK engineersabout the day-to-day workings of the truck at high profile events such as theEpsom Derby and Royal Ascot.

NEP UK’s Student Open Day is just one of the many effortsthat is being taken to entice young and upcoming talent to the industry. Launchedearlier this year, in conjunction with leading universities such as Solent,Ravensboune, Surrey and Farnborough, NEP UK opened up an apprenticeship scheme,aimed at educating entry-level engineers in the wide range of disciplinesrequired for a career in broadcast services.

To reflect Steve Jenkins’ opening remarks, for thebroadcast industry to continue to thrive, companies need to not only invest in newtalent, but also inform them these careers in broadcast exist. We’re lookingforward to an even bigger and better event next year – leading to a brighterfuture for broadcast.

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