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James Williams

Graduated 2014

Sound board at a gig

When I was looking at universities, no other university was able to offer the same level of support in setting me up for a job in industry at the end of my studies.

The vast number of work experience opportunities, combined with highly relevant teaching units and access to industry standard facilities, made finding my first job remarkably straightforward for me.

Working at Glastonbury in 2014 as the outside broadcast unit manager was a stand-out highlight. We had a complicated rig to put in place for the headline Saturday night act (Fat Boy Slim), which, when we pulled it off, was a triumph for all involved. We operated with such professionalism and had an absolute blast. Truly awesome. The previous year we also had our Rudimental footage played on BBC 3, which was another personal highlight of mine.

Being able to walk into an interview and have a grounding in the terminology and the fundamental principles that underpin the technology gives an instant leg up on the competition.

Combine that with the industry work experience - which I would encourage every student to take up when offered - your potential employer will recognise they have a well-rounded starting point in you as a candidate.

Once I graduated, I was lucky enough to secure a place at Arqiva, the UK infrastructure company that operates the terrestrial TV network Freeview, on their graduate programme, where I quickly worked my way up to become a platform developer working on OTT (over the top) products and services - live streaming and video on demand (VoD). Here, my career highlight was live streaming the FIFA Club World Cup and building a live to VoD system from scratch in two weeks flat! I have recently made the hop to a new position working at Amazon Video.

I’d recommend this course if you’re interested in the technology behind media production and distribution. From festival production, live sound and lights, TV studios, and transmission technologies - the course covers all aspects of the TV (and radio) eco-system.

If you’re trying to get into the industry, be open to new things. I originally started my course at Solent on the sound engineering course, but after doing a summer internship at Ericsson (offered by the uni) I decided to change to broadcast, and can honestly say it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.

Do work hard at your studies, but enjoy Southampton too, and ALWAYS get involved in the work experience that comes your way. You won’t know you love something until you try it, and likewise what you think you like you might actually end up hating in reality – so find out now what it is that gets you out of bed in the mornings!