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Peace Olabode

BA (Hons) Media Production
Graduated 2020

Peace Olabode operating a camera

I didn't really consider myself as someone who was academically driven and I struggled a lot at college; they weren’t very helpful at understanding my learning processes, so in the end I didn't do so well at my A-levels and didn't have enough UCAS points to go into university directly.

So that’s how I ended up doing my foundation year in media and culture. Solent offered me what I really wanted, and even though I'd spend longer in University it was 80% practical and 20% written, so that suited me a lot better.

It was great to learn the different areas of media, and when I did go into year one of my degree, it gave me a little bit of an edge over anyone who had just started onto the course. I had a better understanding of the media world, and a little bit more technical knowledge.

When I got onto the degree after my foundation, everyone on the course was super nice and I had a great relationship with the course leaders; which is what you want, you want people who will understand you. So I think media production at Solent is the course for you if you want the best understanding and the best help in learning about media.

Media production at Solent is for you if you want to learn it, and want the coolest lecturers, the chillest lecturers!

I didn’t feel like I was just a statistic, that the lecturers were trying to, you know, get us to pass and that was it; I felt like they genuinely did want us to understand and succeed, adapting to what each individual student needed. It just made the experience a lot better for me.

And the opportunities for experience, work experience, were great. Solent Creatives, the University’s in-house agency, is great - I think the best selling point for the University. I did a lot of work experience, about 600 hours!

The thing I’ll never forget though, was working at Glastonbury. I'd never been to a festival before, never worked at a festival before, and it was great working with other students who clearly wanted nothing more than to be in that position, working really hard.

I was a producer, with my own little team, and I coordinated what we needed to shoot and collect for each day of filming, to give the client what they wanted. It was fantastic experience. We were all a team, a collective.

And it really helped with that transition to the world of work, all that work experience. After I got this job I had a conversation with people from the production about our ins into the industry, and my production coordinator told me, “the fact that you went to university and had that many hours of work experience was the reason we picked you.” So if I hadn't gone to university, I don't know how I would have gotten that. My work experience really helped me sell myself on the job market.

Solent Creatives is a freelance agency, which helps you build yourself up as a freelancer ­– a real freelancer, not just a student employee. It helped me set up my own brand, know how to do invoices, develop a logo, build my website up … and it also provided some money!

Even with all that, though, finding a job after I graduated wasn’t straightforward, wasn’t easy. I worked freelance a bit, with people that I already knew or friends, I would just help out with photography and videography.

My local café, I helped out with some poster designs and photography for them, and they’d connected me with a lady called Nancy who was the organiser for Lewisham Creative Futures; Lewisham was the London Borough of Culture for the year, and Nancy was looking for someone to help promote the events that were happening. But she also started sending me opportunities as well.

And one she sent me, very last minute because the deadline was the day that she sent it to me! It was titled PA [Production Assistant] for a Netflix production, so I sent my CV. I didn't really think I would get anything, and after hearing not hearing anything for two weeks, I forgot about it.

Then I got a call from this unfamiliar number, and I didn't answer because … you know us Gen-Zs, we don't answer numbers that we don't know. So I let it just ring out! Then I saw I’d been left a voicemail, and I heard this woman saying "Hi, I'm from Netflix".

I didn't even finish listening to the voice note! I just called her number back, and the same day I had an interview with her ... then I got a call at the end of the week saying we would like to offer you this job as production assistant (PA) for a Netflix show, you might’ve heard of it, called Bridgerton!

So don't ever stop working, don't ever stop working hard. Even if your job is not within the industry now, don't ever stop networking and talking to people. Go to events, those little BFI events. Go to film festivals, always network. Always be nice and friendly, you don't know who is going to offer you a job. And always answer your phone!