4Talent Inspiration Week

Art installation 'Shelter', a giant number 4 made from discarded umbrellas by artist Stephanie Imbeau, winner Channel 4's BIG4 public art competition, stands in front of the Channel 4 building on March 4, 2009 in London, England. The piece, a representation of channel 4's logo, is constructed from unconnected blocks so that it only appears as the number 4 from a certain viewpoint.

Twitter is the reason that I discovered Inspiration Week. Having followed 4Talent I discovered the scheme and was delighted to be offered a place. I opted for masterclasses in Advertising, Journalism and New Media on the first day, with the latter being my workshop of choice for day two.

Day One was a great success. The two women presenting the advertising session were very knowledgeable and willing to answer any questions we threw at them, even when it came down to questions about salaries. Their openness impressed me as they realistically talked through the positives and negatives of the advertising industry.

After a (free!) lunch, I headed to New Media where I learnt about different positions and sectors within ‘New Media’, yet never learnt what the term actually means. Our mentor was none the wiser but his wealth of knowledge and time spent in the industry meant he had a lot to tell us. And I didn’t get bored or check the time once – which is pretty impressive for me…

Journalism was lead by a Radio Journalist who was frank about the industry but her session was interactive and enjoyable. We had to summarise press releases into three sentences, mimicking the time restraints within broadcast journalism. Whilst this is not a branch of journalism that I desire to work in, the session was informative and she tried to make it relevant for us all, despite our varying interests within the media.

If I have one regret about day one it would be that I didn’t choose Producing and Directing. Whilst I don’t have a huge interest in these areas, I discovered that Chris Atkins, the creator of Starsuckers, was taking the session. And if you’ve read my blog about that documentary, you’ll know why I’d have loved to meet the brains behind it all. I get the impression that many of the participants within that session hadn’t watched the film and so I would have loved to have been there, with the benefit of knowing about the documentary.

Day Two was a bit of a contrast to this. As opposed to a variety of activities we participated in just the one today. New Media was my workshop of choice. Having hoped/wrongly assumed it would be more about social media in relation to the internet (social networks/blogs), I was a little disheartened to walk into a session about gaming. However after an initial reluctance in the first half an hour, I embraced the workshop for the great opportunity that it was and threw myself into designing a Wii Surfing game. Our group’s complete lack of knowledge about surfing and minimal gaming knowledge didn’t hold us back and I think our pitch at the end of the day went pretty well.

Networking was a main reason I wanted to go to Inspiration Week. But it wasn’t what I came out with. Sure, I met many likeminded individuals who I hope to keep in contact with, but I came away wanting to go elsewhere and network. It inspired me to pursue more opportunities, and made me consider another summer of internships where I really could make the most of them. The 4Talent team who ran the event were all really friendly and approachable – I had a ten minute conversation on the first day with the alumni member who was taking photos about his background and his insight into the industry.

So whilst I found the second day to be different to my expectations, I enjoyed Inspiration Week for the amazing experience that it was. Would I recommend it? Definitely, but I’d advise you to think carefully about your workshop choices. Oh, and if you find yourself in a situation different to what you’d expected? Embrace it. It’s a chance to try something new. You never know, it could be something you fall in love with and inspire a total change of career choice.

Check out all the other 4Talent opportunities here.

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