Hello, I Am Charlie
I dropped out of sixth form so didn't have any A-Levels to my name. I went out into the world of work quite young, not really knowing what I wanted to do. After a few years I realised my career wasn't taking me where I wanted to go. I wanted to learn more about the industry that I was actually passionate about - television - whilst gaining extremely valuable work experience at the same time. When I left school I felt so inadequate and like I'd failed. Looking back, I can't believe I felt that way; I made the right choice for me and I'm now obtaining a qualification while working for an organisation that I've always loved and admired.
Tell us more about your experience
My role sits within
the Audience Research and Insight team (within Strategy and Consumer Insight),
and involves a variety of day-to-day tasks researching and gaining insight into
the behaviour and attitudes of Channel 4's audience. This includes collecting
and reporting on data around audience volume and share (e.g. how many people
watched a particular programme and which demographic they came from), how
competitor programmes are performing (e.g. how well a new drama did) and
people's opinions of our shows (e.g. what they liked and disliked about a
particular Channel 4 series).
In my short time
with Channel 4, I've had the opportunity to work on a huge amount of research
around so many series; each of which have their own exciting and interesting
elements! I would have say the most interesting part so far has been sitting in
on research debriefs where focus groups have been carried out with panel
members from the public; listening to their thoughts, ideas and recommendations
around our content is fascinating.
My proudest moment
with the company so far was the buzz around the Black to Front campaign. I
hadn't started with Channel 4 when the Black to Front day aired, however I was
able to sit in on the resulting audience research debrief. Hearing about the
impact the campaign had on the ethnically diverse community made me so proud to
work for a company that actively promotes and exemplifies inclusivity, and
tries their hardest to make everyone's voices heard.
advice for someone thinking about doing an apprenticeship would be to do it! If
you're even questioning going to uni vs. doing an apprenticeship, you should do
the apprenticeship. You can gain the qualifications that will make your CV
stand out while also getting the work experience that uni students just don't
have the same opportunity to get. All whilst making your own money and not
getting into horrendous student debt. I would also say, if you are going for an
apprenticeship; shop around! There are so many different companies offering
them that you can be choosy about the employer you stay with while getting your
I have had lots of
support whilst on my apprenticeship. Channel 4 has been amazing ensuring I have
sufficient time to get all my work done for my course. Additionally, my manager
has been conscious of what I'm learning in my qualification and finding tasks
for me that will supplement what I've learned, so I can put the theory into
practice. Our early careers advisor takes the time to check in with us to make
sure we're all okay, which is so lovely and makes me feel like the company
really cares about my welfare as an apprentice.
tutor at Swarm is always quick to respond and patient in explaining things if
we don't understand. She also checks in with us outside of our workshops for
1-2-1s, reviewing our progress and ensuring we have everything we need.
"An apprenticeship is just the beginning! Once you've finished, having the qualification and the work experience behind you will open so many doors for you, that university won't necessarily be able to open."
I really hope I can
stay with Channel 4 at the end of my apprenticeship. I've had my eye on them as
an organisation I wanted to work for, for a very long time; I just had no idea
how to do it. Now I'm here, I would be gutted to have to let it go. Despite this,
I'm conscious of the fact that there may not be room for me; in which case I
would love to continue my career in television by moving to the research
department of another broadcaster, where I can still work in the industry I'm
deeply passionate about.
Interested in becoming an ambassador? Find out more!