Added on: 20th March, 2018 by Jerome _24539
The main hall of a Lewisham secondary school was buzzing after hours this week as students gathered to meet one of the UK’s top TV executives: the latest contributor to an on-going, horizon-broadening series of career-related guest visits and skill-building events. As part of the hour-long talk and Q/A session, the Year 10 and 11 pupils were advised ‘do what you love and love what you do - and if you are not sure what you love, then ensure no opportunity goes begging.”
Rufus Radcliffe, the current ITV group marketing director, was able to demonstrate how these principles had governed his own career to date: having moved from advertising to television and been a part of the industry as it has changed out of all recognition with the expansion of content platforms and social media. “The TV world is shifting more and more,” he said. “What TV companies are looking for are people who watch TV and are creative, but what form that creativity needs to take is far more inclusive than you might expect. The important thing to recognise is that there are so many more chances of a career in the business beyond appearing in front to the camera. Numerous professions involve highly transferable skills which TV companies are in need of.”
Mr Radcliffe’s visit was not the first to Addey and Stanhope this academic year, having come originally as part of the Speakers For Schools scheme: he was so impressed by the level of engagement he encountered that he offered to return. His talk included a whistle-stop tour of the current TV landscape and invaluable insights into the marketing campaigns, successful and otherwise, associated with specific programmes, including sponsorship. His enthralling talk included tales of the kind of stunts TV companies go in for to build-up shows into hits such as the distribution of branded swimming trunks at rail stations as a part of last year’s promotion of Love Island.
“I hope to take a media studies course at A-Level,” said Yunis Mohamed (16), “and this talk has certainly given me lots of ideas and insights.” His fellow Year 11 student, Kelvin Asante was equally enthusiastic: “It was inspiring – I had no idea of all the different aspects of marketing.”
Putting the event in context, business and computing teacher Jake Armstrong who is responsible for work-related learning at Addey and Stanhope School said: “A visit by a top TV executive would be quite something for any school, and so we are so pleased to welcome Rufus Radcliffe back again for a second time in under a year. Such after-school events are part of a programme of talks and skill-raising workshops designed to raise our students’ aspirations.”
Addey and Stanhope head teacher Jan Shapiro added: “These Monday careers talks are crucial in opening our young people’s eyes to what is possible and to careers they might not have considered or even realised existed. Mr Armstrong’s vision and his commitment to our students is the reason we have such outstanding careers provision and can attracts such prestigious speakers on a regular basis. Mr Radcliffe’s point that working in TV or the media generally, which is often high on students’ wish lists, can be achieved by many different routes, was clearly inspiring. I am so grateful to our careers visitors who make such a valuable contribution to our Addeys’ community.”