Passion and hard work led to dream job

Ayrshire College graduate Kirsty McLean, who works on the production of BBC shows like The One Show, talks about the importance of her time at college.

Before you came to college what were you doing?

I had a misfire start at another college doing social sciences which wasn’t really for me!

What made you apply for the HNC Media Analysis and Production course?

I’ve always wanted to work in film and television and I decided to follow my heart and make a go of it.

Tell us about your learning experience

Ayrshire College set me in great stead for obtaining my dream job. All of my lecturers were incredibly helpful and encouraging of everyone on my course. They really believed in every student and did their upmost at helping them achieve their potential.

The course covered a broad range of subjects covering all aspects of the media. I found this very helpful in helping me whittle down what it was that I wanted to do – whether it was camera work, management, film editing, radio or scriptwriting.

What was you most memorable moment at college?

I had a great time making my end of year project. I shot a brief history documentary and involved a local re-enactment group that I knew. I achieved some incredible shots and had a ball making it.

What did you do after college?

I went to Glasgow Caledonian University to study a BA (Hons) Media and Communication.

Tell us about your job at the BBC

I currently work in Production Management at BBC Television in Glasgow. I am based in the Factual Arts department where I make all kinds of forms of art documentaries – from short One Show VTs about Elton John to 90 minute high arts documentaries on the history of still life painting. I have also been incredibly lucky to be involved in some big events like the Olympic Games, T in the Park, the Commonwealth Games and Hogmanay.

I was aware from very early on that I wanted to work for a public broadcaster and had my eyes set on the BBC. In my fourth year at university I applied to be part of a talent scheme (Production Talent Pool) with the BBC. It’s a very competitive scheme but a fast track into life in television. The recruitment process took about four months and involved eight stages. I was lucky enough to get a place on this scheme and I landed my dream job before I graduated from university!

How did college help prepare you for this job?

College really kicked my dedication into gear. It re-affirmed my passion for the arts and made it clear in my mind that is what I wanted to do. I studied hard, which helped me get into a good university and get the ball rolling on my career.

Any advice to our new students?

Be dedicated in what you want to do. If it is truly where your heart lies, and you put in the work, you’ll get to where you want to be. Television is a notoriously hard nut to crack and I was consistently told ‘people don’t make it into TV’, but I figured that someone has to do it and I remained dedicated. Be passionate and work hard and the rest will come.

I would also say that experience is crucial, so make the most of you time at college and do any work experience that you can.

Have you got your dream job?

Absolutely – sometimes I look about and I can’t quite believe I’m here!

IMG_0017.JPGAyrshire College Ambassador, Kirsty McLean


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