In early February 2020, a group of Arts and Media professionals joined a selection of students from the Middle Years and Sixth Form to enjoy a networking breakfast.
A total of 9 tables of students were joined by staff and over 20 guests with roles such as Journalists, TV Producers, Art Directors, Agents and Editors from several high profile media operations such as Virgin Media, Universal Pictures and the BBC, as well as innovative independent companies.
Students were able to learn more about the pathways that these successful individuals had followed, their particular roles and the organisations they work for, and in several cases, have founded.
Students found the event very useful and informative. Fifth Former Horatio al-Saadi, commented, “This breakfast was a wonderful opportunity to gain contacts with some top executives, such as Ralph Lee. I also found it a great way to secure some future work experience for the summer. It was a very good idea and a positive experience for all the boys.”
Ben Duffy, Fourth Form said he found "the whole experience enlightening" and went on to say he was interested to see "how many jobs there are out there in the world which can fit with your interests and how many of these jobs can be interconnected with each other depending on which qualities you possess."
Lower Sixth Former Ryan Ho added, “It was very insightful to learn more about the intricacies of the industry from the people at our table. I am keen to get into a career in finance and so understanding behind the scenes of the Arts and Media industry, and how finance plays such an important role, was very helpful.’
The morning of discussion and networking was closed by Old Whitgiftian Ralph Lee, Director of Content for BBC Studios. Ralph reflected on his time at Whitgift and spoke passionately about why the arts and media industry was so significant globally, employing many people behind the scenes in professions such as law and accounting. He emphasised that there is a very strong demand for British drama and productions from the rest of the world.
Finally, he emphasised that students should look to find careers that they were passionate about, and that by doing that, like him, he would expect they would never feel like they were actually ‘working’.
If you are a parent or alumnus and would like to support Whitgift by attending one of these events in the future, please contact us