Olympic Boxing, Paralympics Shooting, Champions League Football. Read about Luke’s journey from work experience at London 2012 to training at a leading media company, which includes some great advice for undergraduates.
Name: Luke Somers
Job Title: Graduate Trainee
Working for: Deltatre – Sport Media Service Company
Studied: Film and Television
What is your role?
Deltatre is a world-leading sport media service company that provides operational, technology and consulting services for broadcast, web, result, graphics and sports business processes. My role in the company is on their graduate scheme which supports the development of aspiring graduates with a passion for sport and technology.
What is involved in your day-to-day work?
The graduate scheme runs for 2 years giving us 3 month rotations in each of the company departments, the departments are: Onstage, Backstage, Online and Commercial. The Onstage team supply our graphic and data services for top end clients; BBC’s Match of the Day, Barclays Premier League, NFL, UFC, British Athletics – to name a few. The Backstage team are in control of content production, this can range from tagging and live streaming sports events from around the world to video editing. Major clients for the Backstage team include; European Tour, England Rugby and the 2015 Baku European Games. Our Online solutions team can provide any digital media service for sport, most recently working with BT sport for UEFA Champions League coverage. Whether it’s a website, mobile/tablet app, video player or a second screen experience the collection of Online products allow our clients to seamlessly connect with global audiences. During the Commercial rotation graduates will be educated on all of Deltatre’s products and services and will then be encouraged to develop managerial skills in budget planning, marketing, presentations and soft skills that will help you in client meetings.
What have been your main career achievements to date?
Whilst still studying at Bucks I was given the opportunity to work at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games, which was an incredible experience. I was based at the Excel arena working as a Video playback operator during the Boxing. I probably had one of the best seats in the house, maybe 10ft from the ring, my role was to play back edited highlights and graphics on to the in-arena screens. After coming home for a week after the event I received a call asking if I would come back to work at the Paralympics as a Vision Mixer during the Paralympic Shooting event. Massive thanks to my tutor Stephen Partridge for getting us all in touch with the employer.
How has your qualification from Bucks helped your career?
Choosing to take the Sports and Live events pathway in my second year gave me an incredible amount of experience, having the chance to have your hands on a camera or just out on a OB almost every week gives you an a good amount of knowledge in how Live event broadcast works and definitely gave me a head start when making the transition from student to a fully fledged working professional.
Upon reflection, what skills did your qualification give you that help in your job?
The main applicable skill for me now is the editing knowledge I gained on the course, especially in the backstage team where you are responsible for clipping a live stream of an event – editing and publishing a highlight as quickly as possible on to social media streams or client websites. But also all of the experience I gained with each Outside Broadcast production, it is important that you learn and understand what each piece of kit does and how it works, as once you leave University it’s rare that you will have a chance to ‘play’ with a EVS machine or a vision mixer’s desk, get as much knowledge in your head now while you can.
Are there any misconceptions about your role/industry that you would like to address?
There is that common phrase of “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” – which isn’t exactly wrong, but you still need the knowledge in your head.
I prefer “It’s not what you know, it’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.”
You need to work hard and make a lasting impression and people will call you back again and again.
What advice would you pass on to your first year self?
Towards the end of my first year I sat down with my tutor to talk about my options for second year, he asked me “What do I want to be?” and just like 99% of the rest of my class I told him I wanted to be a film director. Which is achievable if you put your mind to it, but it’s an extremely tough industry to infiltrate, especially fresh out of Uni. He asked me to think about ‘reliable industry work’ and “What is ALWAYS going to be on our TV screens”…
News and Sports, I have come to learn are the ‘safest’ sections of the industry to find regular work, the TV industry is solely based on the experience of the staff. So advice to my first year self would be – Learn everything that is on offer, “Get your fingers in all the pies” then when you leave you’ll be prepared for almost all ‘entry level’ roles. Build on those skills and then you will stand a chance of becoming the next Spielberg.
Please tell us anything else about you, your time at Bucks, your industry or role that will be of interest.
One of my favourite experiences is the summer after I finished at Bucks, I flew out to the East Coast of America to teach a film course at a Summer Camp in Maine. I would highly recommend it to anyone on the course as it will show future employers that you have taken what you’ve learnt at University and gone on to pass on that knowledge to others. It will also give you tonnes to talk about in any interview you have.
A message from Bucks New University Alumni Service:
Luke has managed to pass on some great advice and make us thoroughly jealous at the same time. Can you match that?: Alumni Testimonials