Read about the skills and passion it takes to develop a TV station, alongside some great advice for students (our favourite: ‘The final exams start on the first day of class.’)
What is involved in your day-to-day work?
My role is to coordinate all television activities at the TV station.
I make sure that there are enough appropriate crews for various productions and I’m also responsible for managing Outside Broadcasting, which includes numerous opportunities to travel.
I also deal with the procurement of various items for the station, which puts me in constant contact with broadcast equipment vendors from all over the world.
What have been your main career achievements to date?
The main career achievement has been bringing the TV channel to fruition. We started from nothing to one of the largest TV stations in the country. I was employed to be part of the project team and also TV staff.
The fundamentals of starting a television station is embodied in a Project Management schedule, which includes activity of; initiation, planning, organising, motivating, and controlling resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific television goals.
Basically, the project conception and initiation involves developing an idea for the TV project, which is carefully examined to determine whether or not it benefits the station. During this phase a decision making team identifies if the project can realistically be completed within the resources and time frame.
In the project definition and planning stage, team members outline the work to be performed in which they prioritise the television project objectives, make budget calculations and schedules, and determine what resources are needed for each step or stage. And then at the TV project launching stage the resources’ tasks are distributed and teams are informed of their responsibilities.
The project performance and control stage requires that Project Managers compare the project status and progress to the actual plan, as resources perform the scheduled work. Like any other project, the television project also closes, and essentially, at this stage the television channel/station has already started broadcasting. However, the closing involves evaluating project tasks that are completed and the employer has approved the final outcome. The television team also evaluates the completion to highlight project successes and learn from project history. Zodiak television station broadcasts through several mediums including satellite, digital platform (DTT) and analog, all of which are evaluated.
How has your qualification from Bucks helped your career?
My previous academic background in television (undergraduate) did not sufficiently cover communication and business related subjects.
So the Bucks qualification has tremendously elevated my academic standing and long-term career prospects.
More importantly, I have gained new skills and knowledge. I am able to manage projects (Project Management), and have the ability to understand business planning (Strategic Management), to review and make legal recommendations (Legal/Regulatory), and deal with human resources matters (Human Capital).
Are there any misconceptions about your role/industry that you would like to address?
Yes, that television is easy. It’s not, and is in fact a very intensive industry, requiring hard work, commitment, and passion. It requires the ability to apply communication skills and it’s not an industry that you can “sleep-in.”
Also that anyone can do it! You really need to have some academic background in communication to better play the role!
What advice would you pass on to your first year self?
The final exams start on the first day of class.
To expand on this; to grow a passion in your chosen career requires one to start with a hardworking spirit in the first year. Working hard on reports, tests and exams, as if they are the final exam.
It also requires a hardworking spirit in multiple practices: if you can get a job in the chosen career work hard in it. If you can get an internship in the same career, again work hard. For everything you do, the commitment and passion must begin on the first day, because the last day depends on it.
Please tell us anything else about your time at Bucks that will be of interest.
I enjoyed my time at Bucks. My professors were very helpful and made great presentations of lectures. The faculty staff were even more helpful. Sometimes, actually many times, they would take questions and replied during off / late hours.
I ‘extracted’ a lot from my professors, and it paid off well. The output I got from them inspired me to study more so that I can eventually teach in a university. Following the completion of my Bucks studies I got admitted to Universities of Glasgow, Sussex, Reading, Bradford, Westminster, and Strathclyde (at the time of this writing I have not made a decision pending the availability of funding).
A message from Bucks New University Alumni Service:
View Lawrence’s LinkedIn profile to see more information about his career and awards.
Please also follow Lawrence’s wonderful example and let us know how your career has developed and pass on some equally fantastic advice.