Three weeks with Learning Waves
In the summer of 2017, I was lucky enough to be inducted in to Ireland's radio industry by being given a place on the Learning Waves Skillnet Broadcasting Bootcamp.
The course compromised of a live radio show broadcast as well as an intensive training course, where you were introduced to a wide-range of professionals at all stages of the career ladder. You could work in the industry for decades and not meet so many people, all of whom weren't just friendly but keen to provide advice.
The course is in high demand, and you may wonder how important the course actually is if you want to work in radio. When you desperately want to work in a job, it can be tempting to see a course like this and think it offers you a guaranteed green light to get that fun job you've always dreamed of. That would be a mistake.
Instead, you should see this course as an opportunity to leapfrog your way over some of the most difficult parts to making a career in the media industry. You learn the names of the people you need to contact and they tell you the secrets of how their processes work, and you learn that everybody really does know everybody.
Whether you get a place on the course or not, it's pretty obvious you need to work extremely hard to make it in radio. The assistance I picked up from the course is invaluable. But I don't want people to think just attending the course is all they need to do to get a job: it's only the start.
One thing which it was difficult to appreciate was how great it would be to spend three weeks in the company not-just of professionals, but with twelve like-minded people who, all with different backgrounds, were equally keen to break in to the industry. And I have no doubt many of them will.
This brings me to the biggest achievement of the course. It is not that the organisers have put together such an interesting event - although they have and that's great. The biggest achievement is that they managed to find 11 such great people who, along with the organisers, were a pleasure to be around.