Ian Sharpe on making it in the booming TV industry

UofG Degree: MA EnglishFilm and TV (1999)

Job: Head of TV at Somethin' Else TV Studio, Sony Music Entertainment

In this episode we meet Ian, whose hard work and determination has led him to success in a highly competitive industry.

Graduate Ian quickly learnt that getting a foot in the door of the music industry would require rigorous preparation, and after beating 10,000 applicants to a BBC Trainee Scheme, embarked on a career in digital, radio, and TV that took him from Glasgow to London.

At a time when video streaming was growing, Ian was tasked with the challenge of visualising BBC Radio on YouTube for the first time, which gave him the opportunity to start experimenting with TV production, filming live music sessions and creating editorial pieces with presenters. With this experience he made the move to Head of Video at Somethin’ Else, making TV for BBC, Sky Arts, during the explosion of visual content in the early 00s. He made BAFTA winning tv and built a business which was eventually bought by Sony Music.

While Ian’s success is evident of his hard work, he’s not afraid to share his top tips that have helped get him to where he is today. Listen for interview pointers, what he looks for in recruiting new staff, and practical advice that’ll help you stand out from the crowd. We learn how he manages pressure, and why it’s worth trusting your gut. He is a strong believer in collaborative working, and that involving others at every stage can help take an idea from good to great.

Finally, Ian reflects on the change he has seen over the last 20 years within the industry. Learn how this change has shaped career opportunities available to students and recent graduates, including his sense that there are more roles than ever in TV as it continues to experience a boom.

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