University of Birmingham graduate, Rachael Heaven writes about her first five weeks at BBC West Midlands as part of the UoB Cultural Intern Scheme.Without sounding like a teenage girl, it is difficult to put in to words the experience that I have been having over the past few weeks. As opposed to previous internships, where the biggest task I had to tackle was how to brew the perfect cup of tea, my time at the BBC has provided me with a series of jobs that I have never experienced before. For somebody who has spent 5 years working behind a bar serving alcoholic sex pests and rowdy students, it is such a refreshing change to do something that challenges me in new and exciting ways.
From dressing up as a giant yellow bear (watch out for my television debut on the 16th November) to helping to produce radio shows, no day is quite the same. To date I have played a significant role in the organisation of two charity appeals, have learned to navigate Twitter (much to the dismay of my hashtag hating sister), recorded a blind man cutting the hair of one of the Radio WM presenters, and trawled the internet searching for potential partners in both the ‘Things to Do’ and the ‘Your Paintings’ projects.
The past weeks have been incredibly Children in Need centric – my fellow interns have been treated to a blow by blow Facebook account of my adventures as Pudsey the bear, much to their delight I’m sure. After spending a morning dancing with a group of 3 year olds my next task is to traverse the canals of Birmingham on a barge, which I am somewhat worried about considering how difficult I found it walking a couple of feet in the bear shoes. I have found it really rewarding to work on a charity appeal that has helped so many children in so many ways, a great cause that I am really proud to be involved with.
I have also been given the opportunity to help produce the Adrian Goldberg show. After what can only be described as a crash course in assistant producing, my fifth week was spent coming to grips with 7am starts and some of Birmingham’s more vocal, and opinionated, residents. My time working on this show has opened my eyes up to something I had never considered before and has really made me re-evaluate what I want to be when I grow up. I have found that people are really keen to help out and support you where they can.
Outside of work we interns have been experiencing culture at an incredibly fast rate. From Jazz rappers to Israeli dancers; string quartets on station platforms to obscure foreign films that nobody quite understands; it is so interesting to be exposed to things that we would never have usually experienced. I defy anybody to try and tell me that there is nothing going on in Birmingham.
The end of this week will see all of the work we have put in to Children in Need come to fruition, hopefully it will be a great night enjoyed by all. Post Children in Need projects in the pipeline include Stargazing, the Unsung Hero awards and a trip to Salford to sit in on Adrian Goldberg’s 5live show. It’s comforting to know that I am going to have something to keep me busy in the post Pudsey depression…