Success Stories

Tara O'Leary

Production Coordinator, BBC

“I expected MAMA Youth to help me professionally but I was surprised by what a great personal experience it was...

“I expected MAMA Youth to help me professionally but I was surprised by what a great personal experience it was too and definitely the best way to get into television.”

26 Year old Tara O’Leary thoroughly recommends MAMA Youth Project as a direct route into the media industry for those who won’t give up and are willing to fight for it. She says the intensive training gave her an essential overview of the business in addition to the game changing confidence to help her succeed in interviews.

What is your current role?

I’m working currently within the TV and Media Operations Unit and my role is as a production coordinator, working across primarily BBC Four. I am helping with repeats and re-licensing as well as financing.

What were you doing before MAMA Youth Project and why did you apply?
When I first applied for MAMA Youth, I’d actually just finished University and I didn’t have much luck with getting any jobs so ended up volunteering for a while. A place called Media Trust gave me a lot of really good experience, but MAMA Youth was something that was kind of always in the back of my mind. I did work experience at Uni and that was with BBC Arts night programme and following that I had a conversation with the talent manager and she basically just gave MAMA Youth a glowing review and she was like, this is the best way into the industry so from then I always knew that it was something I really wanted to do.

What was it like doing the training?
It gave me a really good overview of everything! We had to do a blog, post a piece of content and reversion a piece of content and so much else. An overview of all the roles was really valuable because I feel like if you're doing something specific, maybe focusing on just researching the story you wouldn't be focusing on also doing the edits, for example. I feel like I did learn just as much in a short space of time as those on a longer training programme because the training was so intensive. It definitely worked for me!

Was the training what you expected?
I expected it to be a really good opportunity to learn and a good way to get into the industry but it was kind of surprising in a way as well because it was also a really good way to make friends. I thought about it from a professional point of view, but it was actually quite a nice personal experience as well.

Did you feel ready for the industry after the training?
I felt when I finished MAMA Youth that it gave me a lot more confidence because as I said, I couldn't really manage to get a job before and I kind of ended up doing just volunteer work which made me think, why am I not able to get a job? I mean I had got a little bit of experience, but I just wasn’t getting anything from it. After MAMA Youth I felt so much more confident as a person and I feel like as well as the new skills I’d obtained that maybe that came across in interviews and it just really, really helped.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about doing the MYP training?
It’s really difficult to get into the TV industry, I mean I went to university and learned quite a lot about the industry and before that I was studying media at college but I still couldn’t get in – MYP helps you get in. Never put yourself down before you've even started. If you want to work in the industry then don't give up, you need to make sure you're willing to fight for it. You should go for MAMA Youth because it's just a fantastic opportunity it’s probably the best way into work in television, so it doesn't matter how confident you feel or how confident you don't feel - you just need to go for it!