BBC Generation 2015 was a programme run by the BBC where 200 young people aged 18-24 were picked to represent the views and issues of young people and politics. These young people were picked from a variety of backgrounds and had a variety of experiences. As part of BBC Generation 2015, I had to go through an interview process to be one of the 200 young people chosen. I had never been to essentially an audition before so thought as Generation 2015 is coming to an end, I thought I would talk about how I got to be part of it.
Firstly, I had to fill out the application form. I found out about the opportunity on Twitter but saw it advertised on the BBC news website as well. The application form took forever, it was about four pages long I think. I remembered the form being a PDF and a nightmare to fill out because of the formatting. I emailed it off and played the waiting game.
I got a phone call a few weeks later inviting me to audition. As I lived, at the time, in Stoke-on-Trent but originally come from Lincolnshire the BBC in Hull were keen for me to audition there. But in the case I couldn’t get there, they gave me the option of auditioning in Birmingham and Manchester as well. Unfortunately, I happened to be on jury service at the time all of the auditions were taking place and I couldn’t commit to a day. Manchester was the first audition on the list and when I found out I wasn’t going to be in court that day I headed down to Media City.
When I arrived in the room I had my ‘game face’ on as you would call it. There were about 20 young people in total all around this table and I knew that I had to say enough that I was remembered but not be too domineering. Dave Howard who managed BBC Generation 2015 made us all at ease really quickly. Firstly he went round the table asking our name, age, occupation and if we were going to vote and if so who we were going to vote for. After this, we gave our opinions on a variety of topics ranging from immigration to NHS to education.
After lunch, there was a recording into a camera piece. I have never really spoken into a camera before so wasn’t sure what to expect but knew I had to perform well. My piece you can see in my Generation2015 profile here. I did this in one take and was pretty chuffed about that as most people had to do theirs more than once. We also helped Radio 5 live with their piece called ‘My first election as…’ So we spoke into an iPad about what it is our first election as. I said it will be my first election as a full-time worker.
Afterwards, Dave took a head shot photograph of us and explained that we had done well but not all of us would be picked as he had to allow for political non-partiality (a lot of people in my cohort supported one political party) he let us know when we would hear from him and then we headed home!
A few weeks later I hadn’t heard anything back and I noticed that some people from the Manchester audition had already done some radio work with the BBC. I got an email from the BBC asking for more people to get involved (I don’t think that email was meant for me) so I emailed back saying that I was disappointed that I hadn’t heard that I had been rejected considering I went to the interview and only found out because I saw people from my cohort doing some pieces. Dave emailed back saying that they were going to make a final decision in a few weeks and that some people were needed quicker than expected. Two weeks later I got a phone call telling me that I had got in!
What did I think of the interview?
The process was what I thought it would be like. I was pleased with my own interview performance (I obviously did enough to get chosen!) but was amazed at the amount of stuff and experiences that the other young people had done. Whether that was working at a soup kitchen or setting up their own business or gone through something horrific in their life and come out the other side stronger. As I was one of three people who worked full time and one of the oldest there, I knew that would put me at an advantage because the others were mainly students. So my experience wasn’t just based on being in education as it is different working full time compared to being in education full time. I also did my camera piece in one take which I thought would have helped as well. It was tiring speaking about politics for six hours straight but I enjoyed the day and got chosen so am happy.
*This post is my opinion only and is not endorsed by BBC Generation 2015
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