I'm Jamie Shaughnessy and have 22 years on the clock. Right, so only now am I realising just how quickly the last few years have gone by as I try and work out what I'm going to write for this. I started my apprenticeship at Channel 4 in March 2011 when I was 18, I worked in the music department – our job was to source the music that was used on the channel's promos and ensuring they were clear (legally) to be used. This was the first big step in my career. I learned a huge amount from the (great) people around me and picked up much of the knowledge and hands on experience that played such an important part of me being able to secure future roles through learning on the job day to day.
Due to the nature of my role I was in contact with lots of different record labels and publishers which, again, played an integral part of forming the basis to having a solid foundation to build upon on for future jobs. By the time I'd left Channel 4 both my network of contacts and level of experience were at a solid level and were both unobtainable through studying a degree at university – another reason why I always encourage people to look into the apprenticeship route, especially in the creative/music/arts industries.
Prior to my apprenticeship at Channel 4 I finished my A-levels when I was 17 (studying English, media and history). I then
worked in a secondary school for a year as a teacher assistant/learning mentor helping kids who were a similar age to me with their GCSEs. This was an amazing and invaluable experience that taught me so much about myself and helped boost my confidence with dealing with people all of ages. From there, in and out of working in retail and selling frying pans (gots to get that pocket money yo), I started looking at internships after deciding I was interested in working in a music/media environment. I spent months scouring the internet on and off for opportunities and positions and eventually came across the apprenticeship at Channel 4.
Once my apprenticeship ended I went on to work at a range of places in different capacities including Ninja Tune (internship), Princess Productions and Warner/Chappell Music. I've recently secured a new role at CAA (Creative Artists Agency) and will be working in music touring/booking. I'll never forget where I started and (without sounding too much like the little green aliens from Toy Story) am eternally grateful for the opportunity I was given at Channel 4 – I hope that other young people who are about yo or have already left school consider looking into the apprenticeship route. It won't be something you'll regret.