Hopping On A Plane From Germany To London For Work Experience At MTV, Here’s How I Did It
Honestly, it was hard. But totally worth it.
Heading to MTV in London for work experience, having hopped on a flight over from Germany, was nerve wracking. First though, let’s chat about the application process. Applying for a huge company like Viacom was not easy, particularly when you are not living in the country you’re applying to work in, but let me tell you - it’s possible!
With the help of the placement service Sirrond, my school, and a lot of time and effort on my part - my dream came true. Then a few months later the journey started.
Staying in London was a big worry at home, especially with my mum, as travelling as a 17-year-old woman can be dangerous. As living in Bielefeld, Germany, which only has a population of 334,919, is drastically different to living in London amongst 8 million people.
Nothing was going to stop me though, and my school gave the students the opportunity to travel together by airplane and to be hosted with a British family alongside my friend, which was the best sounding option for my worried parents.
Quickly enough, the first day at work rolled around, starting at 10.30am in the morning. Feeling accomplished, as I managed to travel to work on the tube (which let me tell you, is difficult), I was ready to kick start my first day. Entering through the main doors made me feel a little nervous inside, but my supervisor collected me and gave me a tour of the building, which made me feel much more comfortable. After a little introduction into the main goals of the MTV international team, I was shown where I’d be working for the next two weeks. You can imagine how bizarre it was to finally be able to sit at my very own desk, at company I’d spent so much time and energy trying to break into. It felt great.
During the day, I’d scour the internet for news, posts, etc. start on my to-do list. Since the weather was lovely during my first week in London (although it didn’t last long), I’d spend my lunch exploring Camden Town.
Working at a desk can be quite a quiet job, so I made sure I got up and spoke to as many people as I could to help improve my English skills. As a team, we worked on an event called ‘Push Live,’ where young and talented artists perform at a club called Tape and it’s filmed for the channel.
My task was to check if every single company website was posting short clips of the months chosen artist. Jade Bird was the Push Artist for March 2019. After I was settled, I’d have lunch in the main building with the interns and employees. For me, as a native German speaker, it was good to just hear people speaking in English.
I’d spend a lot of my time doing research for events the TAM (talent and music) team were putting on, such as looking up different artists, their fan bases and who they are as a brand.
Besides my every day work, I also had the chance to work at the monthly ‘Push Live’ event. The process of how the event space transforms into a little concert room with a stage, was really great to see and get involved with. Backstage I had the chance to speak with the host of the evening, Harriet Rose, and pick her brain for advice.
I joined the team in different meetings, such as the weekly video conference with the US team and Push Live. It was special to me to be able to work with two Nickelodeon employees to see how their workday looks like. The offices in London not only house MTV and Nickelodeon, but BET, Comedy Central and Channel 5.
Last but not least, a personal favourite for me was the Grace Carter concert MTV sent me to. It was stunning!
But less of work, and more on having fun, I was in London for two weeks after all. I got to explore new places, visit museums such as the British Museum/Library, Tate Modern, The Geffrye, and the Natural History Museum, which was one of my favourites.
Beside these very cultural activities, of course I went shopping on Oxford Street and met up with some friends that I made on an organised student exchange programme a couple of years ago. I had a great evening at Theatro Technis (the play was called THE C BOMB, so good). Oh, and I cut my hair. It was super long when I got here and thought ‘when in London, go French’ (okay, it may not make sense but it doesn’t have to).
After my time at MTV, I’m now ready to head onto my A Levels and hopefully take a gap year in the US! So… if anyone from the US office is reading this - call me, I’ll need a job.
Words: Stella Sutalo.