Deborah Dow: Student placement story
BA (Hons) Television student Deborah Dow shares how the SACI placement has helped her to clearly identify her strengths and weaknesses.

Can you tell us about the placement opportunity you were involved in and what your role entailed?

SACI student Debbie DowDuring my placement at Heehaw, I worked in the production office. My role consisted of communicating and working with clients. Having been given a client's sample brief, I was set the task to prepare an industry level proposal with the aim of pitching my idea at the end of my placement. I also had the opportunity to spend time in the illustration and editing department, which improved my understanding of the business structure. Being part of a world-renowned media company during my placement was a remarkable learning opportunity, my experience was enlightening and gave me an understanding of what I might be expected to do if employed in a production role in the future.

What key skills did your placement teach you?

The main skills my placement has taught me are researching skills, logistical planning, budgeting, creative thinking and communication skills.

What are the highlights of your time on placement?

The highlight was on the last day when I was given the chance to speak with the Head Scriptwriter and Production Assistant to present my proposal. I was given a great deal of praise and told “I had owned it”. I was over the moon! This reaffirmed my thoughts regarding working in the production office and instilled in me more confidence.

Did you face any challenges during your time on placement?

The challenge I faced was the anxiety of going into a new environment with new people, however, as they were very friendly this put me at ease. The collaborative nature of the company was also a breath of fresh air.

How do you feel that your studies at Edinburgh Napier University prepare you for this placement?

The knowledge I acquired while at university on topics such as research ideas, development and understanding the TV landscape was an advantage when compiling my proposal, for example, I was able to identify a subject, logline, why it's new and exciting.

Would you recommend doing a placement to others?

I would recommend this type of placement, as it gives participants real industry experience, which will help you to work out what you feel passionate about, where you fit and what skills you may need to develop further. It will help build up your CV and is an adventure - a new place, new people, and new skills! Moving forward I look to attain more experience in the industry, with a view to forging a career in production.