Klaudia Dora Csikos: Student placement story

Can you tell us about the placement opportunity you were involved in?SACI placement student Klaudia Dora Csikos

I was offered a placement with LS Productions which has grown into the UK’s largest Production Services Company with offices in Edinburgh, Manchester & London. It has in-house production and location teams and provides services such as budgeting, casting, catering, crewing, equipment hire, health & safety, locations and scouting for commercials, music videos, high-end TV, and films. The team has worked with high-profile clients like Valentino, Marvel Studios, Freenjoy and Netflix. LS Productions’ main motto ‘creative at heart’ perfectly sums up their attitude and the quality of each production. LS gave me the opportunity to gain insight into various departments and their requirements.

Can you tell us more about what your role entailed?

Throughout the placement, I was there to observe how each department works and to assist them with tasks they needed help with. My tasks were administrative but different day-to-day, depending on the department. For example, one day I was scheduled to work with the Locations team and was assigned three different tasks: formatting the contact number of location suppliers and crew members, organising locations and creating a list of five landmarks in each city.

When working with the Sales & Marketing team, I helped with a task called ‘Commercial Kickbox Content Clean Up’. At the end of each year, the company prepares a marketing package about their projects made during the year and sends it out to all the clients they have ever worked with. My role was to find out if the clients' given e-mail addresses were still active, label them with colour and note their current work position.

What key skills did your placement teach you?

My placement with LS Productions helped further develop my marketing and organisational skills. I got to see first hand how their attention to detail and extra care towards their clients makes the company so successful. While completing the admin tasks, I understood why being organised is so essential in terms of storing data. It makes your life a lot easier when looking for information, making your time more efficient.

What were your highlights and key successes of your time on placement?

Being part of production meetings and presentations where they treated me as a team member. I really appreciated the time and effort they put into organising my placement and was amazed at how it was structured. I left with an understanding of how each department works. The whole team mentioned staying in touch and to reach out to them if I need any help such as a reference letter in the future.

Did you face any challenges during your time on placement?

Thankfully, I didn't face any major issues. While completing the tasks, there were occasions when I couldn't find specific information based on the given data, so I needed to do my own research. This research allowed me to learn about different names in the industry, their roles, and their career journey.

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

The SACI placement team is a great credit to the university and was a huge support with the preparation of my placement. Their advice and encouragement on how to shape my CV and cover letter and how to prepare for an interview definitely helped me secure my placement. In terms of my studies, it was an advantage that I walked into the company with basic knowledge and experience so that when they were talking about a specific document e.g., a call sheet or a crew role description, I could share my thoughts or experience on it.

Would you recommend doing a placement to others?

Definitely! While university introduces you to some theories and gives you the opportunity to gain experience through student projects with high-quality equipment used in the industry, work placements show you the reality and the fast-paced work environment. You can learn so much by observing and working with professionals. In addition, it enables you to start networking which is essential in this industry.

What advice would you give to someone considering doing a placement at university?

Be open-minded, enthusiastic, and prepared! There might be a task that does not directly tie into your specialism but always think about how you can benefit from that task and how it can help you in the future. Having an insight into different roles not only opens up more opportunities in the industry but you will value other crew member’s time and effort they put into production. Your interest in the company and enthusiasm for learning will show the commitment and humbleness that production companies are looking for. Interviews are daunting therefore being prepared is key! Researching what the companies specialise in, their recent news, and achievements. This will not only show a good impression of you to the interviewers, but you will learn different marketing strategies, along with what you are signing up for.