The range of skills and experience Ollie McGrath gained at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has helped set him up with a budding career in radio.
Hosting a BBC Radio 1 show as part of his role at DMU's Demon FM
The Media Production graduate has landed a job as Assistant Producer at Global, a British media company which owns some of the country’s best-loved radio stations including Heart, Capital FM, Classic FM and Radio X.
Working across Heart Breakfast West Midlands, Capital Birmingham and Smooth West Midlands, Ollie said: “I know it’s a cliché to say it, but no day is the same and that’s why I love it.”
His wide range of responsibilities include planning, creating, scheduling and monitoring across a number of social media channels, as well as managing phone lines, setting up callers for shows, pulling together travel bulletins and organising competitions.
Ollie (far right) pictured with fello producer Sophie Canning and Heart breakfast presenters Ed James and Gemma Hill
“I get up at 4am for a 5am start, which took some getting used to straight out of university. My days are varied, spending about 70 per cent of my time working on Heart and the rest of my time split between Capital and Smooth,” said the 21-year-old.
“Recently, I worked on my biggest event, which was really exciting. Our breakfast presenter Gemma Hill did a 150-mile kayak for charity from the Olympic Stadium to Birmingham in just five days.
“She’s the only woman to have done this, despite having to carry her kayak for 18 miles due to an injury. It was the station’s most successful endurance challenge ever, raising £61,500.
“Back in the studio, it was a very busy week for us. We kept audiences updated through regular online articles and social media posts, and I had the chance to edit and post video and audio files that our colleagues who were following Gemma were sending in.”
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DMU’s course helped prepare Ollie for his career, in particular the creative media entrepreneurship module he chose during his final year, which gives students the chance to develop business and management skills as a producer of media content for the broadcast and online media industries.
Hosting the Student Radio Conference 2017 at DMU
He said: “My project for this module was all about multimedia use in radio and it couldn’t have been more appropriate for securing and doing the job that I do now.”
Developing graphic design skills as part of the course was also useful for Ollie, as he started his job with experience of the software he is required to use on a daily basis.
The former Head of Programming for DMU’s award-winning Demon FM cites his three-year involvement with the student-led radio station as invaluable.
“Working for Demon FM was just as serious as working at a professional station. The high standards and competitiveness pushed me to work harder and really got me ready for the industry,” he said.
Ollie also benefited from a number of #DMUglobal trips, including a visit to Prague in his final year during which DMU students toured animation and TV studios.
He said: “Exploring how the media works in other countries was brilliant. Getting to look around the studios made me realise just how good DMU’s facilities are, which is something I took for granted sometimes.
“I definitely miss university and the freedom that came with it. But thanks to Demon FM and #DMUglobal, I can really say I made the most of my time at DMU.”
Posted on Tuesday 7th November 2017