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Monday, 3 March 2014

Networking, Kevin Spacey & DIY Business Cards: An insider's guide to being on The Network

Ryan Pasi is a Network delegate from 2013. He is currently working at Raise the Roof in Glasgow as a Production Secretary, a placement he secured part of our Network at Work scheme 

I studied Economics at Uni, but when I graduated I really didn't want to pursue a career that field. I decided I wanted to follow my original aspirations and get involved in the screen industries.I spent a long time doing small freelance jobs and not getting very far with it. When I heard about The Network I thought it sounded like a good idea to help me get my foot in the door.

Taking control at The Network Live
I first got an idea of what The Network was really about when I attended an introductory event at the BBC that aimed to help people apply and give an insight into the whole programme. I was really blown away by it all: the opportunities and the people you got to meet, plus all the parties!

I spent a long time on my application, making sure it really got across what I wanted to say in a concise manner. My main advice is to be honest and to talk about something that you actually know about and really love (rather than what you think people might want to hear).

Being on The Network was amazing. Getting one-on-one sessions with industry professionals was really inspiring. Looking back on it now I realise how lucky I was to get to attend these events, as well as the MacTaggart Lecture from Kevin Spacey.

The night-time networking events are terrifying at first. But after approaching people and realising how
friendly everyone was I gained more confidence and was really up talking to anyone. Something that really shines through is how much people seem to really love their jobs - I found that to be the biggest encouragement for pursuing something that generally most people will tell you is too difficult. Also, having business cards are a must! But don't leave it to the last minute, I did and ended up having to make them from scratch and cutting them by hand - not a fun experience...

I must admit that when I arrived I was really under-prepared, I wasn't sure what I had signed up for and everyone kept on talking about this live show at the end which I had no clue about. However I dove head first into everything and ended up directing and vision mixing the two hour live show. It was such a rush, as well as being quite terrifying. But being in the team was so good and every really pulled through. Our mentors, who I still keep in touch with, were so supportive and made it an incredible experience.
The key is to really be up for anything they throw at you, don't waste this amazing opportunity.

Ryan hard at work at Raise the Roof
After the network I applied for The Network at Work scheme, and as a result I'm currently working at Raise the Roof Productions, as part of their production team. It's a brilliant opportunity which I wouldn't have had a chance with without The Network. Since then I've also been offered two other jobs in the industry including a runner job at the BBC (bypassing the runner pool...) which has all been through contacts I made during The Network.

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