A Day In The Life
Posted 01 May 2018
New York Program
September 2009 Intake
My Alarm Goes off... 6.30am with the intention of getting up and going on a run. This never happens however and I usually snooze it every 5 minutes until about 7.30am.
I'm Responsible For... researching, pitching, shooting, editing and producing film content for the International development charity, WaterAid. I am one of three producers in the film team, led by a film manager and we act as an internal agency for the organisation with the aim of bringing our work to life for audiences in the UK. This means a lot of traveling to where we work (28 countries across Africa, Asia and The Americas).
I Got The Job... I spent my Mountbatten year in New York at UBS and whilst I loved everything about it, it confirmed the corporate life just isn't for me. I returned to the UK and did a masters in TV Journalism and went on to work in TV & documentaries for 5-6 years before I found someone on twitter whose job sounded awesome and I fancied a change from TV and so when I saw her job advertised, I went for it. I've been here for 18 months now and I love it.
My Typical Day... If I'm London, it will be in the office in Vauxhall where I will either spend my day in our edit suite editing content or pitching film ideas to internal teams to try and get them to give me some money to make some films. I often work with teams across the organisation and we take ideas to some of our corporate partners or celebrity ambassadors to try and get them involved in one of our film projects.
If I am in one of our country programmes, my day can start at 4am to get up and out to the field for sunrise and the best light. WaterAid's ethos is to start with the hardest to reach first, that often means we stay in extremely remote locations where there is only one accommodation option. Even then, we often spend 2-3 hours travelling out to communities that we are working with. I will spend the whole day on location, depending what the shoot is, it could be in a health centre or school, following the daily lives of people there and filming their stories. The days are long, we often wrap after sunset and won't get back until 8pm, then you have to back up all the footage and plan the next day - so it's hard work and you have to love it otherwise it would break you! Our shoots are usually about 12 - 14 days and it can be really hard to leave families or communities that you have become so close to in that time, knowing you probably won't ever have the chance to come back.
The Culture Of My Workplace... it's a very relaxed environment but driven. Everyone who works at WaterAid is incredibly passionate about the work that we do and that really shines through. There is a real belief in a work/life balance and an ethos of flexibility which means you can work flexi-time or work from home whenever you feel you need. I can always leave at 5pm if I want - it is totally different to my experience in TV!
My Most Memorable Work Moment... I've had many "I can't believe I get paid to do this!" moments, but they are normally followed by a "I'm definitely not paid enough to do this" so I try not to get too carried away when things are going well. I love to travel and meet people, so every trip has it's memorable moments, highs and lows! I've just got back from Mali where I directed a short film with Songoy Blues (they are ambassadors for WaterAid) in Malick Sidibe's studio in Bamako which was a pretty special day.
My Role Models are... is it bad to say I don't really have any? I can't think of any anyway! I think I get more inspired by some of my friends who have challenging jobs such as social work or who have launched their own businesses and are generally doing really well.
The Most Challenging Part of My Job...is seeing how most of the world are forced to live and seeing so much wasted potential in children around the world. We're so far removed from it in the developed world.
The Best Part of My Job... is traveling and meeting people who I would never have the opportunity to meet. I get to travel fairly often to places off the beaten track such as Madagascar & you are often the first westerner a community has ever met which really is special. Building up relationships and sharing stories makes you realise how small the world really is and how humans are the same the world over, no matter where you are or how you live. Also, if you're organised, you can add time and annual leave on to a trip to do some exploring. I did this in February when I went to Rwanda and I visited the mountain gorillas which had been on my bucket list for a long time and that was an amazing experience.
After Work... I wish I had hobbies, but the truth is I love wine and I love my mates, so my weekday evenings are spent catching up with friends at a pub or over dinner. If I am staying in, I will be smashing through a Netflix series at an unhealthy rate and going to bed far to early for someone in their early 30s.
Plan B: If I wasn't doing this, I would... there isn't a plan B. I just always wanted to do a job I was passionate about and enjoyed and I've found that. If that changes for some reason in the future, I hope I have the courage to find something else to pursue.