Interview of the week : Presentation Scheduler Thomas Archibald
Getting a foot into the London Broadcast and Media job market can be quite daunting, especially if you don’t understand how to get into the sector and what kind of opportunities are on offer.
This week we have asked Thomas Archibald, a Presentation Scheduler within the London TV industry to give us the lowdown:
Why is a Presentation Scheduler important to the business?
The role of a presentation scheduler is important to the business as we are the people that ensure channels go to air looking as good as they possibly can and ensuring that programmes go out on time. Without the presentation scheduler there would be no channel to watch!
What do you do on a daily basis?
On a daily basis the role of a presentation scheduler includes paying attention to detail and making sure every commercial break is the best it can be before being sent to transmission. Duties such as loading in Asruns, viewing new promos and reviewing previous days transmission reports can all be part of the daily life of a scheduler.
How long have you been doing what you have been doing?
I have been in and out of presentation scheduling for roughly 9 years now.
How did you get into this? What did you do before ?
I studied Media Writing at University and came out with dreams of being a journalist. When that didn’t materialise I looked for any opportunity within a media company and that’s when through a friend of a friend I heard about a presentation scheduler role at Discovery Channel and that’s how my career in tv began.
What was the interview process like to get this position, or how did you start your career in this sector ?
I had to go through two interviews to get my first role. It was the most comfortable I had felt in interviews and that was down to the people involved and probably why Discovery is still my longest permanent role to date.
What aspects of your role do you enjoy the most?
You are always part of a team in scheduling and that is one of the aspects I enjoy the most as you help each other out to produce the best results. Creating a schedule quickly and efficiently to the best of your abilities is always a good feeling.
What are the challenges faced in the role?
The challenges are promos being dropped or changed meaning that you have to either go over work done previously and change it or contact transmission to swap out a promo with another. You are challenged to meet deadlines on a daily basis.
Why do you think some people are more successful than others when they do your job ?
I think some people are more successful than others in my job is down to communication. When scheduling it can become a solitary experience so the ability to communicate and make friends in other departments can always lead to other opportunities sometime in the future.
What 3 adjectives would you use to describe the type of person/ skills needed in your job ?
Quick, intelligent and vocal
What is the highlight of your career to date?
The highlight of my career to date is my time spent as a promo producer at a company called GTV. It’s where I was given the ball and told to run with it in a creative department that allowed my skills to shine in the best way. The company going into liquidation was tough and always grateful to have scheduling to fall back on but certainly in 2012 I am making every effort to get back into a more creative area.
Do you have any career regrets and if so what would they be?
If I had any regrets it would probably be not making enough of the roles or situations I found myself in at the many companies I have worked for. Being a people person and the ability to make friends with the right people can be a struggle sometimes when you stick to your own principles.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt in your career so far?
The most valuable lesson I have learnt in my career so far is never take anything for granted and make the most of every opportunity you are given as you never know when the next one might come along.
Who has been your biggest influence on your career to date ?
The biggest influence on my career to date has probably been the director of programming at GTV and gave me the chance as a Promo Producer, something which I will always be eternally grateful for.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into your sector?
To anyone that wants to get into my sector I would say do an internship/work experience at one of the many broadcasters and if you shine in that role then once your studies are over there’s every chance you will be asked back for a permanent role.
What do you do in your spare time, when you aren’t working?
When I’m not working I have various things going on. I like to stay active by going running and playing Badminton. I’m a big football fan , Liverpool are my team and watch a lot of sport in general. Films are a big passion of mine so regularly visit the cinema. I love to socialise with friends over dinner and drinks. And I like to give something back so do sponsored activities whenever I can to raise money for charity.