My Media Day: Cairi Swainson, Modern Apprentice ‘graduate’ at BBC Scotland

THE BBC Scotland Commonwealth Games Apprenticeship scheme has just entered its third year and in the week the latest ten candidates start for 2013-14, one of last year’s intake, Cairi Swainson, writes about her ‘media day’.

Cairi has just secured a Modern Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media at level 3 from the scheme, which is run by BBC Scotland, John Wheatley College and Skillset Scotland.

She submitted this on September 6.

What exactly is it that you do?

That’s a question I have been asking myself for years, after moving from job to job. And now I am finally able to answer it! I am pleased to say I figured this out over the past 12 months when I worked as a BBC Scotland Apprentice. As the apprenticeship ended, I was offered a contract as a researcher for CBBC and CBeebies. Here, I get stuck into everything I can; looking up old footage and pictures, finding props and storyboarding. I even found myself on a stage, singing, at one point!

What did your working day today or yesterday comprise?

The last few days I have been helping to answer viewer’s questions. We get hundreds of letters from children and, over the course of the production, a real library builds up. It’s interesting, and sometimes difficult, thinking of the way things work and then finding a creative way of explaining it so that a four or five year-old might understand.

How different or similar is your average working day to when you started?

When I started I knew nothing about media and was just an exceptionally enthusiastic seat warmer. Over the past 12 months, the ratio of ‘things I don’t know’ to ‘things I do know’ has moved slightly more in my favour; however, I’ve still got a lot to learn.

How do you see your job evolving?

Considering how far, and how fast, everything has evolved so far, I really don’t know. I started off vetting calls and photocopying, before quickly moving forward to standing in the rain with a huge, slobbering Dogue du Bordeaux and then getting an article published by BBC News. I’m not sure what’s around the corner but I have a massive list of things I want to do… now I just have to find out how to make it happen.

What gives you the most job satisfaction?

I had the most surreal moment a few weeks ago standing in the lift rocketing to the fourth floor. All of a sudden, I realised that I was helping to make a programme that people would watch, and hopefully enjoy and talk about. I’m not entirely sure what I thought I was doing before that point in time but, in that instant, I had an overwhelming sense of contentment.