The Director of BBC England was among media professionals who visited BU to network with students and share their views on the future of the industry.
Peter Salmon, who oversees BBC output across the country, gave the keynote presentation at the Meet the Professionals event, organised by BU and the Royal Television Society (RTS) Southern Centre.
The event gave students the chance to meet informally with media professionals from a range of industry backgrounds and experience, to discuss and learn more about issues, opportunities and professional career development.
Peter spoke about recent advances in TV and at the BBC, and how the organisation was adapting to a digital, multi-platform age.
He added that it was a “privilege” to be in Bournemouth and at the university, following its recent visual effects Oscar win and a report which found the town had the UK’s fasting-growing digital economy.
“One of the reasons I wanted to come was because there’s such a buzz around Bournemouth at the moment, and I wanted to see what was so special.
“Bournemouth particularly seems to be flying, winning Oscars for things like Interstellar – there’s obviously something special in the water and how you’re taught and what you learn here.”
The talk was followed by a panel discussion, with questions from the audience of around 200 media students on everything from getting work experience to how to be noticed and the benefits of specialising versus being a multi-skilled professional.
Those on the panel included Richard Klein, Director of Factual for ITV; Nick Mirsky, Head of Documentaries at Channel 4; and BU graduate Georgia Brown, who is now Head of International Acquisitions at Shine Productions.
Students then had the chance to informally meet and network with 20 media professionals from a range of industry backgrounds - including executive producers, researchers and BBC apprentices.
Gordon Cooper, Chair of the Royal Television Society Southern Centre, said: “The idea of today is to provide easy access to a whole range of media professionals.
“We try and have a whole range of experience here on offer, so we have got very senior people that have taken time to come here and take part, people who run their own business, people who have only just qualified, post-production, facilities – a whole range of experience on offer.”
Peter Salmon said that making the most of contacts, undertaking work experience and having that extra something to make you stand out were all essential to getting ahead in the industry.
“Placements show you’re really interested and really connected and have been prepared to put in a bit of effort to show that you mean it and really care about it,” he said.
“It’s also important to be enthusiastic and hard-working and be a good team-player.”
He added: “Also try and think of those eye-catching hobbies, passions or activities; something alongside the work that makes you stand out and that makes me remember you.
“What makes you different and what you can bring to my newsroom or team that I haven’t already got?”
Mark Bond, Programme Leader for MA Cinematography for Digital Film and Television, organised the event. He said: "The students really appreciated meeting all of the industry professionals and they had a chance to make contacts on a one-to-one basis. We also had numerous enquires about our Postgraduate Media Production programmes. Overall, it was a huge success."