As a BA (Hons) Sports Business & Sports Broadcasting student at UCFB, Paula Wood gained incredible media work experience at the likes of Tottenham Hotspur Women and QPR under-23s, something which now, alongside her degree after graduating in 2020, is standing Paula in good stead in her role as Talent Production Coordinator at Premier League Productions. Here, Paula tells us about the role and her time as a student at UCFB…

Tell us what your role at Premier League Productions entails? 

My role as talent production coordinator sees me booking and sorting the logistics of the presenters and guests that we have on our studio programming, and preparing them for the programmes they are on by giving them contact with the producers. We have live programming seven days a week throughout the Premier League season and it is shown all over the world, so we have a large audience to appeal to. 

What have you taken into your roles at Premier League Productions from what you learnt at UCFB? 

UCFB helped me massively with building my confidence and understanding creating stories and being up to date with what is happening in the Premier League. This isn’t directly what I do now, but having that knowledge helps me better understand what producers and editors would like from the talent and I can ensure that the correct people are appearing on the shows. Also, working within a team on live projects, as we did with radio and TV shows at UCFB, helped me when I came into this environment as it was so intimidating.

What new experiences have you had in your role, and has there been anything that’s surprised you about the job? 

In my previous production assistant role, I had the chance to do autocue for our shows which was really interesting and fun to work in a live gallery, and see all the other roles that there are within this. I’m also hoping to have a go at being a gallery production assistant. Before COVID, we were given opportunities to shadow different roles and departments which is really inspiring. I also got to attend live games before COVID and be part of the on-site team linking back to the studio, working with talent live at the stadiums. 

What work experiences did you complete while at UCFB, and how important were they for your development?

The opportunities for work experience at UCFB were so valuable and they helped me immensely. I completed a work placement with the Tottenham Hotspur Women media team which was a great experience and involved lots of different roles. The connections I made there I still have now and use in my job today, as we are trying to get more female pundits into Premier League Productions. I also had the amazing experience of doing a summer internship at SNTV during the 2018 World Cup. This helped my development so much as I got to work on all different kinds of sports, creating stories, cutting clips and writing scripts all in a busy news room. This prepared me for the fast pace and pressured situations of working in live sport.

This was also great as I got to work alongside my tutors Owen Williams and Jo Johnson and meet more people within the industry, who I learnt so much from. I was also lucky enough that they kept me on after my internship as a freelancer, so this helped see me through to the end of my degree and even after before I got my job at Premier League Productions. Also the opportunities to do our class TV shows with QPR’s under 23s was great. Now when I see Eberechi Eze in the Premier League with Crystal Palace after we filmed him at QPR it shows the connections we have, it makes me smile. 

What advice can you pass on to any potential students looking at coming to UCFB to study on the media pathway? 

My advice to current or new students at UCFB is to make the most of every work experience opportunity you are given, extract as much knowledge from the highly experienced and connected tutors and have fun with your projects covering topics and sports that you enjoy.