Twenty-two-year-old Jessica Pryse from Treorchy, Rhondda, claims Coleg y Cymoedd set her on the path to success within the Welsh television industry.
Having always been fascinated by film and TV, Jess wanted to enrol on a college course that would channel her creativity. Never did she think it would lead to her getting her dream career in showbiz.
Intrigued by Coleg y Cymoedd’s good reputation and the wide range of courses they offer, Jess set up a meeting at the Nantgarw campus after leaving school. As a wheelchair user, Jess needed to review the site’s accessibility before completing an application.
The college’s commitment to promoting equality and diversity impressed Jessica and impacted her decision to enrol on the Creative Media and Production (TV and Film) course in 2019, something that she is glad she did.
College allowed Jess the freedom to be herself and encouraged her to step out of her comfort zone. A naturally shy person, Jess benefitted from how approachable the staff were, and how much confidence they instilled in her when making creative decisions.
“The more you step forward, the less scary it is. Thanks to the support of the very knowledgeable staff, I was able to socialise on the course and gain more experience.
My tutors were so down to earth and approachable. They prepared me for every experience I had the opportunity to take part in during my course. They completely calmed my nerves.
Experience is everything, the more willing you are to explore new opportunities that arises, the larger your network, and thus this increased my chances of securing a job in TV”.
As well as the personal growth Jess experienced, the course’s content allowed her to get a foot in the door in television.
Coleg y Cymoedd’s School of Creative Industries is known for its first-class links within the industry. The Level 3 TV and Film course offers a work experience programme with ‘Boom Cymru’, makers of TV shows for S4C and BBC Wales.
“The links between Coleg y Cymoedd and creative professionals are really strong. We regularly had guest speakers in from companies like Badwolf [television company based in Cardiff known for its work on Doctor Who and His Dark Materials].
From a workshop we had I made a connection from there, they’d let me know when work experiences with them were coming up, and from that, I was successful in gaining a shadowing opportunity which I could add to my CV.”
Covering elements of production such as editing and script writing, on the Creative Media and Production course jess learned that she was most interested in the director/production side of TV, and she focused her attention on making her dream to become a director/producer a reality.
“After my time with Badwolf, I volunteered with ‘It’s my Shout’ and worked with them on their 2022/2023 documentaries as a Research and Production Assistant.
In the background, I had signed up for Screen Skills HETV Trainee Finder, which flags vacancies to go down the Producer/Director route. Through Screen Skills I also signed up for First Break, and I’ve just taken part in a work placement on the BBC’s upcoming series, ‘Lost Boys and Fairies’ as an AD Trainee. In April I found out I had secured an apprenticeship with the BBC’s 19-month Production Management that I’m due to start this September.”
When reflecting on how her studies impacted her life, Jess said: “My college course gave me a great foundation of learning, and through experience, I have developed a creative skillset which I often refer back to. I take my creative practice from college into every job I do.
The course has given me the confidence to chase my dreams, together with the knowledge and qualifications I need to step into the workplace. But, most importantly, it gave me confidence to challenge myself to do better.
I would definitely recommend the course to anyone who has an interest in TV. Just jump into the opportunity and keep your mind open to possibilities because you never know what’s next. What was just an idea for me has turned into what I want to do for the rest of my life.”
Find out more about our Creative Industries courses, here: Creative Industries – Coleg y Cymoedd
Rhondda Cynon Taff
Heol y Coleg
Rhondda Cynon Taff