Stepping Stones: Aurora’s Claudia Schutz on the power of perseverance
It took Aurora’s Claudia Schutz exactly 300 job applications to secure her first role in the industry, but she’s now thriving in a career she loves, as our latest Stepping Stones interview reveals.
What is your job role today and what do you love about it?
My job role is what we call a ‘preditor’ – a producer, editor, camera operator (not cameraman) and everything in between. I love the versatility of being able to work a few days editing and then grabbing my camera and filming in the most beautiful places around the world.
What does your current job entail on a day-to-day basis?
Currently I work mostly on Formula E. On race weeks I am in one of the countries where the race takes place and I’ll be running around with my camera shooting interviews, the cars and whatever gets asked of me, as well as editing a lot of it together. On weeks between races there is a lot of paperwork and meetings involved, but I also edit and prepare for the next race.
Can you talk us through your relevant education that helped you break into the sports broadcasting industry?
I went to the University of Greenwich and graduated with a BSc in Digital Production which gave me some skills in, and understanding of, cameras, editing programmes and techniques. This was a good foundation but most of what I know now has been learnt through being surrounded by the industry and getting hands-on experience with cameras and other equipment.
How did you get your first job in sports broadcasting, what was the role, and when?
My first job in sports broadcasting was actually for Aurora. After university it took me a long time to get anything in the industry because of the pandemic, and actually this was the 300th job I applied for (I kept a spreadsheet). I started off as a media manager but was lucky enough to be able to show my passion for cameras and filming, so within five months I was given the role I am in now.
What happened next to get you where you are today?
Since getting this job I have completed a season of Formula E, doing what I’m doing now and have helped out on multiple other productions, such as Nitro Rally Cross, SailGP, Extreme E and more, both as an editor and camera operator.
Where job would you like to be in in five or 10 years’ time? What are your career goals?
At the moment I am in a similar role to what I want to do in the future. My current goal is to develop my skills and become better every day. In 10 years I can see myself producing and directing a bit more but still having the main role of shooting. I am happy with where I am now and I am learning so much so these goals might change.
Can you give us some top tips that really helped you get where you are today?
Some advice that got me where I am today would be to always do your best and not get too comfortable with where you are. If you have a goal and know your worth, then prove it and show to others what you want to do and what you can do as often as possible. One day the right person will see it or hear about it and everything will change. As overused as the following statement is, don’t give up. Had I given up on the 200th job application I would not be here doing what I love.
“If you have a goal and know your worth, then prove it and show to others what you want to do and what you can do as often as possible”
Can you give us some tips on things not to do or to avoid when trying to get a role you really want?
My advice is to avoid getting too stuck on other people’s opinions. This is not to say you shouldn’t take any suggestions onboard, but you are going to get shot down a lot and told what you can or can’t do. If you know yourself and your own capabilities, then none of that should matter.
What would you say are the barriers to getting a job in the broadcast industry?
In all honesty it is exceedingly difficult to get into this industry if you don’t have any connections. It’s an old and ridiculous way to go about things, but it’s just the reality. However, the good side of this is that once you’re in, you’re in. Once you get your foot in the door and get to know more people it’s all fine as long as you are doing what’s asked of you to an industry standard.
What would you recommend to other people thinking of working in the broadcast industry
I would say just keep showing up and proving yourself in any way you can, whether or not you’re in the industry yet or not, because however much easier it is once you’re in it you are constantly judged on your skills and personality. Just be nice to others and don’t panic. You are doing your best and that’s all that matters.