Stepping Stones: Aurora’s Kelsey Gallagher on taking opportunities and the importance of being curious

Gallagher on site for Extreme E

In this latest Stepping Stones interview, Kelsey Gallagher, production manager at Aurora Media, explains how she broke into the sports broadcast industry and shares her plans for the future.

What is your job role today and what does it entail on a day-to-day basis?

I am currently working at Aurora Media as a production manager for the host broadcast of Extreme E. My role is very varied. Day-to-day in the office I oversee the budget and bi-weekly delivery of our magazine show – Electric Odyssey – while preparing the host broadcast on site in the next location we have. On site, ultimately, I have to set a platform ready for our crew to arrive with the best opportunity to create award-winning content on behalf of our client Extreme E and their many broadcasters worldwide. To ensure we achieve this I liaise with Extreme E and our operational partners in the build up to the event. Aside from this I floor manage when needed and deal with all ad hoc issues that arise day-to-day on the production.

Can you talk us through your relevant education that helped you break into the sports broadcasting industry?

I attended Southampton Solent University and graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Television & Video Production. I didn’t know what genre of TV I would end up working in when I graduated, but the degree I did helped me gain experience in live environments (festivals, etc) and this really helped when it came to sports broadcasting.

“If you’re still in university or just starting out in the industry, I would say take any opportunities you can and try to make an impression on the people giving you the opportunity”

How did you get your first job in sports broadcasting, what was the role, and when?

I started at Aurora Media Worldwide just after graduating in 2016 as the office co-ordinator/PA to Lawrence [Duffy, managing director] and from here tried to gain as much experience on any productions that were coming through the door and helping the production managers with anything they needed at the time to understand how productions worked. I also worked as a runner on the productions in the UK to gain experience on site. From here I had great mentors within the company who allowed me to take on more work gradually and helped me to understand what goes on behind the scenes to make a production run the way it does.

Gallagher: ‘Asking questions and being curious – I couldn’t recommend it enough!’

Where would you like to be in in five or 10 years’ time? What are your career goals?

I’m still very new to the production manager role so I feel like there is still a lot to learn and the opportunity to grow within this role. I really enjoy sports and the fast-paced environment I currently work in so staying in sports/live television is something I’d like to still be doing.

Can you give us some top tips that really helped you get where you are today? 

Asking questions and being curious – I couldn’t recommend it enough! Taking all opportunities that came my way and really getting stuck in to anything I have the opportunity to be part of helped me to learn fast and on my feet, and adds a lot of resilience.

What would you recommend to other people thinking of working in the broadcast industry?

If you’re still in university or just starting out in the industry, I would say take any opportunities you can and try to make an impression on the people giving you the opportunity; being positive and proactive is a real plus. If you’re looking to move into the broadcast industry from a different industry, I’d say it’s never too late and so many skills are transferable.

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