Stepping Stones: Behind the lens with NFTS and QTV multi-camera trainee Phoebe Pearson

Phoebe Pearson, currently with QTV, sound assisting at Celtic TV in December 2023

Phoebe Pearson is right at the beginning of her career in sports broadcasting. She is a multi-camera trainee at the National Film and Television School, through which she is currently working with independent OB company QTV in Scotland. This article is part of our Stepping Stones series, showcasing young female talent in sports broadcasting.

What is your job role today and what do you enjoy about it?

Currently, I am a multi-camera trainee at the National Film and Television School. The training involves a mixture of shadowing and hands-on experience during outdoor broadcasts. It’s been a great experience as I’ve had the opportunity to work with different companies such as the BBC and QTV. Working with QTV has been particularly rewarding as I’ve been able to explore various areas of sports broadcasting.

What does your current job entail on a day-to-day basis?

At QTV, my day-to-day involves learning about sports broadcasting, particularly focusing on sound and vision engineering. Every day brings new challenges and experiences, which keeps things exciting as I get to delve into areas I haven’t explored before.

What happened next to get you where you are today?

Following my university education and sound engineering experience, I am still in the baby stages of my career in sports broadcasting. So I am looking forward to seeing what my next step will be in my career.

Talk us through the relevant education that helped you break into the sports broadcasting industry

I graduated with a BA in Commercial Music (Hons) from the University of the West of Scotland and later pursued an MSc in Audio And Music Technology at the University of York. With a passion for audio, joining the NFTS traineeship seemed like a perfect opportunity to gain paid work experience and expand my skill set in the broadcasting industry. Prior to the traineeship, I faced challenges such as redundancy and months of job hunting. Throughout my time working different jobs, I also kept my skills in audio engineering fresh by participating in free courses and shadowing experiences.

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

It’s challenging to predict where I’ll be in five or 10 years, as I tend to focus on shorter-term goals. However, I aspire to become a fully-fledged sound mixer and racking engineer in sports broadcasting. Hopefully, I can help train the younger generation of engineers who will enter the industry in 10 years.

Phoebe Pearson, a broadcast trainee at QT, sound checking the commentary position at Celtic Park in Feburary 2024

What has helped you get where you are today?

Persistence is key. Even if you feel you may not have a shot at a certain opportunity, apply anyway. I applied to hundreds of jobs after facing redundancy and faced rejection until I landed the NFTS traineeship. Sometimes, I hesitated to apply due to fear of rejection, but my dad always reminded me that it’s up to the interviewers to decide whether you are rejected, not you, so it’s crucial to apply to everything.

Can you give us some tips on things not to do or to avoid when trying to get a role you want?

Avoid limiting yourself to one skill set. When I started at QTV with an audio background, I expanded into vision engineering. Keeping an open mind to learning new skills is essential.

What would you say are the barriers to getting a job in broadcasting?

In my experience, networking plays a significant role, similar to the music industry. Additionally, being part of a minority group can sometimes present barriers to being selected for roles. I hope the barriers begin to break down with the industry becoming more diverse.

Would you recommend a career in media production and broadcasting? 

If you’re passionate about entering the industry, go for it! It’s a rewarding field where you’ll meet inspiring individuals and work in one of the most exciting industries globally.

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