Aniyah Butt

Media Production BA (Hons)

Aniyah’s love of the television industry led her to studying Media Production at BCU. After taking advantage of everything the course provided her, she walked straight into a job at a leading broadcasting company before she had even graduated and is now enjoying working as a VT Operator at a wide range of major UK events.

“Going to university was always something I wanted to do, as I not only wanted to further my education but also have the university experience.

I studied Psychology and Applied Science in Sixth Form, but later realised I wanted to pursue a career in television. So, I completed my two years at sixth form and went on to apply for a creative based college, so that I could go to university with some knowledge of the media industry.

From there, I did some research into nearby universities and came across Birmingham City University, which had exceptional reviews about both its media courses and facilities.

The Media Production course teaches you all aspects of production, from how to write risk assessments to how to vision mix in the gallery. It helped me to understand the fundamentals of the industry whilst also letting me be hands on with the equipment, all of which have helped me in my career.

Nowadays, I am working as a VT Operator for an Outside Broadcasting company named Cloudbass. I absolutely love it! I was quite fortunate that the Commonwealth Games were happening in Birmingham the same year of my graduation, and through BCU and their partnership with Sunset+Vine, I was placed with Cloudbass on the Squash and Hockey matches.

From there, I did some networking and showed my passion for the industry, and I was lucky enough to be offered a role within their company.

So far, it has been amazing. I am learning so much about the industry and its practices, whilst also gaining hands-on experience in Outside Broadcasting. I have been lucky enough to be on site to multiple live events and work alongside a ton of talented people.

No day is the same in my industry. Due to my job role, when working on a live event, we are expected to be on-site at least one to two days before the event to rig all equipment and make necessary changes to software to fit the requirements of the job. This is to make sure everything is up and running and any faults in equipment or hardware can be repaired or replaced.

When I’m not working on an event, I am down at our base, which is where we organise and load any equipment onto our trucks and tenders for the next project.

However, it hasn’t all been easy. Securing a role in television by itself is already difficult enough but trying to pursue this career as a South Asian woman makes it that even more difficult. Not only are we not represented enough in UK television, but we also aren’t represented or acknowledged from behind the scenes.

From my time on various sets and work experiences, I noticed the lack of my community severely, and this would make me feel not only uncomfortable, but also unwanted. However, I did not let this stop me from pursuing the career I wanted. I recognised that people might only see me for the colour of my skin, but if I do the work and show them my skills, then it shouldn’t matter.

Ultimately, you must be the change you want to see, so I decided to be that change.

My proudest achievement since graduating has to be securing a role in the outside broadcasting industry, as I have been able to work on a multitude of major projects such as The Sound of 007 Live at the Royal Albert Hall, British Superbikes (BSB), Speedway and the State Funeral for Her Majesty The Queen.

In the future, I would love to get into becoming an EVS Operator, as it not only involves hints of editing, but also requires someone who strives in a fast-paced environment.

My advice for current BCU students is to take advantage of all the facilities and opportunities that are thrown at you. Not only are they great for building experience, but also shows commitment and passion on your CV.

Also, make friends with everyone on your course, as you will not only be working alongside them on multiple modules, but you might be able to learn things from them you never knew before and vice versa.

I would also recommend creating a professional LinkedIn page and document your journey on the course. This will allow recruiters to know what you have been up to, and it opens up your networking circle to a lot of people in the industry. But most importantly, have fun and enjoy it.”