Talent Schemes mentoring success stories

This year has seen some exciting changes for the talent schemes, notably the introduction of our mentoring programme for The Network and Ones to Watch delegates. This programme is a valuable part of our alumni offering, providing support and guidance to our delegates post-Edinburgh.

We fully understand that as new entrants into the industry, navigating the world of TV can be a daunting and sometimes overwhelming experience. To be able to turn to someone with a few more years’ experience and wisdom and ask those questions that perhaps you’re too embarrassed to ask anyone else is invaluable. Recognising the need for this, we matched each one of our fifty Network delegates with a Ones to Watch mentor for a year. The mentors have truly embraced the spirit of the scheme and have done their part to widen access to the industry. They have listened, encouraged, reflected back and challenged assumptions and we’ve witnessed some genuine friendships flourish.

Here Nicholas Boyle, runner at STV speaks of his relationship with mentor Jess Connell, script editor, BBC Scotland, Drama

“The ongoing nature of the mentorship programme has hugely furthered my career development, and this is largely down to Jess’ pro-active approach to mentoring. I can’t stress enough how fantastic of a mentor Jess has been. She has embodied all of the values that anyone could ask for in a great mentor through being supportive, constructively critical when necessary, engaged in my interests and also, importantly, a good friend…”

The Network alumna, Cleo Pearson’s experience encapsulates the value of the programme. Mentored by factual producer and investigative journalist Sarah Collinson, Cleo’s experience demonstrates how mentoring can be an empowering experience.

“Sarah has been the best part of the Network experience for me.  She is really inspirational and gives me a lot of confidence that I can follow her steps in what can seem like a daunting industry at times. She feels like a friend as well as a mentor. She never makes me feel stupid or embarrassed about anything I say or ask. I feel like I have formed a solid contact for many years to come, one that far surpasses my other working relationships.”

However, it’s not just The Network delegates that have reaped all the benefits, of course we had to give the Ones to Watchers their very own mentors too. What makes the Ones to Watch scheme so unique is the intimate and unrivalled access it provides to those at the top of their game. We wanted to continue this by matching our mentees with senior industry figures in their field. We had a fantastic response and we are really grateful to the individuals for their support. This years’ mentors have included commissioners, channel heads and indie MD’s, including the likes of Adam MacDonald, Head of Sky 1, Gary Reich, Managing Director, Brown Eyed Boy and Surian Fletcher-Jones, Head of Development, Drama, Channel 4. It’s also fantastic to see some of our star alumni passing the baton on, including Claire Zolkwer, Commissioning Editor, Comedy and Entertainment, ITV and Kate Collier, Director of Development, The Garden.

As the Festival fast approaches we are looking to recruit our next group of mentors for our 2015 Ones to Watch delegates. If you are passionate about nurturing rising talent then please do get in touch. Not only will you be able to pass on what you have learnt but I can guarantee you will see the industry through fresh eyes.

For more details please email rhiannon.robertson@thetvfestival.com