Thursday, 23 October 2014

The Final Chapter

With my Apprenticeship Graduation just around the corner, I can’t help but reflect on the year I’ve had. It all started with having little knowledge of the industry and being thrown at the deep end on my first production and ending with 4 fantastic placements, 3 credits and a lifetime of knowledge that continues to grow. Throughout the past 15 months I have worked with some of the most experienced production members in the industry and met people I never thought I would, unless I queued outside Radio 1 or The London Studios and asked for a selfie. Although if I had a picture with everyone I’ve met it would a pretty envious album, ranging from Richard Branson and Daniel Radcliffe to Paddy McGuiness and Tim Wonnacott.

The past year hasn’t exactly been the easiest of years. Being such a home girl and loving my home comforts and being practically spoon fed by mum and dad throughout my life was the perfect lifestyle, so the move to London and living in a flat with strangers was a big change. Settling in London and finding my feet has taken me almost 10 months and still haven’t fully got there with making new friends, changing work every 3 months and getting the grasp of public transport takes its time although I have a pretty good routine going on.

With work, my hours are quite unsociable and consequently making arrangements can prove difficult. Being Jewish, there are various social events that happen which I try to attend too weekly, whether this would be a talk by an influential character, Friday night dinner or Shabbat lunch hosted by the Rabbi. Attending these events allows me to meet new people, meet up with friends who I haven’t seen in a while and have a good chinwag with them all with some good fress.

In the middle of the year, my life took a sudden change and I experienced losing someone so incredibly special to me. During this period, I wished that I could live back a home and cuddle mum and dad whenever I felt down, even though they were on the other end of the phone, it never was the same. Coming back to London after having a week at home with the family was the hardest thing, however knowing I was going back into work the next day and to a job I love made it a whole lot better. Without work and being constantly busy, I would never have got through the loss. People told me that it would get easier, however I never thought the day would come, my emotions were sky high and all I could think about was being at home. At the time, my placement in London was coming to an end and an offer for Manchester was on the cards and it was so tempting, however for my careers sake I wanted to stay in London and I’m so happy that I did as I have had the best 6 months working on BBC’s biggest shows, ‘The One Show’ and ‘Strictly; It takes two’.

The thought of this apprenticeship ending is daunting as looking for work independently will raise my stress levels and endless cups of coffee will be needed. At the moment I am staying positive and open minded to the opportunities that are going to arise from either previous placements or new and exciting productions. With all the skills I have gained and the experience I have received, it will allow me to go to others productions with confidence and knowledge of the job role. I’m looking forward to seeing what the future is going to hold with my work and personal life.

In the meantime…

Stay Fabulous,
B ♥

Monday, 3 March 2014

The Next Stage

The past few weeks have flown by, from finishing up at MediaCityUK with the Religion and Ethics Docs team, it was straight back to London for more training. I was so excited to come back to see all the apprentices who I haven’t seen in 3 months. However, it was as though we have never been apart as we were back to our usual selves, meeting at Starbucks in the morning and walking to Elstree together and having a laugh. The first day of training consisted of catching up with everyone and what they had been up to on their placements. It was really great to hear all the different responsibilities the apprentices were set whilst working with productions. The best thing about each person was that we were all treated as a member of the BBC and not just an apprentice.

Once the catch up was finished, it was time to knuckle down and start planning our Taster Tapes. As being on the Production Co-ordinator scheme, it was my job and 3 others to take on the role as PC’s. I thoroughly enjoyed this as we worked closely together as a team, shared the workload between us and got on extremely well with each other. It was really interesting to see how each PC worked on their placement, by comparing call sheets, schedules and exchanging our ever growing knowledge of the PC world (this sounds so geeky). Over the past 2 weeks we have worked hard in order for the filming of the taster tape to run efficiently and smoothly and our work paid off as the 2 filming days were a success. Working closely alongside the CDM’s (Creative Digital Media Scheme) was amazing. They are the most creative and talented people I have ever come across and their ideas are unbelievable. Without their skills and creative minds we wouldn't have been able to produce such a professional and well thought out taster tape.

After having 2 weeks of training, I'm looking forward to getting back into work and having a routine. My next placement is at ITV Studios working with the ‘Potato’ department on a production called Fearne and… (Yes another Fearne) where I will be the Production Secretary. This programme is going to be an hour long all about McBusted. I'm really looking forward to seeing the programme from start to finish which will hopefully be a great success.

I'm over the moon that my placement is in London and that I will be able to live by myself and become more independent. I'm looking forward to being able to explore the beautiful city and hopefully meeting more talented and inspirational people on the way. I also love the fact that all the apprentices are in London (minus my sister Laila #missyou), so we can easily meet up and not have wait 3 months in order to reunite.

I'm living my dream and cannot wait to see what the next 3 months will hold.

Stay Fabulous,


Leave a comment below or follow me on @Biancamarks95 

Wednesday, 29 January 2014


As my first placement is rapidly coming to the end, I thought I should reminisce and go back to where it all started.

30th September 2013 aka first day of training is where it all began at BBC Elstree. The first day of anything is always quite daunting as you don’t really know what to expect. However, the first day was filled with a lot of excitement as the 20 apprentices were slowly getting to know each other by doing the dreading ‘let’s go round the room and tell everyone something about you’ as well as working in groups doing various activities that would be relevant for our upcoming placement. I would like to thank Gilly, Martina, Maddy, Darren and all the speakers who taught us so much and made training enjoyable.

Training days consisted of going to Wood Norton and making our own fake show. This involved us splitting up in 3 groups of 3. One group would be on the camera, one group on the panel and one group in the gallery. Over the course of the day, we all got a chance to try everything out. Another training day was at our college (Westminster Kingsway) where we learnt all about the different media sectors and was a pretty insightful day. I also started to understand how the tube worked which was brilliant. Heading back up to my home town Manchester for 2 days happened in the middle of training. The reason for this is because we had to attend ‘Upfront’ which just told you more about the BBC. We stayed in a hotel in the centre which was an experience in itself. The rooms were slightly haunted, old fashioned and there was one lift for the entire hotel. Let’s just say we made the best out of a bad situation.

Throughout the 5 weeks of training, strong friendships started to form that are going to last for a very long time. We would spend out of working hours together, whether this would be a drink after training in the local pub, going for a bit of retail therapy or going out for a meal (which was a disaster). There wasn't a day that went by without being in fits of laughter and cannot wait to be reunited on the 10th February.

My first placement was in Manchester, Media City working with the Religion and Ethics department. When I heard Religion and Ethics I was a bit sceptical about it, however I got put on the team that produce the documentaries and I have to say it’s been amazing first placement. Before Christmas I was working on a programme called ‘Fern Britton Meets’. This programme was where Fern Britton met up with various celebrities and interviewed them about their religion and how their faith has helped them throughout their career.  Over the 4 part series that went out on BBC1, Fern interviewed, Susan Boyle, John Simpson, Christine Ohuruogu and Ken Dodd. On this programme I got 2 credits which I have to say was a fabulous feeling and made my family very proud.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my first placement, meeting incredible and influential people who have been in the business for years, gaining skills and hands on experience that I can carry over and continue for the rest of my apprenticeship. However, this experience has been shared with Laila who has been my rock through thick and thin and could not have done this without her. We have both got to know each other like the palm of our hand and sometimes too much information has been shared. But we have had great fun going to Chester Zoo, nights out in Leeds, going to the cinema, introducing her to Frurt and even having a luxurious spa weekend with a random zip wire in the middle of it all. Laila has also taught me so much and helped me grow as a person as well as providing some brilliant advice so Laila, thank you so much! <3 Sisters4lyf

My next placement is in London at ITV and trying to find somewhere to live, well, isn’t fun!  Will keep you updated.

But for now,

Stay fabulous

B ♥ 

Leave a comment below or send me a tweet @biancamarks95

Saturday, 25 January 2014


I'm pretty new to this whole blog thing so you'll have to bare with me :)

My journey to where I am today has been slightly surreal. I'm currently an apprentice at the BBC and absolutely loving it. Your question is probably, "How did you get that?" Well I'm going to tell you.

When my secondary school years were coming to an end it was time to start thinking about life a bit more seriously. When being in first year of Sixth Form at King David High School I was so set on going to University and living the student life. However when we were having more talks about University, I decided it wasn't for me. My first reason is that I had no clue what I wanted to do there and therefore I didn't want to waste my time. My second reason is pretty simple, I'm not particularly fond of studying and exams and my final reason is that I would just sleep and party.

Unfortunately, at my school they never really promoted alternatives if people didn't want to go to University. I first heard about apprenticeships via my older sister who also took the approach of not going to Uni. She has done an apprenticeship in Child Care and is now a fully qualified Nursery Nurse and has the best of both worlds, working, earning and still having an unbelievable social life.

Watching my sister succeed without going to Uni, I decided I was going to do the same. So, off my own back, I started to search and apply for apprenticeships in the industry field that I longed to be in. I was sadly getting no luck. Then one day, everything changed.

I had applied for the Production Management Apprenticeship back in April 2013 and had nothing back, so i automatically assumed that I didn't get it. Well, how wrong was I. In early July 2013 I received an email saying that I had been short-listed and invited for an interview. I did not hesitate one minute to book my place.

My interview day came, it was about the middle of July and I had to travel down to London which my dad so kindly did. The drive down, well I was a bag of nerves, so many thoughts were going through my head, what's it going to be like? What are the people going to be like? The interview process wasn't as bad as I thought. There was a group exercise, an individual exercise and a one-to-one interview. It was over and  I left feeling optimistic.

Approximately 5 days later, I woke up to the sound of my phone ringing and it was an unknown number, who on earth could this be waking me up in the early hours (11.10) of my summer holiday. "Hi Bianca, It's Darren from the BBC" I quickly shot up and pretended I'd be up for hours. "I would just like to inform you that you have been accepted to join our apprenticeship scheme" Tears, laughter and a scream all happened at the same time (sorry about that DJ Daz). This phone call had changed my life.

I quickly called my mum who was getting her nails done, well there were tears after tears, she couldn't have been more happier. She quickly came home and gave me the biggest hug ( as well as more tears). I then called my dad, who was at the bank, he couldn't really give a reaction, so he hung up. I got a call back and he was so happy and proud and came home and gave me a big hug as well.

I then went to tell the rest of my friends and family who were thrilled to hear that I had got my dream job.

Not applying to Uni was the biggest risk I ever took and it was probably the best thing I ever did. Do I regret not going to Uni? Not one bit. Why? Because I have the most amazing job, most supportive friends and family as well as a great social. I couldn't be prouder of myself and so thankful to the people who made my dream become a reality.

What are you thoughts of not going to university and taking a different approach?

Leave a comment below or ask any questions to my personal twitter @biancamarks95

Stay Fabulous