Melanie Lewis in radio studio at Stirling Campus
FVC inspired Melanie to be 'On Air' success
Work experience and involvement in Forth Valley College’s Connect Forth radio station has proven to be a great career move for a former BA Media and Communications student.
Melanie Lewis (24) – originally from Arbroath, but who now lives in Cambusbarron, Stirling – is now a Digital Communications Officer with Stirling Council and in charge of producing, filming, writing and directing their regular online news broadcast. However, none of this would have been possible if she hadn’t made the first tentative approaches to the local authority in January 2015 to try to set up a work experience placement as part of her course.
The excellent grounding and training she had received on her FVC BA Media and Communications course based at the Stirling Campus and her experience of helping to set up and working on the college’s innovative Connect Forth radio station, also gave her the confidence to push forward.
“I did not realise just how important work experience is for a student. I thought it was just part of the course, but I have gone into it with enthusiasm and now have a career out of it. I worked really hard when I was with the council as an intern and now I have a full-time position here.
“I now manage Stirling Council’s social and digital media content, make loads of films, edit, write scripts and produce the regular online news broadcast for the website. I work in a really, really good team and I use many different skills from film to photography to social media, to show all the good work the council is doing.
“I also mentor a Modern Apprentice – Craig Tough - who attends FVC’s Stirling Campus on the Creative and Digital Media MA course and help him assimilate the skills he is learning at college into the workplace.
“Of course that is exactly what I have managed to do with the skills I honed at the college and everything I learned in the FVC Creative Industries Department, I am putting into practice in my job with the council.
“The Campus at Stirling is amazing and everything is really beneficial for the student – particularly in Media and Communications. The facilities for photography, filming and even just studying in the library are fantastic and the lecturers are brilliant – in fact I keep in touch with many of them, especially Gavin Orr who was instrumental in getting the Connect Forth radio station up and running.
“This was another excellent experience to be involved in – and I like to think I had an influential hand in its success as I came up with the idea for the name! It certainly gave me all the skills I needed to do what I do now. The college and the lecturers have been so inspirational that I do not think I would be the person I am today and have the job that I have, if it were not for them.”
When she left Arbroath High School, Melanie tried some courses at a local college which were not what she was looking for. He partner, Matt who works in retail took a job in Stirling and it was this twist of fate that made her look at the courses that Forth Valley College had to offer.
“I would absolutely recommend Forth Valley College to anyone thinking of studying a Media and Communications qualification. It is ideal for people who might well be apprehensive about going straight to university – I know I was a bit intimidated by that. At Forth Valley College there are more one on one opportunities with lecturers, more support and the unique atmosphere in the beautiful surroundings at the Stirling Campus, make it the perfect place to be creative and study.”
FVC Creative Industries Lecturer Gavin Orr, said:
“I am exceptionally proud of Mel and not surprised she is doing so well with Stirling Council. She was always a grafter and relished working on the news team at Connect Forth Radio. Her continuing career success is testament to the great grounding that students can build on from Forth Valley College. Reminds me why I do this job!”