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Former Long Road student Samuel Heavens off to Northwest Missouri State University

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Samuel Heavens, who also attended the BFI National Academy when he was at Long Road, will be spending a semester of his degree course at the University of Missouri.

Samuel, who studied the Level 3 Media Extended Diploma at Long Road, is taking the BA(Hons) in Media and Communication (TV Specialism) at Birmingham City University.

“I chose the Birmingham City degree because of the balance of theory and production on the course and the fact that it is accredited to meet the Creative Skillset (visit the Creative Skillset website for information), an additional award which is recognised overseas – so ideal if you want to work in the United States.

“Since I’ve been at Birmingham City, I’ve had lots of opportunities for amazing work experience. I spent two weeks at BBC Birmingham Midlands Today as a broadcast journalist writing for their website and helping with making ‘packages’(news items). I went out on location in Walsall during the run-up to the General Election, interviewed some of the candidates and assisted the senior broadcast journalist. I’ve been using ‘smartphone journalism’ techniques i.e. using a gimble to stabilise the phone.

“I also helped at the BBC Community Sports Awards, filming nominees for the various awards.

“At Birmingham City I’m the Station Manager for the university TV station, Scratch TV. I’m responsible for producing content on a regular basis – one of the items has been a games show. I was director and floor manager for that.

“My trip to Maryville, where the university is located, starts in January. Missouri is a partner university to Birmingham City, and it also has one of the largest and best student TV stations in the United States, KNWT. KNWT has received multiple nominations as a finalist for the College Media Association’s Pinnacle Award recognizing it as the top college television station in the nation, so it would be great to be involved with this. The competition to get a place in Missouri was very stiff – there were only three places available and over 30 applicants. I’ll be in the Mass Media Broadcasting and Production department.

“When I graduate, I’d like to be a producer / production manager within TV, and I’m hoping that all the experience I’ve gained on my degree course will stand me in good stead. The Level 3 Diploma was also enormously helpful: the methodology and planning skills I developed, alongside expertise in outside research, risk assessments, production planning and post-production are identical to those needed on my degree course so have become second nature.”