February 01, 2018

An Interview With Naomi Julien From The #HiddenTalent Programme

Media Trust’s ‘Transforming Hidden Talent’ programme, funded by Queen’s Young Leaders, creates amazing opportunities for young people in London, Manchester and Birmingham who are interested in the creative and media industries. By connecting 16-25 year olds with top creative organisations, the programme gives an inside view into what it’s like working in the media industry. I interviewed Naomi Julien who is part of the Hidden Talent Programme.

Emma: Hi Naomi! Just to begin with, can you introduce yourself a bit and when you started the Hidden Talent programme?

Naomi: My name is Naomi Julien, I’m 21 years old. I’ve recently graduated from university and that’s when I started the Media Trust Hidden Talent programme. The Media Trust contacted me to let me know about the programme which was kind of perfect – and it came into play last year.

Emma: How did you find out about it?

Naomi: Well I remember my friend, he was doing something with the Media Trust, I’m not sure if it was the Hidden Talent programme, but it was something with the Media Trust. I remember they were helping him, and he was going to all these places, meeting all these people, and it’s really helped set him up. And I thought, oh that’s amazing. Like, I wanted to check out this company that were here to help you.

Emma: Did you always want to go into the media side of things? Is that something you always thought about?

Naomi: Yeah. Since doing my GCSE’s; I did media and I thought, oh, I really like this. I was getting good grades. I was thinking ok, this is something I enjoy. So I think that I’ve always wanted to do something in the media. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do within it until the end of university. But I wasn’t too sure until after sixth form; I’m just going to go to university and study media and see all my options because I wasn’t too sure about all the jobs that were out there.

Emma: Do you have more of an idea now? Now that you understand the different options that are out there?

Naomi: Yeah, definitely. I think work experience was the main thing that made me realise what I wanted to do because I was doing stuff within the TV industry, the film industry, getting to see behind the scenes. I enjoyed it and it was great, but it wasn’t creative enough. I think it was either you or Shola that mentioned: it’s like you’re so close, but it still wasn’t ‘there’. I think I did a day with the BBC, and it was like a journalism day, and I remember they made you go into the studios and just do the weather forecast. I sat there and thought I’d never considered being in front of the screen and giving that a go.

Emma: Was that your favourite thing so far?

Naomi: Yeah. Yeah it was my favourite thing to do so far. But I’m really excited for doing the Hidden Talent programme, because I’m just so excited to meet my mentor, be able to get to know somebody and be able to speak one to one and just get that advice. Because I feel getting a mentor is so important for young people, because I feel just having that person to just help you and speak to, if you’ve got any struggles, who has actually gone through it, is just so important. I think that what’s great about this programme, and I feel there should be more programmes doing that.

Emma: And it feels like you can ask someone, you know, when you’re scared of asking silly questions, even though they aren’t silly at all. You just need that one person you can confide in?

Naomi: Exactly. You’re put into an environment where you’re surrounded by other young people, who are in exactly the same boat as you. So it makes you feel like you’re not alone, and it’s just nice to know you can always go to someone to help and just that support.

Emma: Do you feel like you grow in confidence just through meeting new people? It felt like today that everyone just got on so well?

Naomi: I remember when we first came that everyone seemed a bit shy and nobody would really speak out. Whereas now it’s a really comfy environment which is nice because you know that nobody is going to laugh at you. And I think the fact that you guys choose to come here and help us, doing it for you own choice, makes it a bit better, because it’s not like you’re just doing this and then getting some money. It feels like you care more. It just makes it feel like a warm environment. I feel that sometimes you just need that nice environment where you feel comfy to really relax.

Emma: I feel like we found that though because when we got here, we immediately felt quite comfortable. We were just being quite chatty and you can be yourself really. And that was the environment and the people.

Naomi: I think that is so important. It’s great that we’ve got this place here and even say, when this finishes, I can still contact them. And they were saying that ‘whatever you’re doing, let them know because we can support you’. I think it’s so important with this scheme that they’re willing to support you with the stuff you’re doing on the side which I think is really important.

Emma: I’ve got two more questions. One more is that, it’s January 2018, the start to the year – and you’ve already made a podcast, well done! – What are you looking forward to for the rest of this year? And not necessarily goals, because that’s quite scary isn’t it? But what are you excited about this year?

Naomi: I feel like I’m excited for the possibilities, I feel like I’ve just started my journey and I feel like I’m at the stage where – like you say, this is January, and I’ve already had this amazing masterclass – and I feel like there’s so many possibilities, and now I know that I can do I a podcast, I feel like I can start doing that, and trying that, like you said. Because it can be something that, in the beginning isn’t going to be your main focus, so it’s something I can do on the side, like monthly if I’m too busy. So it’s just really exciting for the possibilities to be able to go for my goals and be somewhere where I know there’s going to be loads of opportunities to meet people. So I’m just really excited for the different people that I’m going to meet and for the future.

Emma: I love that, I get like that. The sort of not knowing, can be the fun of it. Because every day can be just like a crazy adventure.

Naomi: Exactly, because you just don’t know what’s going to happen?

Emma: And I know that you’re still technically new to the programme and I just wondered if anyone might be reading this, reading this interview, would you have any advice? Even now, to anyone else who might want to join?

Naomi: I feel like just go for it. Because I feel sometimes when you’re doing the application, you can be like ‘ah I’m not going to get in’ or ‘I’m not going to get picked’. I think my best advice is just to go for it and don’t be scared, don’t feel like you know too much or too little because everyone is so welcoming, and no question is silly. Like, in this today, when we were doing the editing, I feel like there were people in the room, some who knew how to edit; some who didn’t. I feel like everyone got taught, and the people who already knew stuff, they learnt even more. It was nice to be able to support each other and help, because say if someone who didn’t know much about it, or understand it, they could just turn to one of us who maybe knows a bit more and ask.

Emma: Actually, I did notice this when I came around the groups. There would be someone who has kind of done it before and teaching everyone else. And teaching in a really, really good way because not everyone is good at teaching and they were explaining it really well.

Naomi: Yeah, I think they understand and connect. I think it’s great that there’s a wide range of ages, and just meeting people to find out what they’re doing, I think is so helpful because you could hear something and not even realise that, that’s out there. And again, just like, meeting someone who you see is doing something you want to do, and just being able to ask them how did you do that? I think that’s so important because you see people doing all this stuff, but nobody is really willing to talk about how they started but also they won’t really give you the information that you need. But I feel like everyone here is, and I feel with you guys, we can ask you anything and then you don’t put rose tinted glasses on it, you just say it how it was which I think is really nice.

Emma: Exactly, because there’s never an overnight success to anything and I feel like sometimes people do gloss it over and then you end up feeling a bit rubbish about yourself, because you’re like, oh I didn’t do that, in like 6 months, because it always takes time to find what you like and grow it. But it’s such a lovely group and everyone seems really dedicated and motivated and I’m really excited for you all!

Naomi: I’m really excited. Thank you so much, it’s been a really big help. Thank you.

Emma: Thanks so much! 

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