Real Film Career Forum Forum for What I Really Want to Do => Editorials => : BrianDzyak April 26, 2015, 02:17:34 PM

: How volunteering helped graduate land her dream job in the film industry
: BrianDzyak April 26, 2015, 02:17:34 PM

by Tricia Phillips, Daily Mirror 6/01/2011

How Louise Purvis got her dream job in the movie industry working with A-list stars like Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter could easily be the subject of a film script.
When she left university last summer with a degree in Digital Screen Arts she was faced, along with hundreds of thousands of other new graduates, with a hunt for her first job – no easy task in today’s market.
But rather than sit around waiting for the perfect ­opportunity to find her, Louise, 23, decided to offer her services as a volunteer.
With the help of her local Jobcentre, she teamed up with The Wisdom Trust, which supports more than 500 charities and good causes.
“I was able to help The Wisdom Trust to develop its presence on the internet and to make use of Twitter and Facebook,” says Louise, who comes from New Addington, in Surrey.
“The people there were really nice, it was a great experience – and it gave me something to talk about at job interviews.”
Louise’s initiative led to her gaining work experience with a couple of film production companies before landing her dream job five months ago with LipSync, a post-production company based in London’s West End.
“I currently work as a runner, which means looking after clients like Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter and Bill Nighy, who have all been really nice to me, and delivering ­packages to big film companies like 20th Century Fox and Universal. I love it. It’s really varied and, although the hours are long, it’s a great ­atmosphere to work in,” she says.
Louise now wants to develop her career with the company.
“I’ve been able to sit in on editing sessions and get tips from editors and producers, and I hope to get hands-on experience editing my own project.
“I did animation as part of my degree and I’d love to use this at work. I’m learning a lot and I’m very excited about my career.
“I’ve been so busy since I started working here I haven’t had any spare time for volunteering,” she adds. “But I would do it again if I had the opportunity and I would recommend it to others.

“It boosts your confidence and I think it definitely helped me to win this job among lots of ­competition. It showed I wasn’t just sitting around waiting, I was prepared to go out, work in a team and gain new skills.”
So, could you follow Louise’s example in 2011?
Under a Government scheme called Work Together, ­Jobcentres around the country are busy ­encouraging people to volunteer while they are hunting for work.
Under the scheme, Jobcentre Plus advisers tell job seekers what sort of volunteering they can do while on benefits and help guide them to local opportunities. Minister for Employment Chris Grayling says: “Volunteering is an excellent way to gain the practical experience that can really give you the edge in the jobs market.
“As Louise’s story proves, a little initiative can get you a long way.
“Volunteering gave Louise with the opportunity to build business contacts as well as demonstrate her skills, which has given her an inroad into her dream career.”
As a volunteer there are hundreds of ways to give ­something back while boosting opportunities for yourself. Youthnet, the charity behind top volunteering site, has upwards of a million ­opportunities available with 28,000 organisations in the UK.
Potential volunteers can search the database for more than 30 different activities, including finance work, fundraising, marketing and PR, as well as more practical roles such as driving, catering and gardening.
For example, during January there are opportunities for young people to give Nintendo Wii lessons to older people in Tyne and Wear, to give time at ­weekends to mentor young people in London and to join a ­nationwide team fundraising for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Other places to find inspiration are, where you can find things to do close to your home or work, and ­alsoVolunteer England at
This year saw Britain’s largest ever volunteer recruitment drive, to find 70,000 people to act as games makers for the 2012 Olympic Games.
That has now closed, but there is still time to register to become one of 8,000 London ambassadors welcoming visitors to the Games. Visit, but hurry, applications close tomorrow.