October 14, 2015
In celebration of Work Experience Week, young person Tulani gives us the lowdown on his recent work experience at MTV, an opportunity signposted through Livity. Tulani gives us his breakdown of his two week placement, providing insight into the long-term impact this experience has had on his own passions and future career goals.
“My life at MTV”
I had the privilege recently of walking into the head offices of the wall street of entertainment, MTV. What once felt like a faceless global engine for music is now a collection of warm and beautiful faces that laughed at my jokes and smiled, even before I had a chance to. I got thrown into the trenches for two weeks with nothing but my bare hands, and let me tell you it was f***ing exhilarating. It’s a jungle over there, but a very trendy jungle with such diverse and exciting soundtracks.
It all started with the International Talent & Music team. Headed up by Melissa Skye and Bianca Acca aka the twin dream team, who together handle the most eccentric talents in the world with a touch of grace and a splash of class. It was great to watch them toss each other a metaphorical football that is effectively the EMA’s. Each took their turn whipping it into shape and preparing for the Milan leg on the 25th of October 2015, all the while guiding and receiving support from their young and hungry T.A.M team.
They weren’t shy to give me a peak at their baby either. I was given International video priority grids which really opened my mind up to the enormous scale of MTV’s reach across the globe. I tracked how often new songs were played across all their channels in all the regions except the US of A. Yes, we all to different degrees have an idea of how big this company is, but until you actually see it sitting on a page in numbers with regional chart forms in front of you, you can’t actually imagine it.
Let me put it in perspective. The first EMAs ceremony was held in 1994 in Berlin, Germany, and they are held every year in a different country. 1.2 billion people across the world watched the awards, staged in Belfast last November. The figures estimate that £25 was generated for the city, for every £1 of public money spent. £22 million was the total economic impact for Belfast. They are changing the face of a city one country at a time.
From coordinating social media announcements with Ed Sheeran and Ruby Rose, as well as across the 35 regions that MTV reaches, to coercing AC Milan to allow Mario Balotelli out on a school night, the Talent & Music team have pretty exciting lives from day-to-day. It’s not just paper pushing and conference calls.
Week two, I was a fully matured MTV Adult! I moved from Talent & Music on to saving the world, with the Staying Alive Foundation. Here, I found the place where they are fighting and measurably winning the war on an epidemic. HIV & Aids is a global threat. The Staying Alive Foundation is the largest collective effort to educate, support and supply people with the tools they need to protect themselves against HIV & Aids. Since everybody gets a kick out of numbers, here are a few. Since 2005 they have reached over 500 million young people and distributed over 7 million condoms. With the television series “MTV Shuga” they reach 550 million people and educate them about sexual reproductive health, how to prevent contracting HIV/Aids and encouraging them to know their status.
This Foundation was started 21 years ago by Miss Georgia Arnold. Having spent an evening with her perusing SOHO’s art scene, and selecting our favourite piece of photography from the life of Elizabeth Taylor. I have one thing to say, she is a remarkable and inspiring human being. As the founder of Staying Alive, she is a kind and warm soul. No wonder she commands so much respect without asking. I imagine much like that of Cleopatra in her day.
This all had me thinking intensely about my life and the impact I want to have on the world. I could never have imagined that after only two weeks I would be so much more aware of my existence and so much more conscious of how important it is to put your passion before anything else. I came to MTV for two weeks work experience and I left with perspective and a re-energised lease on life.
Thank you MTV, Melissa Skye, Rowena Dyson, Georgia Arnold and all the unsung heroes, I have met over the past two weeks that help make the global machine what it is. We turn on our televisions and hear beautiful music and watch meticulously planned award shows, but there are troops that are fighting every day to make that a possibility. This is a salute to them for all their efforts because not everybody gets to be on the television screen.
14.10.15, Tulani Pama, Livity young person
A big thanks to all the team at Viacom, for working in partnership with us at Livity and providing brilliant work experience placements for our young people!