A young woman from the Rhondda has taken her first steps towards a television career as she returns from an invitation only training scheme with experts from the likes of BBC, ITV2, Endemol and Sky News.
Shauna Ryall, 19, from Porth, was one of just 50 young people from across the UK to travel to Edinburgh to take part in The Network – a four day crash course for students in the TV industry which has launched the careers of some of the most recognised presenters and celebrated directors.
Shauna is in especially exclusive company, as she is one of only three from Wales to earn a place on the scheme having applied for her place while in her final year of A Level studies at Coleg y Cymoedd’s Nantgarw Campus.
The Network, which takes place during the Edinburgh International Television Festival each year, saw Shauna take part in master classes about behind the scenes production, and eventually take on the roles of the assistant producer and floor manager in a two hour TV show, which was treated to all intense and purposes as if it was airing live.
Speaking about her time in Edinburgh, Shauna said: “I initially wanted to pursue a career behind the camera but The Network opened up so many opportunities for me, and I really enjoyed being an assistant producer. I’m really grateful to my photography teacher Jessica Roberts who gave me the confidence to apply, and my business teacher Clinton Evans who helped me with the application process.
“One of the best things about the scheme was being able to speak with likeminded people who are just as ambitious to enter the television industry. We were up at 6am every morning to start workshops and there was plenty of socialising in the evenings too!”
Shauna is still reaping the benefits of the training scheme, as The Network provides a yearlong mentor for each person who attended, to give guidance on upcoming interviews and help create connections and networks for the aspiring young people. Shauna is being mentored by Mog McIntyre, who has previously worked on BBC Radio 2’s Chris Evans Breakfast Show.
As part of The Network, Shauna will also be privy to exclusive jobs and opportunities through an additional work placement scheme called The Network at Work, which offers the chance to apply for paid entry level roles at top industries and broadcasters across the UK, starting next January.
Having recently completed her A Levels in business and photography at Coleg y Cymoedd’s Nantgarw campus, Shauna is currently working as a self-employed photographer, where she has been busy building a reputable name for herself in the area.
Judith Evans, principal of Coleg y Cymoedd, said: “We’re extremely proud of Shauna, who we fully expect to be a big name in TV in the future. She embodies the confidence and ingenuity we try and instil in all our students no matter what path they take after college. We are also really pleased that while she waits for her big break in television, she is putting the skills she learned at Coleg y Cymoedd to good use. We wish her all the best.”