Sunday, 1 December 2013

The power of persuasion

As I mentioned in my last post, one of the first steps of my internship strategy is to attend some training sessions offered by the King's Professional Skills Programme. The first one that I attended involved boosting my influencing and negotiation skills.

During my internship in HELEXPO S.A., I had to persuade foreign entrepreneurs to attend an exhibition about renewable and conventional energy sources, and negotiating fees was a big part of this. However, even though I already have some experience in negotiating, I do not feel very confident about my negotiation skills. 

Source:, taken from 'Pretty Persuasion' (2005) directed by Marcos Siega

This seminar's goal was to ensure that we have a better perception of how the process of a negotiation works. Apart from an extensive presentation on the key elements and the essential skills that someone must obtain in order to have the advantage when negotiating, at the end of the seminar we had to put our newly acquired knowledge into practice through a role play. We were divided in teams of two, and, in this hypothetical scenario, two employees from two different departments of the same company (one from HR and one from Finance) had to reach an agreement about the expenses of a business, weekend trip for the whole company. The Finance employee had to persuade the HR employee that keeping the cost down is the most important thing while the HR employee wanted to guarantee that all the employees will have a good time.

Overall, it was an interesting seminar that gave me a better insight as far as negotiations are concerned. Some key points that I noted and I will try to put into practice in my future work experiences are the following:

  • It's important that you have set your limits and goals before initiating a negotiation. A smart move would be to set longer term goals than the deal on the table. You might even get a better deal in the end.
  • You should always be prepared beforehand (do your research and stick to your limit).
  • Pay attention to body language (the more space you use the most confident you seem, plus eye contact is key - a confident smile does not hurt either).
  • Never let emotions take control of your actions. It is crucial to maintain your distance and keep calm. It is easier for someone to take advantage of you if you seem disorientated and confused.
  • Do not hesitate to walk away from bad deals. If an offer does not fit your set goals then there is no point of taking it.
The following video is truly enlightening too:

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The pursuit of success

To quote Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, "life is a kind of chess". Same goes when planning your career. You have to prepare your every move, you need to create alternatives, avoid dead-ends and never forget what your ultimate goal is: to win (in our case, to achieve a desirable position in the industry/sector you are interested in). 

Source:, taken from 'The Seventh Seal' (1957) directed by Ingmar Bergman

"Winning" can be interpreted in various ways by different people. Everyone has his/her own desires and ambitions. Which are mine? Since a was younger I always dreamed of being an active and valuable part of the film industry. I love movies. I love watching them, talking/writing about them and occasionally making them. Throughout the years, my aspirations about which role I would like to have inside the vast universe of the film industry has altered many times. Director? Screenwriter? Editor? Film critic? They are all very intriguing and occasionally glamorous occupations. But none of them is what actually makes my heart quiver. If someone asked me today what I aspire to do when I grow up, my response would be: either get involved in film production or film festivals. There is something about these two occupations that really fascinates me; it is probably the thrill of creating something from scratch and following its course as it evolves.

In any case, as the epigram says, "Rome wasn't built in a day". In the same way, one cannot just become a film producer from one day to another. According to the team behind the website 'My First Job in Film' (n.d.), film producers usually have to work their way to the top. They tend to have a lot of experience in other departments of film making (mainly entry level jobs or assistant jobs in production), and a powerful network. And what better place to build a network than a film festival!

Source:, taken from Inception (2010), directed by Christopher Nolan

That being said, my main goal for an internship will be top film festivals that take place in London as well as production companies that are either based or have a division in London. After a lot of research I came up with the "Big 5", my top 5 choices for my internship. From the most desirable to the slightly less:

Apart from the "Big 5", I have also gathered information about other production and distribution companies, just in case that all applications in the "Big 5" fail. The back-up choices include Metrodome, 20th Century Fox, Pathe Productions, Vertigo Films, TLA Releasing and Verve Pictures.

Which are my next moves? First of all, I have to visit the Careers Centre and get my CV checked (it does not hurt to get a second opinion). Then I need to attend some of the elective seminars from the King's Professional Skills Programme, in order to reinforce my skills in certain areas, like networking, negotiating and leading a team. In order to strengthen my CV a little bit more, I must start looking for volunteering opportunities in the film industry. I might have some experience in events management and festivals but I understand that British employers value more work experiences gained inside the UK. Last but not least, when I will return from my Christmas holidays, I need to send my covering letter and CV to Sundance Film Festival; it takes place in April, so the first week of the new year is probably the best period to start my communication with them.


  • My First Job in Film, n.d.. Producers. Available at: [Accessed 15 November 2013].

Saturday, 16 November 2013

May 14th, 2013

That was the day I found out that I got accepted into King's College London, in order to attend a postgraduate course on Cultural and Creative Industries. Exciting times! Fascinating opportunities opened up for me that day. Not only because King's College is among the best universities in the world, or because all the modules seemed very intriguing (at last, a chance for me to study about something that I'm really passionate about). One of the main reasons why I chose and wished to be a part of this Master was its internship programme


I always believed that putting theory into practice is the most significant part of education. When I was searching for an MA, my priority was to find a programme that offered internships and had good connections with professionals of the field that I was interested in; film. An MA that will not just enhance my theoretical knowledge, but also prepare me for the working arena. After all, I could argue that one can learn a lot more from a professional who is working for decades in the cultural and creative industries, rather than from a book about the cultural and creative industries. 

Taken from 'The Internship' (2013), directed by Shawn Levy 

This blog will follow the whole procedure of my internship hunt: applications, interviews and so on, along with my actual experience if when I will find an internship (let's keep positive, shall we?). The blog will help me critically evaluate my whole experience and develop a better understanding of my skills, my weaknesses and my future goals, as well as, it will help the Module Convenor to assess the way in which I will link my theoretical knowledge with my internship experience.