These are the star qualities that landed us our jobs
10 months ago, 8 Mar 18:29
The workplace in Kenya, and indeed all over the world, is getting younger and younger, as it is, millennials constitute a significant fraction of the workforce in most organisations. Some industries such as broadcast media and tech firms have been quick to tap into this young talent, energy and elasticity, and even entrusted them with central roles. International auditing firm PwC, had aimed for an 80 per cent composition of youth in its personnel globally by 2016. Though conservative companies have been slower to engage the youth in focal roles, generally, the tide of a more youthful workforce is fast rising. This week, we engage a young TV director, a TV reporter and a scientist, who reveal the qualities that propeled them to their current roles, the contributions they have made in their organisations, the challenges they face and how this mix has moulded them into the professionals they are. Mike Wainaina, 22 TV Director, NTV At 22, Mike is one of the country’s youngest TV directors in a mainstream TV station. He is charged with directing primetime bulletins and leading productions. “My directing role involves managing various personnel, such as studio technical operators (STOs) who include camera persons, sound operators, autocue personnel and graphic designers and anchors in the studio,” explains Mike. A TV control room, he says, is constantly humming with activity, all which must be well-coordinated to ensure an exceptional viewership experience for the audience. “I direct the personnel on what to do when, where to go and when to take breaks. I also manage time on their behalf, such that all behind-the-scenes events happen harmoniously for a seamless show or bulletin on air,” he explains. As the pulse of all these studio activities, the director will be, at any one time, speaking with more than eight different people on talkback (a two-way communication system through loudspeaker or headphones) and telephone. News time, he says, is a pulsating moment in a TV studio like NTV’s. While it is easy to admire his agility and precision at work, Mike emphasises that vigilance and mental acuity are vital on this job. “A slight lapse in concentration as the director can potentially compromise whatever is on air. The presenter relies entirely on guidance from the director, for instance, on when to move from one story to the next, which camera to face, and even when conducting studio interviews,” Mike expounds. “It’s both a challenging and exciting job. It is fulfilling to know that millions of viewers in their homes enjoy smoothness of TV content as a result of the effort we put in behind the scenes. This role has made me believe in my ability to do even bigger things,” he says, adding that the enormous role has inculcated in him a sense of responsibility. He studied mass communication at the Nairobi Institute of Business Studies (NIBS), where he graduated in 2015. How did he land such a plum role so early in his career? “Persistence and initiative have ...
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