Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?
Hello! My name is Olivia Lynch. I’m 26-year-olds, born and bred in Leeds. I’m mixed Black (Caribbean & African) and also White and I'm a big lover of God.
What does your job involve? Give us the typical outline of a day?
My job is extremely creative. A major part of my role is producing content and ideas for Channel 4’s TV shows on their social media platforms.
Every morning I'm then given various briefs for Channel 4 or E4 shows. I’ll then create my ideas for a response to the brief and present back to the Strategist. Once those ideas are greenlighted, I’ll go on to create the assets with an Editor (e.g Facebook video, Instagram meme or video, YouTube video, Snap Show) and they are swiftly sent to our Social Team for publishing.
What’s great about your job?
EVERYTHING! I honestly love everything. If I have to choose it’s the PEOPLE and the whole creativeness of the role.
What are the bits you don’t like or find challenging?
I’d say when I have a creative block or when I’m unsure of what to create for an episode of a show I’m not familiar with I find it challenging. However, it does force me to think outside of the box. I’d also say, when you think you have a brilliant Facebook video for example, and it doesn’t perform as well as you thought it would it can be extremely disappointing creating a whole new challenge of not self doubting or deprecating yourself because of numbers.
What are the highlights of your career to date?
I’d say: creating a Facebook video compilation for Yorkshire Day; working on The Steph Show; producing and creating ideas for season 16 of Gogglebox; working on Wife Swap USA and helping to create Instagram story assets for a partnership brief with The Body Shop and End Youth Homelessness. All amazing shows and I’ve had the honor of being a part of.
What was your career path into this job? Have you also worked outside the arts?
I studied Communication and Media Studies at Loughborough University for my undergrad. I then went on to study Media Industries for my Master’s at the University of Leeds. Then I worked for a year in Marketing for Sport at the University of Leeds, from there I gained a job at UK Local TV.
My next move was triggered by Channel 4 announcing that they were moving to Leeds, and although anxious, I applied and I landed this amazing job! I feel as though media has always been a constant career journey in my life, I have had multiple jobs in restaurants and supermarkets which also helped mold my work ethic and people skills but I always went back to media.
Can you describe your biggest challenge so far in your career? How did you overcome it?
I’d say it’s not taking critique on your creative ideas personally. I can’t give a specific example but working in a creative environment with amazing individuals there is always room to grow and improve. As well as that suggestions are always being made to get the best results. I offer multiple suggestions and ideas for a brief which has been a way to overcome those critiques.
What is it like to be a Black woman in the field of Media?
It can be tough because I’m always thinking that I don’t want to come across as too much, but this is something I know I have to unlearn because the environment I’m currently working in just wants me to be who I am. It’s comforting to know that there are people and companies that will encourage you to be yourself and will accept you for who you are.
I think in any sector being Black is a challenge because of the cultural differences and the ingrained societal stereotypes that people are conditioned to believe about Black people but I’m learning to be first who God has created me to be and to walk proudly and unapologetically in my Blackness. I’m proud to be a Black woman in the Media.
How does lack of representation play a part in your journey? What do you think needs to be done to change this?
Lack of representation means breaking down the general, unforgiving stereotypes. It just means fighting against the norms that people perceive your culture to be, which I’ve only faced in office room conversations. I think that change can take place when companies seek the need to be more diverse with their companies and if they can grasp that, the concept of ‘different’ becomes the best platform for better understanding and education to learn about one another.
Have you noticed any changes in the industry? If so, what?
I can see changes in diversity in the media to an extent but we still have a long way to go.
You've been granted the ability to send a message to a 16-year-old you. What do you say?
LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE! Work hard so that your future self can prosper, but remember to enjoy those special moments. Live out your youth, travel the world, and find time to make yourself whole – and rest!
Do you have any advice for young people interested in doing your kind of job?
Have a creative project, product, business or platform as well. I LOVE MY JOB, but I also love my podcast – Up The M1 Podcast and my arts, music and entertainment platform called Urban Soul. Build on your own creativity daily, use social media wisely and tactically and write down ALL of your creative ideas! Habakkuk 2:2-3 – WRITE THE VISION!
For more information on Olivia check out her Instagram.
Podcast - Up The M1 Podcast
Arts Platform - Urban Soul