Factual Fast Track – Interview

Tulip Chicoine & Zoe Milne

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What made you apply to Factual Fast Track?

Having both just returned from mat leave and itching to step up in our careers, we decided to apply to the Fast Track programme as a way of progressing our careers to a senior level. We wanted to soak up the extensive training and industry contacts provided by TRC to gain the management skills, training and social network to help develop us to the point that we could manage teams on large scale fact ent series. We also knew that the placement funding would help to mitigate the risk companies experience when hiring producers for the first time. More than this our hope was that through the Factual Fast Track Programme we’d be able to launch a Job Share and find a work life balance that would allow us to spend time with our families while still moving forward in our television careers.

How has the mentorship aspect of FFT aided you during the development programme?

Our mentors have been brilliant! It has been invaluable to chat in a safe place with women in leadership roles, both of whom have made it to the very top of TV. They have provided excellent advice and guided us through the last year as we navigated parenthood and a successful career in TV. They have answered all the questions we felt were too obvious or stupid to ask and gone above and beyond to help us problem solve real life challenges.

What is one aspect of Factual Fast Track you have found particularly helpful?

Without a doubt, we have Factual Fast Track to thank for the launch of our job share. Having the support and funding of TRC media has been invaluable – it not only transformed us into a brand of our own – it has lowered the perceived risk by companies of hiring a job share while giving two producers the chance to step up. Job Sharing is relatively new to the Scottish Industry, so it helped massively having TRC in our corner.

What advice would you give someone applying for Factual Fast Track Scotland and Northern Ireland?

There are so many reasons we would recommend this programme! The practical skills training; the mentors (there are two!) the incredible access to heads of companies and commissioners; the free pass to the Edinburgh Festival; the financial support. The career coaching!! The list really is endless.

But it isn’t just why we recommend it but to whom.

If you are a parent, an individual with additional needs or anyone who has hit a wall when it comes to taking the next step in your career – then this is the scheme for you. All the trainers and speakers have been so incredibly supportive of our job share. By hearing our story and what was made possible through FFT, we hope that others will see what an asset job sharing can be to a production and how it can transform the work life balance and mental health of Producers. It is vital that more production companies recognise flexible ways of working and hire people in this manner.

FFT has also allowed us to make new friends and contacts through our cohort. We definitely recommend FFT as a great way to build and expand your television network. To be connected with talent in Northern Ireland for example, who we would not normally cross paths with has been brilliant. It is so wonderful to be able to share knowledge, contacts and talent with them, in turn making all our productions stronger. Especially at a time when work in the nations and regions is booming and we are able to work on exciting big projects

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Factual Fast Track Scotland and Northern Ireland is funded by