How a dose of good will set two students on road to MTV

By Zoe Winograd, December 6, 2012
Nikki Taylor asking an exceptional question

Nikki Taylor asking an exceptional question

Two schoolgirls have secured internships at MTV after taking part in a conference aimed at helping students learn more about employment opportunities.

Emma Desmond and Nikki Taylor were offered the placements after questioning a senior executive from the channel.

The inaugural Goodwill Hunting conference gave young adults the chance to hear from industry experts about forming career paths and finishing their higher education.

At the London event attended by Emma and Nikki, Viacom International Media Network senior vice president Georgia Arnold focussed on jobs in the media.

Around 80 students aged between 16 and 21 attended the conference, organised by Goodwill Hunting chief executive Paul Cohen. The students were asked to prepare CVs and write questions for the experts, with Ms Arnold offering placements to 12 of the participants following the conference.

Placements were offered after a Q&A session with the chief executive

Glasgow-based Nikki, 16, a former FZY tour participant, said: “It was really good to find out more about what I want to do. I’d like to get in to television and cinema and so I didn’t want to miss it.

“The conference’s question process is great as it gives people an opportunity to get a work placement, especially for someone who doesn’t know anyone in the industry. It also means you have to be proactive.”

Emma, 17, a member of Noam and New North London synagogue, said: “The guest speaker was brilliant. My question was about social media and how MTV uses Twitter and Facebook. The questions meant that everyone got to learn so much more from all of Georgia’s answers.”

Mr Cohen said: “The conference is all about empowerment and social mobility. We enable any student to potentially secure a work placement, simply on the quality of the question they submit.

“The conferences allow students to ‘look inside’ a company and get a greater understanding of how it works. A large percentage of college and university students still don’t know what they want to do after completing their course, and we hope to give them a little direction.”

The next conference, due to take place in January, will feature speakers from two law firms.

Last updated: 11:34am, December 6 2012