Robbie graduated from Southampton Solent University in 2011 with a degree in Outside Broadcast Technology, before joining Broadcast RF as a prosperous trainee engineer, with the intention of pursuing a career in the niche market of wireless cameras and integration of RF into the outside broadcast industry.
As with all of our trainee engineers, in the preliminary stages of employment Robbie had to adjust to the very unpredictable working hours incurred in the broadcasting industry. Initially sent as a trainee on day to day events such as rugby league, football and film premieres in order to learn the tricks of the trade, Robbie quickly developed a vast understanding of the job and after his initial training period was propelled into working as lead engineer on daily events of a lesser scale.
Now a fully-fledged RF engineer, Robbie has developed his own disposition in the RF world through an alteration between work in the warehouse and working on live events. A familiar face on the channel 4 horseracing team, Robbie has worked at Sandown, Ascot, Newbury, Doncaster and many more on a weekly basis, and most recently worked for 5 consecutive days as the sole RF engineer at London’s Wembley Arena for the live final of The X Factor. He has developed an outstanding relationship with many of our clients and is recognised on site as a very reliable and easy to work with engineer.
We had a chance to grab Robbie this Christmas and run a few questions past him regarding his training and experience at Broadcast RF:
• What made you choose a career in RF over working for an OB company?
After graduating from university I knew what to expect of the very specialist market that is RF, and I looked forward to the varied nature of jobs that Broadcast RF work on in particular. Also, I was looking for a challenging role which could teach me more than what I had already learned, which is exactly what I’ve found. No job is ever the same, and you never know what might happen on site, so there’s no such thing as an easy day for us.
• How have you found working at BRF since you were employed nearly two years ago?
Working for Broadcast RF is very enjoyable, with a very interesting and challenging aspect that keeps me attentive at all times. The time split between factory based testing and on site engineering has allowed me to broaden my knowledge of all things related to different types of live broadcasts and how we integrate our solutions.
• What previous experience did you have in the industry before working with Broadcast RF?
Amongst many small OB’s that I worked on with university, I have also visited the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam which gave me a great look into the many different aspects of the industry. I also appeared at Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts as an engineering/camera operator a few years back which gave me a great idea of what working on site can be like – In this case, very cold and very muddy! • How different is life in the industry as opposed to what you studied at university.
When studying Outside Broadcast Technology I did not focus on the RF industry specifically, but university did prepare me for life in the industry in general. Now that I am in the industry, everything is pretty much what I expected. Although I do have to work long and unsociable hours, Broadcast RF are pretty fair when It comes to giving me the occasional social hour off. • What have you got in the dairy for 2014?
We all know that next year will be a very busy year, and it has all started already. With the Sochi Olympic Games just around the corner, we are already heavily involved in ensuring that all of the kit can be dispatched on time, and the majority of it is leaving us before the New Year anyway! As well as that, the World Cup in Brazil will be here before we know it, and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow follows less than a month after that! I am an accredited engineer for the Commonwealth Games, and there are many other high-profile projects such as the London Marathon and the Crown Jewel horseracing events that I am pretty sure to be booked for. • How different is your career now compared to your fellow graduates?
I am the only one of my fellow graduates who went on to work in the RF industry, although many of my friends from university did pursue a career in the OB world. I have a few friends who work for OB companies, whereas others opted to take route down the communications path. One guy even opted to work on kit development and is looking to help manufacture new and improved products to benefit the industry as a whole.