A SWOT Analysis Of Me

So there was this thing, wayyy back at GCSE, in Business Studies. It was called a SWOT analysis, because it stood for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. They were used to help establish where abouts you were on the corporate food chain, and also help you set out your goals – ie: how important your survival was in relation to achieving your goal. For this module, I am nigh-on certain I am smack-bang at the very bottom of the lowest area of the food chain. I am about to go out and hunt down some professional experiences, but before I do, I have ben asked to do one of these on me… so here goes:

Strengths

I consider myself mentally strong. When the chips are down and things are bad, I tend to keep a level head. This was proven most recently when we lost our radio show in formats production the day before hand in – luckily, the audio logs resurfaced just before the day ended. Physically, I am also in good shape, which is helpful when two Z1 cameras need to be somewhere at a certain time. This has helped a lot in the Prague Trip, as I have to carry heavy JVC cameras and their accessories around at a certain pace.

I am self-motivated, meaning I’m always ready for the next ‘big thing’ or challenge, which is evident in my enthusiasm for my current and future projects.

Throughout my academic career, I have shown time and time again to be a good listener and a good communicator. These skills have been pivotal to almost every media artefact I have produced on this course, as every project has been created in a team. I have proven able to get on well with people from a variety of different backgrounds, and this will no doubt be handy in establishing links within the industry. I am also honest, reliable, trustworthy and punctual, again shown in many of the projects I have made thus far.

In addition to this, I am organised and have good time management. These skills were most harshly tested during my filming of the Demo-Lition protest march, when my bus got stuck in a massive London traffic jam, and left me and my group stranded in Piccadilly two hours after we should have been there. I managed to find the person I as supposed to meet, and I still made a solid attempt at a documentary.

I consider myself a creative person – there’s not much evidence of it yet, but it’s all up there in the mind! I will be creating some of my more abstract ideas in the upcoming terms, as I now feel I am technically competent to take them on.

Technically, I’m good at setting up and using a variety of cameras. Tripods are accessories I can use very well also, which has come with being a frequent camera operator in projects – notably Source TV, such as when I used a tripod and a Z1 in the middle of a nightclub.

I also possess skills with DSLR cameras – generally self-taught. I have created several ‘on the side’ galleries of work online, but I haven’t considered any of them professional as of yet, as I’m still exploring the medium. These skills have helped me a great deal in understanding video cameras however, as they share many similar traits. The most recent gallery I created was of Coventry’s War Memorial Park in autumn, which was a study in the contrast in colours on the leaves of the trees.

I am a confident person, and have good presentation skills, both in myself and in my work. I have often been asked to present work, and I always do presentations to the best of my ability. My social skills have come into practice here, and hopefully I will continue to develop these skills throughout my career.

Weaknesses

My biggest weakness lies in my ability to use technology to it’s full potential. I seem to be improving equally in both visual and audio media, but it’s an ongoing thing at the moment. I can use cameras to their full potential usually, but I would consider myself at an ‘advanced stage of learning’ rather than a professional master. Practice makes perfect. I used a JVC recently and I couldn’t get an image to appear on the screen, despite the fact the lens cap was off. It turned out the iris control had been set to a practically closed shutter, letting no light into the lens. Whoops.

I have rather relaxed attitude towards things, which is both a strength and a weakness. On the plus side, it means it’s very hard to get me stressed, and as I result I can cope under high pressure. On the downside, I can sometimes feel complacent about tasks – especially ones I don’t want to do, or have no motivation for. This leads to the production of sub-standard goods, which is why I consider this also a weakness, as I wont be able to make what I want to make a hundred percent of the time. One example of this may have been when we were asked to record people watching The X Factor – I simply did a blog post on my feelings about the show instead (humourous though it was!).

As a final note, my work experience history is extremely limited, and thus I will be working on my portfolio and CV extensively over this upcoming year. As you can see, my CV is in the process of being built. By the end of this academic year I hope to have a professional-looking showreel I can show to potential employers. My work should range from marketing videos to short films to documentaries, making me an all-round camera operator for various parts of the industry.

Opportunities

The university has offered several opportunities for me, and I’ve gone for as many as possible. I immediately got myself signed up for Source TV and Source Radio, as was always the plan throughout the latter half of the first year. As I’d hoped, these societies have improved my communication and organization skills already, and I’m sure they’ll continue to do so in the future.

I am going on the Prague trip, and also to Tenerife, so I can gain experience abroad. Experience in an alien environment is a luxury, but something I consider an important and relevant experience, to prepare for situations where I may be asked to film in places where the weather is different, or where I don’t speak the local dialect.

I am also creating some of my own projects, away from the restraints of university modules, so that I can use the skills I have learnt from the course and create something that I can put in my showreel. I have sometimes felt that module guidelines have restricted some of my creativity – for example, the 201MC proposals. I have a lot to say about a lot of things – sometimes I waffle of course, but other times making a longer film or documentary can allow you to explore themes to a deeper level than a ‘3-minute wonder’ can. I learned so much from my Demo-Lition protest march documentary that I feel these solo projects are highly beneficial.

I am also part of a documentary project at Hereward College, dealing with the issue of Asperges Syndrome. I am only a camera operator for this project, but it is giving me a different perspective of documentary production, as previous projects have been based around issues I’ve been familiar with (eg: tuition fees), whereas in this project I’m much more out of my comfort zone.

Threats

A threat to me is that I get easily distracted. It’s not strictly a weakness, as when I am part of a team doing a job, I am devoted to the project and I become focused on the job at hand. When on my own however, the internet often provides ample distractions, never ceasing my work completely, but often delaying it. The internet will not disappear, and my personality will not change. ‘Easily distracted’ is something I have been labelled as by academic staff since nursery, so this is a weakness of mine that’s probably here to stay.

The internet also provides another threat, however – that of the industry. It’s changing the media institutions. On the down side, less of us will be working for the BBC or ITV when we leave – on the plus side, more jobs will be available in new, vibrant online networks and institutions. The BIG problem is that these new networks are entirely unproven. No-one knows how they will work, it will be highly based on theoretical approaches, and generally we will be a generation of media producers diving into the unknown. Sounds like a fun opportunity – but it’s also going to be a massive headache.

However, the biggest threat to the industry right now seems to be the recession. Indulging ourselves in professional broadcast media is not crucial. DVD sales may deplete, as will games and other forms of media. For example, nobody can probably afford the new Call Of Duty game at £45. It is a threat to me, because I’m graduating in the next year or so (dependent on grades and the option of a masters degree). If we are still in the recession, getting a job in the industry may be difficult when I leave. Improvisation and creativity will be important.

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2 Responses to “A SWOT Analysis Of Me”

  1. Nobody can afford a £45 call of duty game? Are you serious? It’s one of the most popular games on the market! What a load of rubbish. Game sales are one of the things where there will be no depletion in sales because regardless of how the recession is, there is still a demand for it. Look at the Kinect and the new xbox, sales for those are incredible. Gears of War 3, Capcom vs Marvell 3, Dead Space 2, F.E.A.R 3, just to name a few are all going to be new games on the market, it is 100% guarunteed that those games, despite being around that price range, will still have amazing sales. Why? Simple concept of demand and supply.

  2. That’s a good point you make. Yet in theory, during a recession the worst areas to be affected are luxury items, or those that are non-necessity. People stop going abroad on holiday and start camping instead. People stop going to the cinema and wait for DVD releases (or perhaps stream them instead). Surely computer games will be affected as well? CoD has been one of the best selling games of 2010 sure. But I for one can’t afford it until it comes down in price, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

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