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Meet the… head of talent

Julia Hardwell, head of talent, Arrow Media tells TVBEurope how starting out in hospital radio led her to her first TV role as Neil Buchanan’s PA on Art Attack, and why you should never be afraid to diversify your CV.

Talk us through an average day in your role

My day is incredibly varied. It is often full of meetings, which includes meeting new talent, discussing staffing options for different productions, forward planning talent strategies at Arrow or troubleshooting last-minute staffing requests. The talent team at Arrow is a team of four and we work across all staffing requirements at the company. We also look after wellbeing, diversity and training at Arrow. My role ensures that our core staff and our freelancers can learn and be the best they can be.

How did you get started in the media industry?

My first TV role was as Neil Buchanan’s PA on Art Attack – making tea, booking meetings and generally having a great time – it was such a fun company. From there I progressed to production secretary working across all the shows Neil’s company made. 

What training did you have before entering the industry?

I didn’t really have any industry related training – my degree was in Drama. I did volunteer at the local hospital radio station, which opened a few doors – including the Art Attack one!!  

Why do you enjoy working in the industry?

I like the speed at which things happen – it can be very intense and fast-paced, but that makes it very fulfilling. It’s also great for building relationships. It can be friendly, welcoming and not at all corporate.  I love the human side of this industry.

What piece of advice would you offer someone looking to explore a role similar to yours?

Network. I would offer this advice to anyone wanting to do any role in this industry. It’s such a small world to be a part of, that you usually find someone, who knows someone that can help with whatever you need. Talk to people about their experiences, how they got to where they are and what they love about their job – it’s a great way to figure out what interests you. Also diversify your CV – even if it’s off the path you’re thinking you want, if an opportunity comes up, take it.