Ready for her close-up: a recent graduate tells us about the world of work

Marie Boon graduated from Liverpool in 2013 with a BA in Hispanic Studies. She recently got in touch with Languages at Liverpool to explain how her degree helped her to secure her new job as International Movie Coordinator, IFE Services UK.

Marie Graduation photoIf there’s one thing that drew me to the University of Liverpool’s Hispanic Studies course over any other uni, it was the broad range of cultural modules on offer under the SOCLAS umbrella. But neglecting Literature and Linguistics modules in favour of European Cinema and Latin American Film Studies was never a career decision- in fact it seemed like a risky specialisation because, let’s face it, how many jobs require an in-depth knowledge of foreign film theory?

With that in mind, I was so used to ignoring emails from the Careers and Employability Service that I actually let out a little squeal when one popped up with the subject heading “International Movie Coordinator required,” weeks before my final exams. Dubious about my level of qualification for the job, it was a tough decision to forfeit precious coursework writing hours for the CV and application process, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Imagine my forlorn delight, then, to be offered an interview just five days before the dreaded dissertation deadline. Against advice from tutors and friends I threw myself into it and somehow wangled a job and a dissertation in the same week!

Five months on and I’m a fully fledged International Movies Coordinator at IFE Services UK, one of just a handful of companies that supply in-flight entertainment to all the worlds’ airlines. I spend my days researching and screening new releases from all over the world, negotiating with distributors on behalf of major airlines, oh and lest I forget, filling in spreadsheets. Ok, so spreadsheets aren’t that glamorous but the rest is my dream job: as the only non-Hollywood programmer I’ve got free reign to book some real quality independent cinema and have even chased up some movies from the UoL syllabus.

Amazingly, I’m able to use my degree to focus a lot of time on Latin American cinema and if I can pull it off, my greatest achievement will be persuading Emirates Airlines to book their first Catalan language movie; a sundrenched docu-fiction flick called La Plaga, produced by my Erasmus university in Barcelona, UPF (The same course that produced En Construcción, for those third years taking MODL302, ‘Aspects of Realism’).

As someone who had to resit their second year I still can’t believe I’ve got a a degree, let alone a job that appears to have been dreamed up just for me; but thanks some serious enlightenment on my year abroad followed by the toughest yet most rewarding year of my life, I now find myself wearing a suit and looking forward to Cannes Film Festival 2014…

My three top tips for current students:

1.) Movie Recommendation: Renoir by Gilles Bourdos, France’s 2014 Oscar entry about painter Pierre-Auguste and his son, filmmaker Jean Renoir. Essential viewing if you’re studying Renoir’s ‘Partie de Campagne’ with Alison Smith.

2.) Job application top tip: Make use of the Careers Service- they offered me innovative advice on the structure of my CV that made my application stand out, so much so that my (now) boss made a point of it in the interview.

3.) Career advice: Extra-curricular activities: DO THEM! Start your career before you finish your degree- I definitely would not have a job today if I hadn’t followed this advice. Create your own opportunities if necessary, just do something!!

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