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Farrah Jaufuraully

Farrah Jaufuraully, BA Film and Media & Cultural Studies

Alumni Profile: Farrah JaufuraullyDevelopment Producer, IWC Media

BA Film and Media & Cultural Studies

What made you choose Middlesex University?

I grew up in South London and my parents were quite strict so I quite liked the idea of staying in London, experiencing more of the nightlife and the things the city has to offer. I also really like the cultural diversity of London.

The course offered by Middlesex was also exactly what I wanted to study. Because my parents were strict I wasn't allowed to go out when I was at school so felt going to uni in London would be a way to experience everything I'd missed out on as a teenager!

What attracted you to your course and made you apply?

I knew I wanted to be an actress or in Film or writing from a young age but we weren't offered any course that was related to Film or TV while at school. The closest I got was studying English A level!

A lot of film schools wanted practical experience as an entry requirement which I didn't have. The Middlesex course didn't require this so it offered me the opportunity to learn more about the area I knew I wanted a career in.

What aspects of your course did you enjoy most?

I really liked the fact that after the first year there were a lot of modules on offer and you had the option to pick modules and tailor your degree to your areas of interest.

What is your fondest memory of life at Middlesex?

My social life! I went out a lot and made good friends. Although we had a lot of fun, we also knuckled down when we needed to write essays. I remember being up at 2am writing one once in my bedroom with my friends around me. My friends offered a lot of support – we were an extremely supportive group.

What one piece of advice would you give to a prospective student interested in studying at Middlesex?

If you are feeling anxious, don't. This isn't school, there are no teachers telling you off, so make sure you do what you want to do and be true to yourself. Be open to new experiences and to meeting people.

How did your course and time at Middlesex help you to get where you are professionally today?

Having to do extensive research and learn about a lot of new things really helped. I have worked as a researcher on observational documentaries in the past so research skills were really important.

Additionally the ability to write is really important when putting together a programme treatment as you need to be able to tell a story and communicate the outcome. I think the time I spent writing essays while at university has helped me a lot in this area.

What made you choose the industry you work in and what are its pros and cons?

I knew I wanted to work in Film/TV from a young age. For me, one of the pros is the fact that the work is always freelance. This gives you the flexibility to choose when you take time off. I like the freedom. The flipside is that there can be times when you don't have work.

How did you get your foot on the career ladder post university?

There was an advert from a film company posted at Middlesex advertising for runners, so I grabbed the opportunity. I also applied for any job going. I would talk to people, phone them up, etc.

In addition to my job as a runner the summer after I graduated, I was also working in a local library near my home. As it was the summer holidays, I was asked if I could read stories to children. Around the same time I saw a job advert in the Guardian so applied. They phoned me up and asked me if I had any experience working with children, so I told them about my time at the library. That's how I got my first job as a researcher at Nickelodeon!

What has been your defining career break or highlight to date?

A year directing David Dickinson! I have only ever wanted to be a producer and director which is what I am doing now. This is the rung of the TV ladder I always intended to get to and finally I'm here.

What does the future hold for you?

I want to develop my skills as a producer and director further. Ultimately I would like to work on documentaries where I find people with an interesting story to tell and convey these through film.

What are the top three career tips you would give to current students and recent graduates?

Be tenacious and don't be afraid. Don't give up if you get knocked back. You need to believe in yourself, have confidence and try not to take set backs too personally. You might not be the right fit for one project but you will be for an alternative project.

Think what your own personal USP is and use this, so if you are good at making people laugh, consider applying for comedy films or series.

Always keep your end goal in mind. You may have to take other jobs along the way to support yourself financially but don't lose sight of your ultimate goal and have faith you will achieve it eventually. You can often have to take detours in life but these often serve a purpose. Don't give up!

What one piece of advice would you give to the 17/18 year old you?

Don't be afraid to make mistakes as you learn from these. You have to be philosophical about these as everything happens for a reason.

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