Megha Mathur (MA Creative and Media Enterprises 2011-12) has used her studies at Warwick as a stepping stone to go on to work as an executive producer at the History Channel, India where she is responsible for acquiring foreign TV programmes.
You work in television; can you tell us what what that involves?
I work as an Executive Producer at the History Channel, India. My work here involves the acquisition of internationally produced television content, that in my opinion is likely to work well for the brand's presence in the country, keeping in mind the television viewing preferences of the Indian audiences. I am also deeply involved in the process of localizing this acquired content before it is aired. All internationally acquired content is dubbed in five regional Indian languages, thereby expanding the channel's viewership across the country.
You studied Creative and Media Enterprises at Warwick, how did that help you in your career?
The MA served as a bridge between my existing knowledge and what I needed to learn in order to reach my goal eventually. Prior to being on the MA, I had only experienced the production aspects of filmmaking and television. I have always dreamt of working for a renowned international factual TV channel. But, I knew that before I could achieve that, I would have to understand the business of 'what goes on air' and the strategies behind it. The course gave me an insight into the financial and strategic aspects of setting up a creative business. Especially during my Creative Business Project with the BBC, I learnt a lot about viewer preferences and luckily, I now have the opportunity to apply that learning directly to my work at the History Channel.
What are the most challenging parts of your job?
Understanding a channel's target audience and it's consumption preferences in a country as diverse as India, is undeniably the most challenging aspect of my job. Even while looking at a niche segment within a segment, multiple factors could influence a viewer's decision to switch channels. I also feel that there is a lack of a credible rating system that is truly reflective of an audience's viewing preferences.
What have you done that you are most proud of?
I feel proud about the fact that I've managed to remain committed to my dream and that with every step I'm inching closer to it.
What drives you?
Travel. Nothing inspires me more.
What was your favorite aspect of the MA in Creative and Media Enterprises programme at Warwick?
What I enjoyed the most was the fact that we were a very diverse group of individuals- both in terms of our nationalities as well as our areas of skill and knowledge. We were and still are a very close knit group. Being a part of this group has been my greatest source of learning.
What would you tell someone thinking of studying at Warwick?
I would urge them to go for it. The international exposure is unparalleled and so is the care taken by the department to meticulously plan the course and use unconventional methods of teaching and learning.
Is there anything you wish you had done differently during your time as a student?
I wish I had an opportunity to work/intern in the UK. That would've broadened my perspective a bit more.
How do you balance work and life?
It's not much of a balancing act as of now since I live alone and have no real responsibilities. So work tends to become life. But I make it a point to travel every now and then, as well as catch up on a good read or a new film over the weekends.
If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
I would either be a chef or a deep sea diver.
Where do you hope to be in 10 years’ time?
The idea is to not know really. It's exiting to allow opportunities to reveal themselves when the time is right…but I do hope to be in a position where I can create stimulating and informative content that makes food for curious minds.
What three objects would you take with you to a desert island?
A fish hook, a fat book and a guy with a sense of humour.
What are your favourite memories of your university years at Warwick?
There are too many to list down really. Our class trips to London and Liverpool together were great fun and so were the drunken theme parties at the Grad Deck. We planned surprise break-ins and bashes to celebrate each birthday in our class. But my most cherished memory is going horseback riding in Lake District with my favorite bunch of girls, the day it snowed (2012)!
Do you have any advice for new graduates?
It is difficult to know where one is headed in life, from the very start. But it always helps to figure it out early on. Knowing where one's interest and aptitude lie can allow to one to draw more from their education. So, before applying for further studies, it might be a great idea to actually sweat it out a little bit to see where you stand.
Megha Mathur: the facts
|Lives:||New Delhi, India|
|Education:||MA in Creative and Media Enterprises, Centre for Cultural Policy Studies, University of Warwick|
|Career:||Executive Producer (Editorial) at the History Channel, India|
|Interests:||Travelling and culinary experimentation|