Over my two decades working within the UK TV industry I have juxtaposed creating great content and stories about really exciting people with training and mentoring young people from under represented backgrounds into employment in the creative industries.
I have learned as much from them as they have from me. I am a passionate advocate of two way mentoring. After all, If you ever think you know it all, you have already stopped midway the race.
So many young talent from diverse backgrounds have shared so much with me to create great content for TV and creative industries. I am forever indebted to them. They motivate my work and being their ”media mama” has been some of the most satisfying work of my career.
Here are some words from some of the talent I’ve been lucky enough to mentor across the years, and whom I now consider friends and colleagues.
When I think of Jasmine I think, POWERFUL MEDIA BOSS WOMAN, DOWN-TO-EARTH, and TRULY SUPPORTIVE. She has so many gifts and experiences under her belt, yet when you meet her she creates an environment that feels like family, and when you’re on her team she wants you to win! Personally, she’s the kind of woman I aspire to be in my career.
I first met Jasmine on the Media Trust training youth programme that she ran. At this point, I was eager to work in the industry, but had no experience. And I was immediately in awe of Jasmine. She is clearly passionate about young people and speaks their language. In her masterclasses she spoke about bringing your roots and where you come from into your job. She spoke about work etiquette and how to present yourself in the industry. As the queen of Twitter, her masterclass on the app was how I got an account. During that time, I remember being a sponge, taking in the gold and media wisdom, knowing that what she was sharing I wouldn’t hear anywhere else. Therefore, Jasmine has really shaped my understanding of the media world.
A few years later, I got to work more closely with Jasmine as a trainee at Netflix and she became my mentor. As a shy girl, Jasmine has consistently reminded me that I deserve to be in this industry and I have a voice. She is honest about how I can grow, in a way that is motivating. Her advice is always practical. After talking to her, I know what I need to do next and I’ve seen the results of her support in my career. She is amazing at recognising the exact steps I need to take to personally succeed. Her advice isn’t just about career moves, but also about soft skills and life hacks, the stuff that most people probably wouldn’t care to teach you. But Jasmine has really cared about my personal growth. She has given me tricks and tips on overcoming personal traits that could have stopped me from moving ahead.
What I appreciate the most about Jasmine is how she will fight for you to receive opportunities, she will go the extra mile to make sure you win, and she will be your biggest cheerleader. And I know that in her busy schedule she is accessible and ready to support me. Therefore, if I’m ever lost in my career, Jasmine is the first person I would think to go to. If I succeed in anything in my career, I know that Jasmine has most likely played a part in that achievement. And that is what makes Jasmine a SPECTACULAR person.
– BEULAH RAJKUMAR
I’d like to use words like ‘amazing’ or ‘wonderful’ to describe Jasmine but I don’t think they alone do her the justice she deserves. I think the closest I can get is by saying she is SENSATIONAL or PHENOMENAL or other grandiose descriptions because she really is. Her dedication to not just helping but also ensuring the progression and success of people like myself is second to none. She genuinely cares and you can feel that with every interaction. She is the media mother I never knew I needed! She will literally call out of the blue just to check on you, see what you are up to and offer you opportunities where necessary. That is akin to my mum calling to see if I’ve eaten and then offering to cook for me. I’ve got a special kind of love for that level of care!
I met Jasmine for a traineeship at Netflix and from day one she was giving so much value. Being that this was the first time in history Netflix had done a traineeship, and though I felt blessed to be 1 of 3 chosen, I was very much struggling with imposter syndrome because of the scale of the opportunity but Jasmine was quick to reaffirm to me that I had been chosen because I was capable and belonged here. She even picked up on mental limitations I had put on myself and would go out of the way to make sure to help me overcome them in our 1-2-1’s. In hindsight this was very pivotal for me as this habit of thinking less of my abilities would ultimately stop me from bringing the best of myself forward but with Jasmine’s support and nurturing I was able to overcome this which heavily boosted my confidence and thus my creativity and quality of work. Throughout the traineeship we participated in several masterclasses from the Netflix team to better our technical skills but Jasmine would always make sure to supplement our technical learning with her own masterclasses on the industry, best practices and personal skills to consider for longevity in the business, ensuring that we got the most out of the traineeship. She is always willing to go the extra mile and will always have your best interest in mind.
I have nothing but love and respect for her and feel truly blessed that she is my mentor. She not just teaches it but also inspires me to do for others what she does for me and I think that is a beautiful cycle of support and mentorship that we should all adopt… Everyone needs a Jasmine in their life!
In every conversation I have with Jasmine, I have the urge to grab a notepad because I feel like I am constantly learning and developing. Many of the pieces of wisdom she’s imparted have stuck with me. She is possibly the most dynamic, passionate and motivating person I know – oh, and her abundance of fun, positive energy and wide-ranging industry experience, makes her a perfect mentor.
One of the key lessons I learnt from Jasmine is to know who you are, what your brand is, and how you add value… and then own it. She taught me to never dim my shine and inspired me to bring my whole self to work.
Before we met when she was my mentor at Netflix, I already followed her on Twitter and thought she was an inspiration and someone I would love to connect with. And I was right! Jasmine was an integral part of moving my career from working in traditional TV to working in social media and streaming, and the experience of working with Jasmine changed my life for the better. From her, I have learnt that self-improvement is a constant journey and that we are always growing and changing.
She regularly shares her own experiences and insights of working in the industry, which when you have a portfolio as jam-packed as Jasmine’s, is an extremely useful thing! The multi-talented Jasmine is perhaps one of the most knowledgeable and well-connected people in the creative industry in the UK, which means that whatever your question or area of interest, Jasmine will most likely have some useful knowledge or know someone to connect you with.
Jasmine is authentic and genuinely (to use a cliche) ‘down with the kids’ – she’s ahead of the curve and spots trends before the rest of the industry. She encourages young people to be the best that they can be, and truly believes in them and that talent really can come from any background.
Jasmine is incredibly supportive and caring, is always there whenever you need her and is absolutely a force for good in the world. She makes you believe in your own abilities and makes you feel worthy.
And she does it all with a smile.
She really is the best mentor anyone could ask for and is one of those rare and amazing people that you meet in life who you feel privileged to know and work with.
–MICHAEL ANDREW JAMES SHERIDAN
There is no way in this world that I’d be where I’m at right now if it wasn’t for Jasmine. Not only has she devoted years of her life giving back to young people that want to get into the creative industries, she works effortlessly around the clock to teach us the very vital lessons of how to be impressionable, professional and maintain a career in a challenging industry.
Jasmine was a part of my journey and has been for years, and she changed my life when I was accepted into the Media Trust Training Scheme back in 2017. Through the ups and downs of over 100 failed job applications and interviews, Jasmine was always there to wipe my tears and tell me to carry on.
4 years later, I’ve created authentic relationships with people in the media industry, stemming from television, music and tech. Worked at the MOBO Awards at the age of 18, secured a paid internship with SYCO at the age of 19, got a promotion at Sony Music and now a manager at 21 at a tech company. None of this would’ve been possible without the endless check ins, intensive CV masterclasses and of course, her one of a kind round the clock advice!
Forever thankful for the memories and knowledge I’ve been given over the years. Netflix are SO lucky to have this phenomenal woman on their team.
I had just left my job (that I was hating) and to be honesty, was completely lost in life. I didn’t know where to turn or who to go to and felt that I was all on my own, that was until I saw a Facebook AD for a particular course which was ‘Creativity Works’. I saw it and immediately thought ‘why not?’ little did that person know he would come out not only graduating from the course but gaining myself a dream job. I remember the first interview I had with Jasmine and want instantly struck me was even though we were different ages, we both came to a common ground with one thing – that was Hip-Hop.
I remember talking to her about the time I went to Wireless and wrote an article about it and was hesitant to name artists as me being me thought she would not know, she then proceeded to tell me ‘Don’t hesitate, I know exactly what and who you’re talking about’. It felt to meet someone who understood my passion for music and who has created this into a job. This amongst all the good things she was telling me regarding the course, just got me excited inside to start a journey into media, I can say that the interview with Jasmine made me take that leap into the unknown..
And unknown it was, as just after our first session we was put into lockdown and we all thought ‘What’s going to happen?’ but alas, with the power of Jasmine and the whole Media Trust crew we were able to carry on through zoom. Jasmine helped build on skills that I already had whilst creating new skills that were needed in the future. My confidence when speaking in front of others and confidence in myself generally was something she helped install in me. She put me on the spot in front of many people and whilst it was scary, it has helped even today in my job. She also helped with another passion of mine, which was writing, I wrote many articles whilst on the Creativity Works course, and knowing she had the same eye for music as myself, allowed me to take her criticism, whatever it may be on board. She also helped me build confidence in my writing!
After all of this, near the end of my time with Creativity Works a opportunity came through and at first sight, I knew it had to be mine, it was a role at MediaCom. I got past the first stage, and on the same day Jasmine and I had a 1:1 I had the second stage, I still remember her face of shock and excitement when I told her! She then proceeded to straight away put me in touch with one of her colleagues and we had a chat about what the next stage could be about!
All of the tips, tricks and insights Jasmine gave to not just me, the whole team, successfully helped me gain my job at MediaCom and will stay with me forever! I can’t thank Jasmine enough and wish her every bit of successes in the future. Hopefully our paths cross again in the near future.
Started from the bottom now we HERE!
Before I started my career in the Media Field, I was lost in many ways than one. It wasn’t until I joined Media Trust’s Creativity Works Multi-Media Course led by Jasmine Dotiwala, that I found my sense of purpose. During the 10 weeks of the course, I observed that it is rare to meet someone as tenacious and caring as Jasmine. She taught my other course members and I not only essential skills in media but also prepared us for the world of work. She’s able to translate her wealth of experience effectively and without Jasmine, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Jasmine has taught me that nothing is impossible and to trust my own potential. My experience with her has created tangible improvements in my life. The result of having Jasmine as a mentor has led me to be a Producer at BBC Radio London. Her constant feedback and guidance throughout the course and thereafter shows that Jasmine is willing to always go above and beyond, no matter what task she is handed.
I don’t think the words exist to summarise the impact Jasmine Dotiwala had on my career and life trajectory, I remember my first encounter with her during my interview for London360, she cut quite an impression. Not knowing what to say, I did the usual interview waffle and as I got into something that resembled a conversation flow, Jasmine would stop me to pick up on things I had said and probe further. I had no real answer to give but more waffle found its way into the room and I could see she was going to be strict, real strict. Much to my surprise I was offered a place on the scheme and within weeks I was training to make television. Jasmine believes in tough love and every stage with her was a huge learning curve, she made sure we all hit the ground running and every detail of our work was picked through with a fine tooth comb. Too fine, it sometimes felt like, I recall an incident where a number of features I had made was below the standard required for our show, Jasmine called all of my colleagues before my computer and dissected everything wrong with it. It was a painful lesson, however, I never made those mistakes again. I even made a number of kick ass features as a result of the public scolding.
I actually remember there was a time where Jasmine went overseas for a few weeks, leaving our team in-charge of running the entire show. We thought we could handle it and in many ways we did- well we lived to tell the tale that is something right? A team of 6 of us ended up with 12 shoots across London on one day with just two camera kits. It was chaos, it took a brutal toll on all of us and it is something Jasmine would never have allowed to happen. But, despite this, because of Jasmine’s training regime, we managed to pull it off without incident. I think it was truly then that we all came to appreciate how much she does, how much we needed her, but ultimately how much she had taught us. We just never told her about that day for fear of a scolding. Her own personal stories, including how she came up in the world, was always inspiring for us all to listen too. She was often full of good advice and whenever we had a serious issue, we were always greeted with wisdom and sympathy. Switching between teacher to agony aunt may not have been in her job description, but it was certainly a role she took up was ease.
By the end it was clear that there was nothing Jasmine did for us that wasn’t done out of love. How she trained me gave me the confidence and the skills to walk into the BBC, despite lack of experience and contacts, and pitching ideas for serious shows, which got commissioned. Panorama was the first but soon I was pitching (and getting commissioned) across the board, one of my projects won an award of digital investigations and none of this would have been possible had I never crossed paths with Jasmine (or if she had turned down my application after the first interview).
I would not be doing my dream job as a journalist without her help and guidance! One of the most important lessons she taught me was why working with people you will often disagree can and should add your work. Working with her has opened doors that are typically difficult to open and unlike many people she has always been willing to share her little black book of contacts be they A List or Z List (she is equal opportunities) celebrities or senior politicians. Most of all she cares about inspiring a younger generation and making media a more representative space. She is not a a gate keeper, she is and always will be, a gate opener, and they are few and far between! I’ve so many memories of our time working together most of them should be subject to strict NDAs but luckily they are not! Who knows one day we may well tell the world.
Jasmine Dotiwala. Where to begin with Jasmine?
Jasmine is a force to be reckoned with, and you don’t need to work alongside her to know that. It is evident in all the roles she has succeeded and shined brightly in, as well as her positive, motivating approach to life which, if you follow her on Twitter, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Jasmine is the kind of person to throw herself into anything, align with brilliant, audacious minds and create something that is genuinely worth making– which brings us to Media Trust.
Following an ambitious application, I was honoured to participate in Season 10 of the Creativity Works programme, a youth development programme which under Jasmine’s thoughtful eye and meticulous approach, has created some of the best digital talent in the game right now.
Interestingly enough, my writing this piece comes not even a day after finding some of my old Nursery report books. 3-year-old Steph was “careful, taking her time to produce artwork that she is satisfied with”, she was “able to cut along a line, thread skilfully, pour accurately, fold paper and control the computer mouse well”. My personal favourite: “Stephanie shows a keen interest in her immediate environment. She likes exploring in the garden and asks questions such as “what’s that?” in order to further her understanding.” 3-year-old Steph was onto something, clearly.
When I first started Creativity Works, I didn’t know about my nursery days. I always felt as if I had stumbled into this creative world by accident– it wasn’t supposed to exist or be within my reach. In turn, I didn’t know where to go, or what to do with it, just that I loved it. Swap out threading for editing, pouring for writing and instead of a computer mouse, we’re talking computer gear now, Jasmine and her team (Richard, Tom, Thabita, Louise, Tomi, and I’m sure many others who I didn’t necessarily interact with day in, day out), through skills training and just straight up, hardcore encouragement and tough love, have very much nurtured that.
In a year that could have gone either way (you know, the dreaded P-word), I honestly believe I’ve been at my personal best. In no way does that mean challenges haven’t existed, but Jasmine has led us all by example and in turn, we’ve become a resilient, strong back, soft front and more importantly, wild hearted group. (ICYMI, that’s a Brené Brown reference). I’m now lucky enough to work alongside a passion project of BBC Radio London Drive Time presenter, Eddie Nestor. I’ve been brilliantly mentored by Charlie Atkin, Deputy Head of Video at Hearst UK, and have even completed some editorial work for Digital Spy as a direct result of this. I’m confident in bringing value to people and letting them bring value to me.
Ultimately, Jasmine is at the heart of all these networks, forever introducing me to people and projects! Beyond this, she’s also been an ally. She’s a DM or email away for every and anything. And for all the times I’ve been disheartened on the social media timeline, Jasmine has popped up and course-corrected (which does always then make me laugh at my initial dramatic millennial energy!). It’s not only beneficial, but a real privilege to have like-minded go-getters surround you. Wherever my journey takes me, it will always be a pleasure to have Jasmine around and try to give back so much of what she’s given to me. Very honestly, anywhere Jasmine is, they’re lucky to have her, so I hope they know it!
Hi my name is Yaw and I am a Media Trust alumni I worked with Jasmine at London360 during the years of 2012 to 2013 during that time I created multiple news pieces which were shown on Freeview,Virgin Media, the Community Channel, London Live and on Sky. Jasmine picked me out of a number of candidates to be part of this new young innovative news show.
My background at that time was I had a media production degree and at the current time of application I was doing security full time at The O2 arena, it was Jasmine that took me on board mentored me, pushed me forward and challenged me to get into the media world that I am in now. Jasmine saw my determination and drive to succeed for myself and gave me the tools needed to put myself in a position I am in now.
During my time at London360 I created many pieces, one of my favourites and probably one Jasmine admired the work done by the team the most was ‘The London Riots – One Year On’.
I am a Tottenham resident so it was a heartfelt piece which I was allowed to not only be the narrator, for but also one of the main editors, for which I thank Jasmine for dearly as it broke me out of my shell and gave me the confidence to sink into this career.
After leaving London360 initially after the 6 month voluntary period ended I rejoined again for a further 4 months to assist the next team. By that time I also completed a month with the BBC and Channel 4, working on the Great British Sewing Bee and Top Boy 2 respectively.
However, March 2013 was the defining moment, as always Jasmine was the one that deserves the credit. She put my name forward for a role at MTV. This was to join a relatively young team to work as a project assistant on MTV Shuga. I spent 7 great months at MTV before taking the massive leap to go out as a freelancer.
Lo and behold after getting a few small pieces commissioned here and there is was Jasmine once more that pointed me in the right direction. I filmed and Edited a promotional video for a start up fashion company.
That one role enabled the door to open as I edited more pieces for Sky, created new shows that first were shown on YouTube, and then selected by Facebook for its Facebook Watch launch and more recently was one of 15 UK Editors selected to Version Edit Disney’s catalogue for their Disney + format.
I now have an eight year career with a CV that looks like a 15 year Editor. I owe every brick of pavement on this journey to Jasmine. She continues to not only mentor me till this day but is always championing my name.
Jasmine Dotiwala is not a person I’m likely to ever forget about, whether I live for 10 or 100 more years. She didn’t just help me when it came to professional or career help, but gave me great life advice and I’m privileged enough to say she became a great friend.
I had left a job with a small independent local TV channel and was ready to enter the professional media industry. One problem though, I had no idea how to do that. Jasmine and her Media Trust training course ‘Creativity Works’ sought to fix that problem. I remember being so nervous on that first day. Not just me, but I could see it on the faces of my new classmates. But then in comes Jasmine on that morning and gave us a pep-talk that set that great flame alight in all of us. I thought to myself along the lines of “If this is how the first 20 minutes have been, this is going to be an amazing experience”. And that was an understatement. Jasmine knew what it meant to get young people into the media world. Jasmine knew that if she didn’t champion us, we wouldn’t champion ourselves. Not because we wouldn’t want to, but because the industry is a wild animal that would chew you up if you didn’t have guide like her. Jasmine put her heart and soul into making sure we were ready for the road ahead, and I thank her profusely for it.
After leaving Media Trust, it was job-hunting time. Though I must say I didn’t have the easiest time finding one. I was starting to get quite anxious, but then who steps in but Jasmine Dotiwala. She knew that I had aspirations for camerawork, and so invited me to take over recording Facebook videos for her BBC Radio London show ‘The Scene’ for a month. But it went on a little longer than that… about a year and a half in fact. And in that time, I got to know Jasmine really well. She naturally became my mentor, trying to help me every step of the way of securing my permanent place in the industry. She saw me through so many ups and downs, helped me break out of my bonds, and turn my flaws into strengths. She took me to places I never would’ve gone and met countless people I never would’ve met. She quite honestly changed me as a person more so than anyone outside of my family. She believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. And I can’t thank her enough.
Where to start! Jasmine Dotiwala will forever be one of the most influential people in my working life. I first met Jasmine when I joined the London360 journalism trainee scheme at Media Trust in 2015. I had recently quit my job in a top music management company, looking to move into TV. With little to no knowledge of the industry, Jasmine welcomed me into London360 with open arms with full transparency that the next 6 months training would not be easy but making it very clear, that if I put in the hard graft, I would come out of it with an experience that would set up my life’s trajectory. She was not wrong.
Jasmine spearheaded such an engaging, educational, pragmatic programme and I genuinely would not be where I am today without her. I have so many memories from working with Jasmine and I will forever treasure them and continue to learn from them. My most memorable was the weekly news pitch, trying to get a story commissioned. There was no blagging in that boardroom, and if you hadn’t done your prep, Jasmine could tell from your opening line. Terrifying at the time but an experience that has prepped me for multiple occasions ever since.
Jasmine’s work ethic is inspiring and, combined with her generosity and passion to develop others, it is clear that she is one of a kind. I think we can all agree that Jasmine has positively affected hundreds if not thousands of young people throughout the years, pouring so much of her time into grass root development and for that reason, I believe she is one of the most valuable assets to the media industry today. I wish her all the best in her new ventures, and I will forever dream to work with Jasmine in the near future. Jasmine is a phenomenal colleague, peer, mentor but most importantly, friend.
If there’s one thing that Jasmine’s legacy will show after years at Media Trust and countless trainees, it’s that she loves to help people. And as a grateful recipient of that aid as part of her London 360 family, I know she is very good at what she does too.
Before and during London360 I had already started working for BBC Sport, writing for newspapers and filming at sporting events. What Jasmine, and London360 by extension, gave me was a chance to hone the skills I already had, a chance to chase stories that interested me, a chance to flex a little, but also a chance to fail.
I could learn to properly pitch ideas, constantly tweak scripts until they were TV ready, and pester our video editor for tips. Make no mistake, standards were always high and Jasmine expected the best of us, but if any of us were too cut up over a mishap or something going wrong, she would remind us that it’s “only TV”.
Having an executive producer who not only had vast experience but continued to work in TV and the entertainment industry set a tangible benchmark of quality to which we should all aspire.
My more colourful memories of that time saw us running around a toy fair on my first shoot, rubbing shoulders with celebs on regular occurrences, and gallivanting around West London for piece to camera locations. The best times, though seemingly mundane, were simply talking in the office. 2016 was a pretty tumultuous year politically, and we’d sit and discuss as the world imploded on our office television.
However the most time I spent with Jasmine was probably in the voiceover booth, where she’d call for take after take as I mumbled my way through my script.
Long after leaving, she would periodically contact me, offering work opportunities, forwarding any job openings and recommending me to potential employers.
She truly wants those she has guided to succeed, and no doubt her impact will be missed at Media Trust as she embarks on a new journey.
To me, London360 and every person she helped along the way are her legacy. And I am proud to be part of that legacy.
Before I joined the London360 programme at Media rust, I was in the dark about the industry as a whole and unable to gain experience with no contacts. Jasmine provided me with a wealth of knowledge about every aspect of the media industry. I was given experience in all areas from pitching ideas, to shooting editing and even presenting. I had gone from aspiring TV industry newbie to producing features that broadcast on two TV channels over night. Gaining the skills I did was invaluable to me and gave me that extra edge when I left London360. In hindsight, although my knew found skills where a huge advantage, it was in fact the belief Jasmine had in me that really propelled me and made me feel like I could achieve anything. There was no outlandish idea she felt I couldn’t handle, or celebrity I wouldn’t be up to interviewing. No shoot she thought I couldn’t direct or feature that I wasn’t able to produce. She made me feel like I was capable and that I had something to bring to the industry. I had ideas that needed to be heard and I was capable of getting employment even if I thought I wasn’t qualified for certain jobs. Jasmine didn’t sugar coat feedback though, she was priming us for a real career in the industry and she wanted us to be prepared and to think outside the box.
When I left London360 I remember feeling concerned as to what would happen next after having had a solid role for the past 6 months. But through Jasmine’s connections I was introduced to Pat Younge who had just launched indie production company Sugar Films. Through her introduction I got my first chance at a production company developing ideas for terrestrial broadcasters.
I am now a producer on Jeremy Vine on 5 at ITN Productions. I produce and develop a plethora of talent as well as content and ideas. Jasmine is now one of our regular panellists on the programme. Without Jasmine having given me my first chance in the industry I wouldn’t be the creator I am today. She has shown me what it means to be a successful woman in TV and how to keep moving. I am lucky to call Jasmine my mentor and more importantly my friend.
When I first arrived at Media Trust It was my dream to be a Journalist. In one of the first meetings Jasmine told me to write down a list of brands I would want to work for. For me it was an easy answer; Channel 4 Dispatches, CNN and Vice. Vice was my top pick, so after some amazing masterclasses Jasmine used her magic to set up a meeting with one of the executive producers at Vice. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a job, but after working as a London 360 journalist I got an internship offer at CNN. After that I landed on the dispatches training scheme beating out 400 other applicants. Today, I am a freelance AP currently working at Vice News.
The process is still the same as when I worked at L360 and our team had two weeks to produce half an hour of TV. I read the news, pitch segments and produce them. I can honestly say that without all the skills I learned from Media Trust and Jasmine I would not have been on the path that I am. Every monday we would have to pitch our segments to Jasmine, and I now know that it is much less stressful pitching to the head of Current Affairs at Channel 4 than it is to pitch to Jasmine. L360 was about pushing young journalists to be the best and making the industry more diverse. It is astounding to think of the impact that you have had on so many young people’s lives. In an age where newsrooms or media companies are focused on the artifice of hiring a few unrepresented interns, you built a long term plan and invested in young people. Thank you for all your help.
Jasmine has been a wonderful mentor to me since I met her 10 years ago. She chose me amongst 9 others to be part of London360 – a fantastic scheme that taught me how to shoot, edit, produce and even get my feet wet in front of the camera. The scheme lasted for half a year but the ripple effect of that time on my career going forward has been invaluable. She taught me amazing things about television, the industry and even what it means to be a woman of colour in this sector. Jasmine inspired me then and continues to inspire me now with her insight, her counsel and her tenacity for championing rising stars like me. I love the fact that she still asks me back to speak to the new generation that is coming up that she’s working with. It shows her commitment to raising raw talent. I now work as a freelance video journalist and producer primarily working in daytime television at ITV for shows such as This Morning and Good Morning Britain. The skills I use today can certainly be traced back to seeds that were sown by Jasmine and the scheme 10 years ago.
Jasmine’s presence and mentorship in terms of my career development is something I can’t be grateful for enough. Working under her guidance and experience as a Trainee Reporter for series 5 of London360 was such an invaluable experience for me and something that has constantly had a hand in my growth within the television industry.
From the vast array of knowledge she possesses to the training provided in shooting, article writing, editing, interviewing, researching, pitching, storytelling and presenting, I’ve gone on to use skills acquired from time working with her to get my foot in the business, whether it’s been a Researcher at ITV or a Production Management Assistant at Channel 5.
Some of my most fond memories of working with Jasmine include working with her directly on a shoot at a Film Studio, home to various VFX and her giving my then amateur self plenty of wise presenting tips. My favourite memory however, has to be going with her to an elusive Freemason Gala and living it up at one of the most bizarre yet amazing parties I’ve ever been to. I still have our photo from the event collecting dust in my drawer at home! Best of luck at Netflix!
“You don’t want to be a Researcher on £30k at the age of 30” was an iconic line that a certain Jasmine Dotiwala said to my Series 6 cohort of London360. Now this was obviously said as a joke in Jasmine’s ‘can’t tell if she’s joking but she sounds serious’ way, but it has been a key quote that set a goal for my career. When a 22 year old me heard this, my initial thought was “That’s not too bad at all!”, but this was the reaction of someone who had been receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance for 3 months beforehand…
This quote reflects Jasmine’s tutelage to me, where it went beyond just the technical skill and developed into long term personal growth. Even actions like greenlighting some of my quirkier news features, including London’s first ever cat cafe and London’s growing female pro-wrestling scene, were some the first times I ever believed in my ideas and my own creative process. She helped me to realise that it was my own unique traits that would be my best strengths: I wanted to explore different communities, loved helping to bring new voices to the table and overall just loved chatting and being inquisitive.
Fast forward a couple of years and I’m now a Casting Producer that has worked across TV shows to find real life contributors and on-screen celebrity talent for every UK mainstream broadcaster. Whether it’s passionate rappers for BBC Three’s BAFTA nominated ‘The Rap Game UK’, eccentric make-up artists for Netflix’ ‘Glow Up’ or even liberated singletons for ‘Naked Attraction’, I can add these all to my resume – all of this stemming from the news features and interviews I learned to do at London360 with Jasmine.
Moving up the TV ladder, her “£30k at 30” line stuck with me to push myself in those early stages. As I reach 30, I can look back and see how I’ve smashed that target, but there are still plenty for things to do! Now I’m in a position to sit at tables I never had access to before and her guidance has taken a new direction. Jasmine has made the programmes I’d love to make, she has shown that a person of colour can progress within the industry and she has shown that you can stick to your guns and stand firm. Hearing her stories of bringing new talent to the forefront and representing the culture accurately, has been ingrained in me to do the same thing. I will always pitch new talent, I will speak up in meetings if I hear problematic language and I will always look to push on-screen diversity. It has become the forefront of my aim within this industry.
From the beginning, Jasmine’s approval of my ideas and editorial choices were extremely rewarding in reaffirming my self-belief to succeed. Now that I’m walking down a path she has already gone down, she is an invaluable mentor for me and I will always be appreciative for even helping me to find this path. I’m ready for the next target though, is it “£70k before 35 years old” or possibly pitching the next host for a big Netflix project to her?
My Journey Career – 2015-current
Office Runner – Hat Trick Productions
Casting Researcher – Dinner Date, Naked Attraction, Dr. Christian will see you now
Casting Assistant Producer – The Rap Game UK, Celebability, Hot Property, Ex on the Beach: Body SOS, Single AF, Great Model Railway Challenge
Casting Producer – Don’t Hate The Playaz, Glow Up
Jasmine is essentially my fairy Godmother. She not only helped me recognise my strengths, but her encouragement really contributed to maintaining my positive attitude, despite everything with the pandemic and having to participate in the Creativity Works Programme virtually. Thanks to her charismatic energy, she encouraged me to form genuine connections with people as well as how to sustain those relationships, even if I don’t talk to them on a daily basis. From brand building to handling your finances, Jasmine ensured that we always made the most of the opportunities we were given and that we recognised the value of having access to very successful professionals within the industry. Without her, I can say with certainty that I wouldn’t have been able to secure my internship at Ad You Like and I am forever grateful.
In a nutshell, the support that Jasmine has given me has been life-changing. We first met when I did the Media Trust ‘London360’ scheme back in 2016. In six short months, with Jasmine’s guidance and training, I learnt a huge amount of media skills, from script-writing, to shooting, to editing and producing.
Jasmine went above and beyond to ensure that her students gained as much as possible from the experience. Once she even came out to meet us at 7.30am on a Saturday and drove us around West London in her car to get footage for a reportage we were producing! After 12 hours of filming we finished the day by having a delicious curry together in Notting Hill!
Thanks to Jasmine and her training I was then skilled up enough to work as a documentary researcher for the next two years, before transitioning into the travel industry and curating black history tours in Latin America. My media training really came in handy in 2020 when I created a YouTube channel called ‘Freedom Is Mine’ where I began making videos about black history and black communities around the world, across Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East. I used the same skills and processes that Jasmine had taught me to produce my own videos, and within a year I had over 3k subscribers and officially registered my platform as a business.
My story is just of the hundreds, if not thousands of success stories that have stemmed from Jasmine’s influence. What Jasmine provides for her mentees goes far beyond practical skills and professional opportunities. She wholeheartedly believes in and supports young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds whom others might ignore or under-estimate, and pushes them to excel. That kind of support and encouragement can be transformative in a person’s life. I know I speak for many others when I say that we are truly grateful for Jasmine’s mentorship and incredibly proud to be a part of her legacy.
Jobs in media:
Researcher – Who Do You Think You Are – Wall To Wall Founder – Freedom Is Mine (2020 – present)
Translator – Raw (2020)
Translator – DLP Media Group (2019)Researcher – Smoking Dogs Films (2017 – 18)
There are few people that you meet who leave a truly lasting positive impression on your life — Jasmine Dotiwala was definitely one of those people for me. My path first crossed with Jasmine when I interviewed for a position on Series Eleven of the London360 programme run by Media Trust in 2016. She had promised the programme would be rigorous but rewarding and that by the end of the six months I would have built up strong competencies researching, presenting, filming, editing and compliance. That was the first of many promises Jasmine made me and kept. By the end of my time on the London360 programme under Jasmine’s guidance and training, I was a changed person, no longer the fresh university graduate unsure what to do with her career. I found my niche in the intersection of the media and the social impact sectors.
Right from the first day I met Jasmine, I remember taking an inward look at my own life and deciding that anything was possible. She wasn’t born with a silver spoon, everything that she accomplished, she worked for, and I took comfort in hoping that I too could do the same. Being trained by and working alongside Jasmine, you could never have a dull day, there was always a story to be found or told. I regularly admired how, despite her extensive list of accomplishment, her guiding principles stood firmly in humility and the service of others. Thank you for teaching me that things aren’t always what they appear and that it’s important to scratch the surface — I always remember you saying ‘everyone who is a pain, is going through pain’ and it’s stuck with me and helped me to be more sympathetic to others. When I would have my weekly one-to-one sessions with her, I didn’t see Jasmine Dotiwala: the award-winning broadcaster, producer, director and columnist, who has travelled around the world and knows so many celebrities and influential figures — I saw Jasmine, who like me grew up in West London, who liked her food with a kick and who wanted more than anything to see young people winning.
Jasmine was committed to our collective and individual successes and development beyond our time on the programme, and you could see that from the strong relationships that she maintained with previous cohorts. I frequently remember alumni from previous series coming to visit Jasmine at the Media Trust office, offering to deliver sessions or writing to her with news of a career update or personal update. Almost five years on, and I’m proud to say that now I’ve firmly become one of those alumni that I used to look up to, and that would not have been possible without Jasmine.
Jasmine, Media Trust will be forever changed by you, thank you for all that you have done over the years to foster and mentor the next generation of industry leaders. You have been a connector for me on so many levels and helped me join up the dots whenever I am in need — I hope that I can keep making you proud and live up to the potential that you have always seen in me.
Project Assistant, Creativity Works, Media Trust (2017)
Intern, MTV Staying Alive Foundation (2017-2018)
Associate Communications Consultant, Global Office Consulting (2018-2019)
Social Media & Content Manager, Women of Influence (2019-2020)
Advocacy Manager, International Confederation of Midwives (2020 – now)
I remember the exact moment when I got accepted onto the London 360 programme. I was working at a call centre in North Acton doing Market Research and I used to put a piece of paper in front of the time display on my computer screen to stop myself from watching the clock slowly go down and for the day to drag. I’ll never forget the excitement I experienced that day; I had a feeling that this could be a life-changing experience and that is exactly what it turned out to be.
The professionalism that Jasmine ran the programme with, somewhat intimidating at the time, is something that I can now appreciate not only prepared me for life working in the industry, but it prepared me to be successful and become a leader in the industry, not just to be there to make up the numbers. London 360 was somewhere I could experiment with my style, make mistakes and find out who I was and what exactly I wanted to do within the media industry.
It presented me the opportunity to make a career in the sports broadcast industry and you can’t ask for more than an opportunity. Working with Jasmine on a daily basis taught me to hustle, manoeuvre and just simply be the hardest worker in the room once that opportunity was granted – as she would always say ‘show willing’. The career I have now is something I once only dreamt of, in fact I didn’t even know what it was as it just wasn’t visible let alone accessible for someone from my background. I no longer count down the clock during work – I actually feel like I’m cheating life as it doesn’t feel like a proper job.
Now it has been 6 years since I’ve left London360 and Media Trust and I’ve grown as a person, the value of working with Jasmine has become a lot clearer to me. It’s a very humbling journey. It has also given me the desire to give back to other young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who want to get into the media and television and keep that cycle going.