Media, and the man in the know

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Media, and the man in the know

09 February 2015

Jon O

Bracknell & Wokingham College students were recently treated to a motivational talk by Jon O’Donnell, Group Commercial Director at ESI Media.

ESI Media is the commercial department for the London Evening Standard, The Independent, i, London Live and their digital platforms.

Presenting to a packed conference room, Jon spoke about his career journey from trying his hand at acting, to his musical success, to starting again at the bottom and working his way up to Group Commercial Director. He also told the students about life at ESI Media and not letting the ‘what ifs’ pass them by – no matter the outcome.

College Business student Scott Corney, 18 and from Bracknell, was inspired by Jon’s talk:

“I’m not sure what I want to do when I leave college and thought that I would try out a few different options to see what I might enjoy; Jon has made me realise this could be the best thing for me to do, to have a few directions that I can learn different skills in which may help me find my own direction.

“He’s definitely inspired me today to learn everything I can from future jobs and has made me see that work can be a fun place, if you are willing to make it fun.”

Ginette Cox, Business tutor and Head of Department, arranged for Jon O’Donnell, through Speakers for Schools, to speak with the students:

“I believe it is vital for our students to have sessions like this with Jon and others who are currently in the business and willing to give their time to speak with our students. They can show them what’s happening out there now and build an enthusiasm for what’s coming next for these students.

“It was primarily Business and Media students that came for Jon’s talk and I know each and every one of them would have been able to take something from his words today.

“I hope the students will understand from the presentation that you cannot plan your entire life; focus on what you want to do now, work hard and keep a look out for other opportunities as they arise.”

Jon O’Donnell wanted to inspire the students with his own story and to help them see that hard work, a bit of ‘trial and error’ in a career and saying ‘yes’ to opportunities will lead you to the right job for you:

“I hope I’ve portrayed to them the complexity of different avenues and that not everything works out how you first imagined. That getting particular qualifications at particular universities isn’t necessarily the be all and end all; you can create your own path and choose your own destiny as long as you are willing to work at it and put the time in.

“I’m lucky enough to have discovered an industry in media that rewards hard work and creativity, and nurtures those that are willing to learn. I genuinely hope to see some of the students join me in this exciting business in the future.”

To find out more about our Business and Media courses come to our Open Event on Wednesday 11 February 2015, visit our website, call 01344 868600 or email

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