Graduate secures undercover job on BBC Panorama
Words of advice and guidance from his former teacher more than five years after he left school helped a Glyndŵr University graduate secure his first job – exposing working conditions at online retailer Amazon as an undercover reporter.
23-year-old Adam Littler was seen by millions on the BBC’s Panorama this week documenting his work as a warehouse picker for the retail giant.
Following the broadcast of the programme, broadcasting and journalism graduate Adam revealed how his degree combined with a bit of networking led to the high-profile first taste of journalism.
He said: “I realised quickly whilst studying that it was important to network within the industry and I noticed that my old form tutor from school had gone to work as a producer for the BBC in Belfast.
“I got speaking to him about a year ago about Panorama and we started exchanging emails and phone calls. He confirmed what I’d realised about networking with people in order to break into the industry.
“Then a few months later he approached me with regards to some work he thought I may have been interested in.
“I had to apply for the reporting job by submitting some video diaries similar to the style of those featured on Panorama and I was fortunate enough to secure the post.”
A successful application through an agency to work at Amazon’s distribution centre in Swansea followed.
Adam, from Flintshire, spent four weeks working on day shifts in the warehouse before taking a secret camera in with him for a further three weeks.
Then, recording video diaries after 10-and-a-half hour night shifts, he revealed the gruelling demands placed on workers as he walked for up to 11 miles per shift picking items for delivery.
His experiences – carried out and filmed in September and October this year - were later analysed by experts. Adam handed in his notice after three weeks of secret filming.
He said: “It was certainly an eye-opening experience. I’ve worked in a few warehouse jobs before and this one was by far the worst. The experience was almost Big Brother-ish – you felt like you were being watched and monitored all the time.”
Despite the high-profile entry to the industry, Adam now has his sights set on establishing his career as a print journalist.
“I’m pleased that I managed to land such a good gig straight after university,” said Adam. “Working as an undercover reporter was definitely exciting but I’d always expected to go on to work for a newspaper, so I’d be happy to go down that route.”