Jerome Nelson, who began writing for the Channel 4 show four months ago, visited College to discuss his career and offer tips to English and Media students.
“In this business sometimes you might see an opportunity, but somebody else takes it,” he said.
“It does not mean they are cleverer than you, or funnier, they are just the people who didn’t stop after being told ‘no’. That’s the mentality I adopted and that’s how I got to where I am now on Hollyoaks.”
Jerome explained how, after completing some work experience at MTV when he was 16, he continued to turn up at the offices claiming his time had not run out.
He convinced security guards to let him in and worked in different departments building up his experience and skills.
“That’s the kind of tenacity that you need to have about you,” he said.
Jerome, who aims to own a production company in future, worked on EastEnders spin-off E20 after impressing producers with his storyline suggestions.
He moved to Hollyoaks where he is currently trying to outdo previous writers with the quality of his work.
During his talk and Q&A with Priestley students he advised them to seek out as much work experience as possible and be creating their own work at every opportunity.
And, despite his success, he warned them to be prepared for knockbacks.
“You have to grow a thick skin because you will have to deal with a lot of rejection over the years,” he said.
“I might come up with a storyline that I am passionate about and my boss will say he likes it but doesn’t want to see it on screen.
“You never stop getting told ‘no’.”