Dance

October 2012

Where did you Study?

De Montfort University.

What did you Study?

Dance.

What year did you Graduate?

2011

So we can feel more intimate, three words to describe your physical appearance.

Large head, ample breasts, biceps

What did you do when you left Uni? Be brutally honest! If you cried into a bowl of cereal every morning & treated your local pub like your favourite Uni nightclub, say so.

I crawled back to Tesco, with my degree inching away from existence with every bleep of the checkout (it got quite far).  Eventually my creative head got the better of me and in desperation I made a rap about life there (you must be Tesco Finest coz you’re so taste-ee, makin my shift the best it could be)…I’ll stop there.

What are you doing now and how long do you see yourself doing it for? Are you in your dream job? If not yet, what is this?

Waitrose! Not quite my life-long dream but it’s a step up from Tesco, right? My one solace is that I teach once a week, piling the legacy of everything I learnt at Uni onto the tiny shoulders of girls who are more interested in telling me about what who kissed who at school today, rather than thinking deeply about rolling around on the floor pretending to be in a pool of syrup. I have dabbled in work experience and voluntary schemes but at the end of the day, I need money.

One thing life after Uni has taught me? It’s hard. And it’s easy to lose perspective. I have many interests, but at present, I would be elated if I could do anything so long as it is in the arts sector. I’d clean the urinals at Sadler’s Wells if given the chance! But I am grateful to even have a job at all!

Do you think Uni has helped you to be where you are now?

Career-wise, not exactly! Attitude-wise, definitely. I’m not going to be happy until I’m working in a creative job. I think that because I enjoyed my degree so much, I am grateful to that and whenever there’s a day that I look at another page of arts jobs and think ‘sod it, they’ll never look at my application’, I think back to all the hard work I put in at Uni, and I realise I’m not going to just throw that away. I love dance, so I guess that stands for something. It was much easier at Uni because of the people around you, the resources, and the fact that you didn’t have to earn a living, but the challenge in the real world is rather enticing, and as creatives, surely we can find a way to overcome it? I’m working on it.

Describe your Uni experience? Did you face any obstacles? The positives, the negatives, reveal all. Terrible lecturers can be anonymous!

There were some rather questionable moments at Uni, namely when we spent a whole term in one module learning how to sit down and stand up… But I can honestly say that I enjoyed every second of my course. It pulled me out of my comfort zone in the one thing that I felt comfortable doing, and I loved it more for that. I even grew to love writing essays! I enjoyed working with different people on my course (and every job application loves a ‘team player’, right?), and the variety of things to do and the freedom in the third year was fantastic. I especially loved the massage time at the end of practicals, that’s probably the thing I crave most when I’m at Waitrose, baking my 100th baguette of the day.

Finally, if you would be so kind, tell us briefly about your day ahead – just in case we might want to change our career path.

Okay, so waking up this morning, feeling quite sore after a super-sweaty (it’s not what you think…) …dance class last night, I did some stretching, had some brekkie, am currently filling out this form for this fabulous website, going to cycle to work, turn up like a drowned rat, stick my head in the bread oven, slave away for a few more hours, ride home, get to the studios, teach my hyper class the wonderful ways of contemporary dance, and go back to work til 10pm.

Then when I get home and have some steam left I’ll work on a promotional show reel for the dance school I teach at. Jealous?

That’s it. Katie, you have been wonderful.

Marketing with PR

November 2012

Where did you Study?

University of Huddersfield

What did you Study?

Marketing with PR (Sandwich)

What year did you Graduate?

2012

So we can feel more intimate, three words to describe your physical appearance.

Short, Blonde, Freckle-y

What did you do when you left Uni? Be brutally honest! If you cried into a bowl of cereal every morning & treated your local pub like your favourite Uni nightclub, say so.

I was really lucky, before I had finished my course I had been offered a full-time job at the company I did in my sandwich year, but, to be honest, if I hadn’t been offered that job I think I would have spent my time after Uni filling in application after application, in my pyjamas. I did apply for a lot of PR graduate schemes during my final year and got nowhere, despite having a years experience working in a PR agency and quite a bit of volunteering/ work shadowing under my belt.

What are you doing now and how long do you see yourself doing it for? Are you in your dream job? If not yet, what is this?

I am back at my placement agency working as a PR Account Executive (on my placement I held the role of PR Assistant), working with some pretty varied clients, from a butcher and egg producer to a language company and manufacturers. I am also acting as the Account Manager for one of our biggest clients, a global baby products manufacturer.

I definitely can see myself working agency-side for a large proportion of my career, but I do want to try working as part of an in-house marketing team and I really like the idea of working for a charity. Who knows, maybe I will end up combining the two.

Do you think Uni has helped you to be where you are now?

Yes, from the point of view that without completing the first two years, I would not have been able to get my placement, as they wouldn’t have employed me. I don’t think that any part of my degree really helped me prepare for working life because there was so little contact with real businesses or any practical projects that benefited the students. Looking back it was just a hoop to jump through to get me into the industry and although I didn’t particularly enjoy it at the time, I am glad of the degree and the doors that have been opened because of it.

Any advice for graduates who aren’t yet in their dream jobs or still battling against this rubbish economy for just an interview?

Don’t go straight for the top names, I know it’s only natural to want to work for the most famous/ prestigious company in your preferred industry, but don’t ignore the smaller ones. The agency I work for is by no means a large agency, we have less than 10 members of staff and because of that I have been involved in everything that goes on with my accounts, from creating portfolios to setting out social media strategies. I have a lot more freedom and responsibility than some of my uni-mates who are in similar roles with larger companies.

Finally, if you would be so kind, tell us briefly about your day ahead – just in case we might want to change our career path.

Oooh, no two days are the same. I am planning to work on a strategy document for the launch of a new Facebook page, promoting a range of child safety products, start on a campaign educating people on the benefits of free range, write a press release on a new partnership between a client and a leading restaurant chain and chat to parents on Facebook – answering questions on pushchairs and car seats! That said, it will all change in the morning when the emails come in…

That’s it. Hannah, you have been wonderful.

Creative Writing & Drama

October 2012

Where did you Study?

De Montfort University.

What did you Study?

Creative Writing and Drama.

What year did you Graduate?

2011

So we can feel more intimate, three words to describe your physical appearance.

Short. Stocky. Average.

What did you do when you left Uni? Be brutally honest! If you cried into a bowl of cereal every morning & treated your local pub like your favourite Uni nightclub, say so.

After Uni I originally wanted to go travelling; something I wanted to do before I started studying a degree, but knew if I took a year out, I’d never get round to Uni. Just before the end of Uni arrives and I’m planning to go travelling for a year, come back and do a masters, the government decides to bump all the fees up…

Travelling put on hold, again, I started a Masters of the Arts degree in Television Scriptwriting at De Montfort University.

What are you doing now and how long do you see yourself doing it for? Are you in your dream job? If not yet, what is this?

I am currently completing my masters, it is part time and runs for two years so I have completed year one and have just started the second year. I also work in a petrol station; nothing glamorous but it pays for the course and gives me a minimal amount to spend on other things.

I am writing for my community radio station: Huntingdon Community Radio. We are one of the only, if not the only, community radio station to have an ongoing weekly drama. It is called Huntsford and runs three times a week with an omnibus on Sundays. If you’re interested in listening then follow this link: http://www.hcrfm.co.uk/radio-drama/huntsford/listen-again-huntsford. It’s a shameless plug but it has got a lot of potential and is completely run by volunteers. We’ve been featured in the radio times!

I also participate in a couple of amateur dramatic groups!  In an ideal world I would be writing and acting for a living one day, the dream would be to support myself off writing or performing alone.

Do you think Uni has helped you to be where you are now?

Uni definitely helped me to be where I am today because it was through the Uni that I was introduced to the masters which is helping me immensely in my writing ability and is introducing me to a number of people who will hopefully help me in my career.

Describe your Uni experience? Did you face any obstacles? The positives, the negatives, reveal all. (Terrible lecturers can be anonymous!

In a word my Uni experience was fantastic! It was the first time I’d lived independently, I met so many amazing people and I learnt a thing or two, but had a lot of fun along the way. For me there were very few negatives and it was probably the best decision I ever made.

I was asked just the other day what the best decision I ever made was and it was a simple answer because the best decision I made was to choose to do creative writing. Originally I was going to do just drama or even drama and psychology but two days before I handed my application form in I found creative writing as a course and instantly knew it was what I wanted to do. I checked they did it at DMU and the rest as they say is history. It was the best decision because it opened so many more opportunities for me. Doing a joint was useful because it gave me an outlet if I wasn’t enjoying a topic or a module very much; I always knew there was something to look forward to. Off the back of doing creative writing I went on to start my masters which I am enjoying greatly and I think is setting me up for my career very well. I know that some people don’t enjoy University for whatever reason but if I was asked if I would recommend it then I would without a shadow of a doubt. It is an experience I would do again and again.

Finally, if you would be so kind, tell us briefly about your day ahead – just in case we might want to change our career path.

My day ahead is going to be quite fun. I am planning to do some writing for a couple of hours, then I’m playing golf, then I’m going to work in the petrol station this evening. I try to set my weekdays out like a normal working week writing from 9-5 where possible, but seeing as it’s a Friday afternoon, I’m going to start the weekend early!

That’s it. Chris, you have been wonderful.

Applied Criminal Justice Studies

September 2012

Where did you Study?

Northampton University.

What did you Study?

Foundation Degree in Police and Criminal Justice Studies and Applied Criminal Justice Studies BA (Hons).

What year did you Graduate?

2011 & 2012

So we can feel more intimate, three words to describe your physical appearance.

Sociable, Happy and Relaxed

What did you do when you left Uni? Be brutally honest! If you cried into a bowl of cereal every morning & treated your local pub like your favourite Uni nightclub, say so.

As I left Uni I applied for a role as a Police Officer. It didn’t work out so after a month of job hunting and working as a disabled carer with a friend, I went on Holiday with my Uni mates and got over the fact I didn’t land my dream job and pretended to be a Fresher again.

What are you doing now and how long do you see yourself doing it for? Are you in your dream job? If not yet, what is this?

I am currently unemployed; however a role at a local college working with teenagers that have learning difficulties is a big possibility on the cards. So you could say I definitely do not seeing myself in this role for long and it is obviously not a dream role for me! My ambitions of becoming a Police Officer have not faded!

Do you think Uni has helped you to be where you are now?

I won’t lie, the other day when I received a letter from The Student Loans Company that read words to the effect of ‘you owe us £15,500’ I thought “What was the point?” The point is my degree, eventually, will put me in a good place and in a good job.

Uni also taught me to never give up, keep going to achieve what I want and this has helped me to keep going whilst unemployed.

Describe your Uni experience? Did you face any obstacles? The positives, the negatives, reveal all. Terrible lecturers can be anonymous!

In the first year I lived life by the University Law Book. This Law Book had many rules the main ones being money was endless and every night I had to stay out and be drinking. Eventually in years 2 and 3 I realised this would get me nowhere and managed, with help from friends, family, tutors and myself, to pull myself a degree out the bag! (Needless to say this University Law Book is something me and my flat mates made up.)

Finally, if you would be so kind, tell us briefly about your day ahead – just in case we might want to change our career path.

Today my day has been spent sitting on my Laptop tediously job hunting whilst waiting for a man from a small village to turn up at my house so he can fix the T.V which has very kindly broken! Oh, I also took a phone call from someone who rang the wrong number…

That’s it. George, you have been wonderful.

Magazine Journalism & Feature Writing

June 2012

Where did you Study?

Southampton Solent University

What did you Study?

Magazine Journalism and Feature Writing

What year did you Graduate?

2011

So we can feel more intimate, three words to describe your physical appearance.

A cool chick!

What did you do when you left Uni? Be brutally honest! If you cried into a bowl of cereal every morning & treated your local pub like your favourite Uni nightclub, say so.

To be honest once I left, I didn’t hit the job hunt as hard as I should have done. I had some work experience placements at a couple of magazines lined up instead and I completed those. I knew I was going to need some sort of income, and I wasn’t going to get my first editorial job anytime soon, so I got a part-time retail job (depressing).

What are you doing now and how long do you see yourself doing it for? Are you in your dream job? If not yet, what is this?

At the moment I’m interning at ‘Blackhair’ magazine which is fantastic. I’ve gotten loads of experience, been able to get work published and made good contacts. My time here will soon be up and I don’t know if I will be applying for anymore intern roles. My CV is full of them now. I’m not in my dream job (because I’m not employed here) but I am in my dream field which is magazines.

Do you think Uni has helped you to be where you are now?

Yes. Studying for my degree taught me how to write articles for magazines, how to interview, research, design article layouts and a few other important skills that are helpful for aspiring journalists. As hard as it is for me to find an editorial job with a degree and a load of experience, I can only imagine how hard it must be to find an editorial job without a degree. That’s not to say that every aspect of the course was beneficial because, quite frankly, some units were pointless, but for the most part it was helpful.

Describe your Uni experience? Did you face any obstacles? The positives, the negatives, reveal all. Terrible lecturers can be anonymous!

I wish I could tell you a bit about the first year but to be honest, I was regularly absent. Since the grades from your first year don’t go towards your final grade I pretty much took the mick as far as attendance goes. The standard of my work was ok, enough to pass in most cases, although I had to do a retake which cost 40 quid! After that I had to get serious and my last two years were so stressful, at some points I could have cried. However, it was all worth it in the end and I got the grade I was aiming for.

Finally, if you would be so kind, tell us briefly about your day ahead – just in case we might want to change our career path.

I’ll be at my part-time job Monday-Wednesday (holds back tears) and on Thursday and Friday I’ll be at the magazine. We’ll be starting work on a new issue so there should be lots to keep me busy 🙂

That’s it. Carly, you have been wonderful.

English Literature & Film Studies

March 2012

Where did you Study?

University of Portsmouth.

What did you Study?

English Literature and Film Studies.

What year did you Graduate?

2008

So we can feel more intimate, three words to describe your physical appearance.

Tall, Gangly, Handsome?

What did you do when you left Uni? Be brutally honest! If you cried into a bowl of cereal every morning & treated your local pub like your favourite Uni nightclub, say so.

I went straight back into a temporary job I had the previous summer. I had no idea what the future held for me so I continued to drink entirely too much and demand my girlfriend at the time drove me around, while working 5 days a week at a camping shop. Serendipitously, my dad’s friend came to visit, and told me he had heard of a production company (500 miles away) that regularly took on interns. I arranged a placement, and nearly 4 years later am still working there.

What are you doing now and how long do you see yourself doing it for? Are you in your dream job? If not yet, what is this?

I am an editor at a production company specialising in corporate video. Apart from a distinct lack of sex scenes and car chases, I am very close to being in my (realistically speaking) ideal job. I have worked my way up from being a runner, and am very proud of what I have achieved. I intend to continue in my current position until I believe myself to be as good as I possibly can be. In the future, I would possibly consider a stint as a freelancer, or a move into directing.

Do you think Uni has helped you to be where you are now?

In terms of gaining knowledge for my current career path, no. I blame myself for choosing a very theoretical degree course, but as I left Uni I was totally unprepared for a career in the media. Additionally, the video equipment at my Uni was a million miles away from industry-standard (I know they have since upgraded drastically). However, in terms of giving me a willingness and fearlessness to pack my bags and move 500 miles away from home on the promise of two months work experience, university was invaluable.

Any advice for graduates who aren’t yet in their dream jobs or still battling against this rubbish economy for just an interview?

Be willing to make the teas for at least six months, possibly longer. Do your homework – while I was a runner I put in crazy hours at home in the evenings learning to edit, so I could move ahead when the opportunity eventually arose. Do your own stuff – if it’s your dream job, it should be your hobby as well, right?

Finally, if you would be so kind, tell us briefly about your day ahead – just in case we might want to change our career path.

This morning I came into the office, brewed some coffee and switched on all the computers, logged some memory cards from a shoot we had on Friday night, then set about colour grading and sound balancing a short video about teenage bulimia. Then I sat in on a meeting with some freelance graphic designers. After lunch, I am to be editing a longer DVD resource about flooding, which is still some way off completion.

That’s it. Alex Insch, you have been wonderful.

Drama and English Studies

June 2012

Where did you Study?

The University of the West of England, Bristol. It may have been an old polytechnic but it’s not just an old Andersen shelter where illiterate people try and recite poems and get drunk on cider and black (which was the view of some). Come to think of it, that actually might have happened on the Gloucestershire campus – they were a little more primitive up there.

What did you Study?

Drama and English BA (Hons) – and loved every minute of it.

What year did you Graduate?

2009

So we can feel more intimate, three words to describe your physical appearance.

Oh God…erm…how to appear modest…haha! No,to be honest, I’d say: Short, dark, unconventional.

What did you do when you left Uni? Be brutally honest! If you cried into a bowl of cereal every morning & treated your local pub like your favourite Uni nightclub, say so.

It was a mixture of a lot of things, really. I remember crying quite a lot, actually. Well, it was such a range of different emotions – I was elated to have finished, but sad to leave it all behind. In a way, I was lucky because I went straight into a number of projects: I was directing and acting in a number of productions at the Edinburgh Fringe and also rehearsing a main supporting role for a play which toured the UK and abroad for a year so that kept me busy…and my mind off life outside Uni!! But there were times in between where I did feel a bit lonely, scared, and at a loss. I had a few odd jobs (one working in a book shop so at least it used my degree in a minor capacity) and continued to act, but for little money.

What are you doing now and how long do you see yourself doing it for? Are you in your dream job? If not yet, what is this?

I’ve taken a terrifying leap and turned self-employed…and let me tell you, it’s hard! For starters, you never know if it will work from week to week, if you’ll have enough to live on, and people do judge you, unfortunately. One of the main reasons for this choice is that I have an agent in London and could get work at any time so finding a ridiculously flexible job is difficult! Still in Bristol but hoping to move to London for more opportunities and to be closer to my agent and contacts. I am also a writer and as well as contributing to cultural/theatre websites and blogs, I have recently been creating scripts for theatre companies, the BBC, Sky Arts, Radio 4, and London theatres – but it’s hard to find those people who have the money to commission me. Still, in a way, I am doing what I love – I would call it my dream job – and wouldn’t want to do anything else so hope I can grow and grow within my chosen profession. I haven’t really had ‘the break’ I need yet though so perseverance, ambition, energy, and passion will hopefully get me through…

Do you think Uni has helped you to be where you are now?

I think Uni helped me to be the person I am now – or at least, improved certain characteristics and skills. It did teach me a lot and gave me a huge amount of confidence and many opportunities along the way so for that, I am very grateful. In many ways, Uni did help me to get to where I am now as I still use contacts I made there and often collaborate with friends/contemporaries on various projects. It helps to develop you as a person and individual and is invaluable in teaching you how to be independent, sociable, creative, and well-rounded.

Saying that, it doesn’t seem to prepare you for the real world, not really. After you graduate, it seems they push you out of a plane and forget to attach the parachute. So, then it is sort of up to you – there’s lots of support out there but ultimately, you are calling the shots. It can be terrifying.

Any advice for graduates who aren’t yet in their dream jobs or still battling against this rubbish economy for just an interview?

Firstly, remember, we’re all in the same boat. I know it’s still depressing but you’re not alone in this. It is a particularly stressful and tense time in this country at present and the jobs aren’t there, they just aren’t. Build up and write a decent CV, go for jobs that either: you like, can tolerate, pay enough to foot the bills and your food allowance, or (if you’re lucky enough) you are skilled in or fall within the type of job you want to do full time.

Don’t be scared to ask for help or support, there are many places and people that you can turn to. Interviews are very hard to get hold of so apply everywhere and keep doing so every week; be prepared, punctual, talk passionately, look smart, make your mark. These may seem simple things, but you’d be surprised how many people overlook them. Watch out when working for free too – it’s OK sometimes but don’t get exploited.

You must have the enthusiasm, the work ethic, and the ambition to succeed, especially if it’s a dream job – do everything you can to get it! From internships and apprenticeships to specialist courses and training, try and make yourself as impressive a candidate you can. Beware: it may take a very long time – make sure you can support yourself financially but if you want it enough and have the skills and right attitude, it will come to you.

Finally, if you would be so kind, tell us briefly about your day ahead – just in case we might want to change our career path.

I have a very interesting week ahead, actually – a mixture of reviewing theatre in Bristol and Bath, finishing a script based on the UK 2011 riots for the Royal Court in London, and starting rehearsals for the Greek tragedy ‘Trojan Women’, which I’m doing at the Edinburgh Festival for an entire month in August…so time to begin channeling my inner warrior…

That’s it. Adam Elms, you have been wonderful.

Media Production

March 2012

Where did you Study?

University of Lincoln.

What did you Study?

BA Hons in Media Production.

What year did you Graduate?

2009

So we can feel more intimate, three words to describe your physical appearance.

Tall, Handsome & Cuddly.

What did you do when you left Uni? Be brutally honest! If you cried into a bowl of cereal every morning & treated your local pub like your favourite Uni nightclub, say so.

I swallowed all my pride and took my old job back at Tesco. I graduated at the worst possible time, as the recession hit, so it took me nearly a year to get started in television.

What are you doing now and how long do you see yourself doing it for? Are you in your dream job? If not yet, what is this?

Working for Film Birmingham, handling permits and location enquires for various productions around the West Midlands. Only two weeks left of my contract, so not long. Everything in this industry is temporary, there’s no stability, so in that sense it’s not a dream job, but I’m in the field I want to be in. I’ve had some amazing jobs but it’ll be years before I’m in my dream job.

Do you think Uni helped you to be where you are now?

Yes and no. Life experience yes, basics of film making yes, but most of my knowledge has come from three years of hands on experience, something you can’t really teach at Uni. However, in terms of independence and being able to manage goals and deadlines, then yes.

Any advice for graduates who aren’t yet in their dream jobs or still battling against this rubbish economy for just an interview?

Keep at it, if you feel like you’re not getting anywhere, maybe try a different route in the same industry. For example, the last six weeks I’ve been working in Locations for TV Drama, as opposed to my usual AD/Runner role. I’m also looking at going back to Documentary as there seems to be more work and the hours are more manageable. Don’t be afraid to start at the bottom. Don’t apply to jobs that are out of your league, because a degree alone won’t make you a professional and chances are you’ll be turned down. If you show you’re willing to start at the bottom, take on some work experience and show you’re keen to learn, you’re more likely to get somewhere. I’m still a Runner after three years in Television. Just waiting for a break!

Finally, if you would be so kind, tell us briefly about your day ahead – just in case we might want to change our career path.

Today’s quite quiet, but usually I’m liaising with production companies about filming locations, processing permits for anyone who wishes to film around Birmingham, anyone from Students to BBC to large scale film companies.

Usually I’m a Runner on drama/film sets though. That can be anything from making tea, to getting actors through makeup/costume, helping as camera assistant or directing extras. The last big production job I had was Hustle, which sadly ended last year.

That’s it. Phil Hunnisnet, you have been wonderful.

Drama Studies

July 2012

Where did you Study?

De Montfort University.

What did you Study?

BA Hons in Drama Studies.

What year did you Graduate?

2011

So we can feel more intimate, three words to describe your physical appearance.

Tall, Stubborn & Blonde.

What did you do when you left Uni? Be brutally honest! If you cried into a bowl of cereal every morning & treated your local pub like your favourite Uni nightclub, say so.

Jumped into the world of Motor Insurance and lettings to pay for my drinking habit/London fund.

Attempted anything and everything dramatic and arty (stage plays, volunteering as a runner/bitch on a film, made a weekly ‘scene’ in the local nightclub).

What are you doing now and how long do you see yourself doing it for? Are you in your dream job? If not yet, what is this?

Currently jobless after an unfortunate circumstance (the company was a fraud, which in a way would’ve been a credit to my acting abilities, morals got in the way however.)

But alas, London still beckons (early September).

Do you think Uni has helped you to be where you are now?
Yes I have matured and realised two big things: Someone else’s opinion, no matter how well educated they are, is still only an opinion and not a truth AND sometimes you have to be selfish.

Any advice for graduates who aren’t yet in their dream jobs or still battling against this rubbish economy for just an interview?

I believe you have to go through this slump to really discover what you want in life. When you’re not handed everything on a plate, you really fight for whatever it is you want.

Finally, if you would be so kind, tell us briefly about your day ahead – just in case we might want to change our career path.

Today, the recent jobless graduate, has been left with the task of entertaining my 4 year old nephew Jakey, my 2 year old niece Phoebe and 2 month new born Freddie. Bet they never teach you THIS at Drama School!

That’s it. Alex, you have been wonderful.