Creative careers: what it takes to carve a job path

The Creative Careers event.
Image: Twitter, NUSU Go VolunteerThe Creative Careers event. Image: Twitter, NUSU Go Volunteer

Students and graduates were invited to attend the “Creative Careers” event organised by Newcastle University, Creative Fuse North East and Seven Stories last Wednesday.

The event held at the Students’ Union offered a valuable insight into working in the creative sector.

The event hosted a range of Q&A’s, talks and interactive activities. Experts in media and journalism, marketing, app development, gaming, and freelance work spoke passionately about their careers in a fiercely competitive industry.

The Information Station drop-in also ran throughout the day providing a chance to meet industry professionals and staff from the Careers Service, who gave advice and information about various opportunities and work experience programmes.

With 66,000 jobs, the North East’s creative economy is expanding rapidly.

The future looks even brighter with Sunderland’s bid for City of Culture 2021.

The event opened with keynote speakers Rebecca Ball, Director of Sunderland’s ambitious bid, and Jason Legget, Project Director of Creative Fuse North East, who both discussed the passion and resilience it takes to pursue a career in the creative sector and the diverse range of career options available.

Among the industry experts on the ‘Breaking into Television’ panel was former Productions Director and Newcastle University graduate Dianne Helmes who discussed how, from a background in investigative journalism she moved onto daytime television to launch some of the nation’s best-loved shows,  including This Morning, Loose Women and Jeremy Kyle.

Dianne remarked that the subject matter of a degree is not necessarily the first thing an employer would look for and that varied experiences and a passion for the industry always stand out on a CV.

Dianne also emphasised that certain genres of television, such as specialist factual, demand those from science and medical backgrounds, and so a career in television is never strictly limited to those who pursue degrees such as Media or English.

Young researcher Constance Batho, who has worked in television for four years, underlined the importance of building your CV while at university.

Constance also emphasised that, while it is important to build connections within the industry, it’s not simply a case of ‘who you know’ but about showing enthusiasm and initiative by actively seeking out opportunities through social media.

Many speakers indeed emphasised the increasing power of social media and the wealth of opportunities in online content. Emma Caldicott, Head of Digital Marketing at Estee Lauder, discussed how the digital world has opened up new ways to target consumers, transforming the world of marketing into a multi-platform industry.

Graham Pratt of The Press Association led a practical workshop providing insight into multi-media journalism.

Students worked in teams to disseminate a breaking news story using multi-media technologies.

The session also involved an introduction to the Independent Press Standards Organisation code of practice which covers the laws and ethics of journalism such as the protection of victims and issues of accuracy and copyright.

The Creative Careers day was an enriching experience for anyone passionate about a career in the creative industry.

Elle Blunt, a history student who attended the Creative Careers events, said: “The day was an eye opener for me.

“Prior to this I didn’t realise the importance of experience or how accessible it is.”

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