Creative Careers Week ran from 8 to 12 February and provided a smorgasbord of events hosted by Newcastle University Careers Service, with the aim of giving students from all degree backgrounds the opportunity to network, question and learn about jobs within the creative industry.
These events included: Getting into Journalism, Getting Experience in Radio, Northern Film & Media: Breaking into the Film Industry, Self-employment for Creatives, A Day in the Life of a Press Journalist - James Harrison, A Day in the Life of a Creative Advertising Agency Press Association Showcase and Is the CV dead?
The week kicked off with a powerful session about how to tackle getting into the world of journalism.
The panelists were Robert Matthew Cooper, Kieran Southern, Chris Stokel-Walker and Tom Wilkinson.
In his interview for The Courier after the session, Stokel-Walker said he very much enjoyed being involved in such an event.
“To my knowledge, we didn’t have similar events when I was at the university, and it seemed like something I’d have gone to were it available when I was there.”
“From what students were saying after the event to the panelists, it seemed as if they appreciated the practical, rather than theoretical, advice that these sessions give”.
Speaking with students after the journalism session; everyone was very pleased that attention was being paid to the creative sector, especially an area such as journalism that is infamously hard to get into.
Masters student Ritwik Sarkar told The Courier: “I thought the session offered practical insight and talked about more than one path to get into the industry”.
He was especially pleased with the networking opportunity it provided, he was able to swap email addresses with one of the panelists in order to discuss his CV.
Creative Careers Week has been running since 2011. One of its main organisers, Fiona Hartley, told The Courier:
“It has always been a week, in order to have a dedicated, focused time for thinking about careers rather than events scattered throughout the year”.
Each year the program of events is bigger and better; in the past there have been sessions focused on everything from gaming to art therapy.
Hartley explained that past alumni are always happy to get involved and give back something to the University, and this also shows attendees that it is possible to get the jobs they want, the speakers that come are living proof of that.
According to figures published in 2014 by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport: Creative industries now account for 1 in 18 (5.6%) of all jobs in the UK.
Furthermore, between 2011 and 2013, within the creative industries, there were increases in jobs of greater than 20% in the East of England (27.1%), the East Midlands (25.0%), the West Midlands (20.6%) and the Yorkshire and Humber (20.1%).
The Creative Careers Week is inclusive and wide ranging, Hartley and another main organiser, Laura Brown, explained.
“The week is aimed at everyone, not just those on Arts degree programmes. At the Northern Film and Media session we had a student of computing science which was really cool”.
Moreover, it is not just all about people delivering talks; at the end of the week there was a CV workshop entitled “Is the CV dead?” in which people worked on their CVs in groups with the experts at the Careers Service and each other.
“I think the sessions are good because they give you the opportunity to mingle afterwards and the people had lots of advice”, said international student Phoebe Ng
In case you couldn’t attend the series of events last week, visit the Creative Careers Week website which has all the content from this year’s sessions and other from previous years.