BA Philosophy, MA Film Studies with Screenwriting

May 2013

Where did you Study?

The University of Sheffield (undergraduate), Sheffield Hallam University (postgraduate)

What did you Study?

BA Philosophy, MA Film Studies with Screenwriting.

(although my initial agree was actually BSc Psychology. I changed courses after two years)

What year did you Graduate?

BA – 2011, MA – 2012

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

Short, youthful, pale (?)

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.

Well I didn’t submit my dissertation until mid-late August, so I was working on that with the odd trip to see friends over summer. After that, I was mainly applying to jobs (but had to move back home to do so). I guess I had technically only been out of Uni a week or two when I got an interview and was offered the job that I’m still in. So it was a mixture of applying for jobs and indulging myself at home (lots of food and tv/film) for that very, very short period of time.

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’m doing admin for an Arts/Media company. I’ve been lucky in the sense that it’s related to the sector I want to work in and also the opportunities and contacts that have come with it (side-projects, a work trip to Germany, etc.). However, I hopefully won’t be doing it much longer. I’m at the stage now where I’m just about starting to look and indeed apply elsewhere.

I’m not in my dream job because I’m only just over half-a-year out of Uni and… unless your dream job is low-level, then that’s almost impossible to achieve. Though, as I say, first step on the ladder, certainly not complaining. Hopefully it’s London next from here though.

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

To an extent. I don’t know how much a degree affects things considering their commonness these days, but hopefully an MA does. Still, I would have struggled to get initial work experience without a degree in the right area I reckon.

I don’t know if I would go now with the increased fees and there are definitely alternatives out there, but I think many people out there are far too quick to dismiss their University experience. They don’t really realise how much it’s changed them and how much they have grown. It’s clichéd but true (at least in my case) to say that it was about way, way more than the learning experience. Even though I did learn and develop, you can’t really put a price figure on experiences, friendships and other opportunities that simply wouldn’t have occurred otherwise.

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

Well forgetting dream jobs for a moment, the application process is tough, it can be disheartening. I don’t have anything groundbreaking or majorly insightful to say. It would be wrong for me to assert that something amazing will definitely come up, but if you’ve got good experience and such, then just keep applying – trying to improve each time – and you’ll get there eventually. I found it really daunting thinking that I needed to be the very best candidate out there to get the job, but it’s best not to think like that really. It’s all about getting interviews and grabbing opportunities from there. You might get none for ages and then two or three in a few weeks. There’s no one way of doing things or magic trick to it, as far as I can tell.

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.

Oh I don’t know, it’s gone pretty quickly. It’s all admin stuff, you know? Data and invoices and applications and such. I’m about to go have lunch, then do a couple of hours more and then I’m off home. My job – unlike a fair few others – doesn’t have the strings attached of added hours and long evenings, fortunately. I will be doing some writing of my own later this evening though.

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

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