BSc Sports Science with Psychology

June 2013



Where did you Study?

University of East London

What did you Study?

BSc Sports Science with Psychology

What year did you Graduate?

2009

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

Short, smiley, sporty

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.

When I finished Uni I was in the process of finishing off ideas I had for my business. At the same time I was job hunting because I still needed a way to financially support myself.  This period was probably one the toughest yet exciting parts of my life. Mainly because it was a new transitional stage in my life, where for the first time ever I was out of the routine that being in full time education gives you and that I really had to get my career and my life started. The first few months were so hard and I lacked a little confidence because job hunting was not going well. However, it spurred me on even more to ensure my business worked.

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?

Now I am running a sports company. I see myself doing it for the foreseeable as it takes time to set up a business with substantial success. I do have an exit plan but I’m nowhere near done. I am definitely in a dream job because I am leading a great team and enjoy what I do. I am working in my favourite field – sport.

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

I think it has. If I did not go to Uni I probably would not have gained the depth of knowledge I have about my field. Neither would I have the confidence to run a sports company and the environment of Uni contributed to this – I met so many great people at Uni who inspired me. I know that there are many that had the complete opposite experience.

I think the use of Uni is really what you make it. In some industries it is much harder after you have graduated but the key is to make it work for you. Uni is not necessarily for everyone but the key is to understand that it doesn’t guarantee you success nor failure. In this economic climate having a degree might not make the world of difference so it is up to you to ensure you stand out whether you have a degree or not.

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

I would say never give up. Be open minded about your options as you might discover another dream job that you didn’t think you would like. Be ready to prove yourself to employers as they are looking for people who go over and beyond expectations.


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 will consist of heading down to watch a lunch time footy competition in South East London for our customers. From there I will go on to a meeting with my colleagues. Then in the evening I will be hosting and delivering a Sport Up Net session; a monthly networking event for businesses and entrepreneurs who will be connecting through use of our sports games/activities.

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

Find more about Amie’s business, Run Fun Starz, here.

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Drama and English Studies

July 2012

Where did you Study?

The University of the West of England.

What did you Study?

Drama and English.

What year did you Graduate?

2009

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

Innovation masquerading randomness (would’ve made it grammatically correct but I always stick to the brief)

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.

Being visually impaired, I stayed at home while I was at Uni, being lucky enough to live in a city (Bristol) but not confident enough aged 19 to travel to a new one. The end of Uni was therefore a lot easier for me than for any classmates.

I wasn’t the average living-at-home “drive in for class then leave, get my grades and use them” student. I couldn’t drive for one thing. I wanted to be involved with everything I possibly could. The Drama Society was a big part of my Uni life and I got involved with external theatre projects from the people I met there. The summer I graduated I was invited to go to Edinburgh with one such troupe, as a Front of House manager. It was the first time I’d been and I had a wonderful time. Not having been cast in a role, I wrote a play during the rehearsal period and received some good comments about it, as well as expressed desires from people to act in it. I realised that this was a good way to keep involved in theatre. I also re-joined the Drama Society as an alumni member, having been elected secretary and carried on with my weekly trips to the Bristol Old Vic Young Company where I took the Writing for Theatre course. All the while, I kept up my 6- year-old part-time job in the Disney Store to earn money. That year was like living in a dream.

It was the year after when I realised I couldn’t carry on like this and needed to do something to move forward. I went back to the Drama Society again, this time starting my own Creative Writing group and taking on the post of Productions Manager and transferred Disney Stores to be closer to town, where the theatres were. Much as I still loved these things, my friends were moving on and the freshers were becoming younger. I needed to find something else to do.

I had spoken with a tutor earlier the previous year about Post-graduate Study, which had motivated me to get a First. Now I had one, I thought I ought to apply. Still not a confident traveller, I shied away from Drama school auditions, opting instead to apply for an MA in Playwriting. I thought little more about it until I was offered a place. I remained apprehensive about it right until I left Bristol. Royal Holloway was a campus University so it was safe for me but it was also near London which would give me a good opportunity to embrace the theatre scene. I have now been here 9 months and the trips to London get easier every time I go. In fact, London expects people to get lost so I am more independent here than I can be in Bristol.

Note: I was surprised at how little the MA cost, it is very good value for 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?

My MA finishes in September and for a while I see myself acting and writing freelance and trying to find an agent. I have managed to secure a Front of House job at the Bristol Hippodrome which breaks me beautifully into my desired industry without the worry of paying rent and is the flexible kind of job perfect for budding artists. I think my Disney Store experience has held me in quite good stead. My mum is retiring from teaching this year so my financial contribution to the home will probably increase but hopefully the four of us will manage. I do not plan to live at home forever but it’s quite convenient right now. I plan to stay in Bristol for about a year before hopefully moving to London, perhaps transferring ATG venues.

I’m not sure what my dream job is. Obviously a successful actor, playwright and singer but these are always short-term. If I have an amazing scholarly idea I may try for a PhD in future work in a University, as I found myself to be quite good at teaching people to be creative, but this would require funding. I don’t want to teach in a school, having seen the amount of paperwork my parents bring home, plus I hated school too much to go back to such an environment, even in a different position.

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

I think Uni has made me. I would absolutely not be the same person had I not gone and have tried to take every possible opportunity it has given me. I have learned academically and socially and become confident enough to at least think about doing what I really want to do.

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

I absolutely loved my UWE experience. It was filled with people like me. There is a real community feel to UWE and the staff take a real interest in graduates as well as current students. Obviously, with a 100+ year group there are going to be some students more noticeable than others and it can be difficult if you are not one of those who makes your voice heard initially. You must be confident and actively seek guidance. I was lucky enough to be approached by a lecturer in my final year and asked what I was doing next year but if no-one does this for you, you need to be forward and approach a lecturer with whom you have a rapport and ask for a meeting. Don’t worry if you’ve already graduated- send them an e-mail.

The main obstacle I faced was probably shyness and the realisation that I was learning alongside people as good as me and better for the first time in my life, making me feel quite average. My eyesight also meant that I wasn’t as confident as they were when it came to travelling- I got lost in my own city more often than my friends who didn’t come from there! Living with my parents also gave me a bit of an immaturity complex, though I am eternally grateful to them and am glad that I will not be spending my adult life in debt. I worried that I wouldn’t make friends as easily but I made some lovely friends, one of whom I frequently stayed with after nights out – I tried to get as much out of Uni life as possible while still working as hard as I could.

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 weeks are pretty unpredictable at the moment. I normally read, try and write my dissertation, then look for the next opportunity to go to London!

Thought: If other people are just as good as you, you are also just as good as other people.

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

Software Engineering

May 2012

Where did you Study?

Nottingham Trent Uni.

What did you Study?

BA Hons in Software Engineering.

What year did you Graduate?

2008

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

Doctor Sheldon Cooper

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 got the pleasure of continuing to work in a well known, green uniformed supermarket. I had only been working there for the last 6 years so why not continue… That sucked. A lot of my friends didn’t go to Uni and of course had since started their careers in whatever it was they pursued. Jibes about, ah that nice Uni dept sure is paying itself off on your asda wage etc etc.

Although, I felt I learnt at Uni, I felt in no way prepared to enter a job and be a productive member of the team. In the software engineering world the interviews have exams in as well, so it can really depend on what someone who has been doing the job for 15+ years THINKS I should know. Nothing better than going into a job interview drudging through the typical interview questions, then having an exam which is written by an expert in a field you have barely even begun to grasp…

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 a System architect, I have since done projects with Motorola, Next and NASA.

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

I think Uni got me through the door, however I have always been interested in what I’m doing and the work I did away from Uni is what helped me most.

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

Go for ANYTHING even if you think you have no chance of getting the job, who cares if you don’t, you might!! My first real job after Uni was a TINY company with only 3 people including me. A highly questionable online retailer who I would advice people never EVER to purchase from if they value money, but they were my savior. That’s all I needed, one year experience and after that people start to talk to you differently in interviews and those questions don’t seem so hard anymore.

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.

CODING CODING CODING CODING CODING, tea break and a joke around the water cooler… CODING CODING CODING CODING….

And I love it!

That’s it. Lee, 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.