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Where are they now? English and Creative Writing Graduates return to campus to share their industry top tips

Date 25.01.2017

A panel of six successful graduates from the University of Northampton’s English and Creative Writing courses shared their experiences of working within the Arts today (25 January) as part of Subject Futures Week.

The six panellists shared how their English and Creative Writing degree stood them in good stead for their various careers paths, which have led to roles in radio, publishing, theatre production, marketing and within education. During the discussions the panellists praised their course for equipping them with some necessary skills for the industry.

Mathew Keeler, Theatre Producer, at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London commented: “When working within the Arts, there’s very rarely a clear career path, it can be quite convoluted to get to what you think is the ‘dream job’. I’ve worked for free and for expenses, living off my savings, just to get a foot in the door and show willing. While you’re at university, ask questions, speak to staff, use the resources to read as much as possible.”

BBC Broadcast Journalist and University of Northampton Graduate, Sarah Stratten, gave current students this advice: “You have to just go for it, if you’re passionate about wanting to work in a particular field, be tenacious, keep asking for work experience, keep volunteering your time; in the end your resilience will pay off.”

Zoe Pape, who now works for the University’s Marketing team, alongside studying for an English MA said: “Alongside the literacy skills and confidence in myself which I developed within the course; the other skills, resilience, organisation and critical thinking have helped me to get ahead in my early career.”

Academic Librarian at the University, Nadine Shambrook advised: “Use University as a time to get some work experience early, do this now before you even begin to think about applying for jobs. Take the opportunities to make connections; this can also help you get through the door for an work experience placement or future role.”

Subject Futures Week is the University of Northampton’s week-long intensive focus on graduate career opportunities, which helps give students an insight into the careers available within the Arts. With workshops, guest speakers, and practical sessions delivered by high profile industry experts, students have a unique chance to network and ask questions about their chosen career.