Highlights from our Careers Day 2018, Brighton & Bexhill
The Dv8 Careers Day was held across both Brighton and Bexhill campuses to give students the opportunity to explore what options and pathways are out there for their next steps in work or education. We had careers hubs, university talks and lots of guests speakers from various creative industries and practical workshops for students to take part in. Read on below for a small insight into what both days held and some of the excellent advice and discussions that took place.
Chris Bell – Self employment in the Creative Industries
Our very own Chris Bell (Digital Magazine Tutor) gave a valuable insight into freelancing in the creative industries. At some point in your creative career you may well end up self employed, so Chris opened up a discussion for the potential pros and cons of self employment…
Points made across the session…
- Can’t get away from paying tax – just pay it! If you ever need to speak to HMRC, just remember that they are people on the end of the phone. Be friendly and polite and they’ll do their best to help you. Don’t try to be clever or dodgy!
- Buy Public liability and insurance – some employers / clients won’t let you work without it.
- You can claim expenses for your business against your tax.
- Money is very fluid. Be organised, divide money up into tax, money for you and money for the bank. Stockpile and save for the future, and plan for contingencies.
- Being self employed can mean being your own boss with flexible hours!
- If you’re working with another business or client, make sure a contract is drawn up with agreements from both parties.
- Being self employed is really satisfying. You get out what you put in!
- Cons can include less overall stability, you have to fund and market your business, might have to pay staff, you have no redundancy or holiday pay.
Rich Cross – Music Production, Logic workshop
Music Production tutor Rich held a workshop in which students would remix sounds and snippets from songs. The great thing about this session was that you didn’t need any musical knowledge, you just needed the ability to listen. The rest is cutting and moving isolated recordings from well known songs. Rich rightly explained that in these digital times, you don’t have to be a musician to work in the sound industry!
Jessica and Yoti from Yiayia’s Studio
We had the pleasure of meeting Jessica and Yoti at our Bexhill campus to speak to students about running a recording studio. Some of their top tips included…
- When you’re starting out, build contacts early! For example, record a drummer but instead of taking their money for your services, get their number so you can call in with them another time for a different project you might have.
- Don’t let equipment dictate your skill level or define your abilities.
- It’s not about how much money you spend on a mic, it’s about where you put it and how you use it.
- Use your ears as much as possible.
- Learn how to tune instruments. Very important in recording as you can’t re-tune once you’re editing.
- Look after your equipment well!
Paul Oliver – Games Development Workshop
Our Games Development tutor Paul delivered a practical workshop where students were introduced to Construct 2; a free tool used to build 2D games with any device on a Google Chrome browser. (Download Contruct 2 here) Paul opened up his session with a dynamic stater of commander and robot where pairs would have to communicate a sequence of actions using one word and one number per command – safe to say it was harder than it sounded! Our game creators wasted no time after building all sorts of obstacles in their first ever self made games completed in just under an hour!
Our friends from IntoUniversity tackled some more university myth busting and had a focus on the interview process. They shared their top tips for dealing with tricky questions that you might face and how each person can present ‘the best you’.
Eamonn – Media Production Workshop
With a whole background of camera and photography knowledge and experience under his belt our Media tutor Eamonn delivered a workshop on camera use talking through what camera you should use in which situation and how to get the best picture out of them. The best camera is the one that’s most accessible to you which for many may well be snapping away on your mobile phone!
Jarlath – Media Production Workshop
Jarlath ran a dynamic workshop in which he first got students to think about what is media? It’s presenting, and re-presenting. To emphasise this point, he got students to share two truths and one lie whilst the everyone else had to guess what was the lie. You’d think this was easy but no! Would you believe that “I drove my ill dad on a moped to the hospital in India at the age of 13” was in fact a truth? It’s all about how you present these statements. Students then learnt to set up a camera and lighting equipment and had a go at carrying out their own interviews as a small production team.
Tom Hines – Project Manager at Audio Active
Our good friend Tom from Audio Active delivered a session with students interested in music careers. He explained that he didn’t have a direct route into music, in fact he went round the back of the traditional route into becoming a music teacher! So just because it’s taken you a while to get your feet off the ground, you can achieve and start something new at any point in your life! He shared that he worked lots of small jobs that didn’t have any relevance to music, but ultimately they helped him to get where he is today; working his dream job now.
Vicky Speirs – University Workshop
Vicky was on hand to dispel any university myths and answer any burning questions our students had about applying, bursaries, entry requirements and UCAS points. Safe to say a few students left feeling that university is definitely a viable route for them!
Darren Buss – Photographer
Big thanks to Darren Buss for delivering a talk on photography and running your own business! Some key points from Darren during his session…
- Nobody asks me about the qualifications I have, they just want to see I can take really good photos.
- The earlier you start, the better. Build that confidence and those skills early.
- Helps to have a side job during quieter periods.
- Use social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and attend things like wedding fairs for drumming up business.
- Have your public liability , indemnity and equipment insurance.
- When introducing yourself to a client for the first time, it’s nice to give them a handheld portfolio rather than just showing a slideshow on a screen.
- You will need to meet clients in person, can’t get away from it so build up your people skills.
- Start by advertising your services at a reasonably low price and build up gradually once you have a strong portfolio.
- Collaborate with other artists, florists, make-up artists… networking!
- Don’t use cliche photos to start your portfolio.
- Say yes to every opportunity, even if you have to do some research and blag a little!
- Promote yourself a little everyday.
- Don’t offer too much, have one solid package to begin with.
Adam Sheldon, Big Egg Films – Setting up and running your own business
Our very own Adam Sheldon took a session to inform our budding creative students about what it’s like setting up your own company and shared some of the the things to watch out for!
- It’s not an easy thing and Adam made a lot of mistakes along the way, but it’s all part of the learning curve and becoming successful.
- There are some fantastic groups that will give you your first independent opportunity for media related work experience such as Mandy, The Brighton Film Network (Facebook group), Star Now, and Shooting People
- People / clients take advantage of money and fees. Make sure you have a payment plan and contract in place.
- It’s not easy talking about money and can be uncomfortable, but it’s important to get the money conversation out of the way. It’s not rude, it’s professional.
- If you don’t know how much money you should be charging a client for your services, use BECTV as a guideline.
- If you ever get into a position where someone isn’t holding up their end of the bargain (like paying for your services), don’t go to social media and rant about them – could be seen as slander.
- The creative industries are large but also small – it seems like everyone knows everyone!
- Have a watermark to protect your goods.
- It’s okay to work for free when you’re building contacts, experience and portfolio, but know your worth and when to charge.
- Charging too little for something can be as bad as charging too much!
- Don’t forget to register yourself as self employed (if you are).
Graham Luckhrust: Mr Bongo and Greymatter
Mr Bongo came to our Brighton campus to share his story and inspire our future producers and artists!
- Get the music right. If you’re making high quality music then it will get out there.
- You need to be able to hustle.
- When you’re young you just want to make music and aren’t that interested in record labels. That’s natural!
- If you’re not getting signed to a label, don’t let that put you off, keep going. Persist!
- You learn a lot from putting a record out – the process and feedback.
Annie Redfern – Creative Events & Project Manager
Annie came and delivered a session about her fascinating journey from studying Textile design to making props and retraining as a food stylist. Throughout her presentation she emphasised the importance of looking for themes that emerge in your work and study, to help guide you towards the things you are best at and will therefore enjoy the most. Helpful and unhelpful advice, necessity and chance all play a part in shaping the long and winding career path so don’t take things too seriously and make sure you make the most of opportunities. Make sure you don’t miss out by focusing too much on doing things and missing the variety on offer in your subject area.
After staring enviously at all the beautiful window dressing, icing tablecloths, product catalogues and unicorns that Annie had designed she returned the group to the questions she started with ‘What is a career?’ – A very good question…
Niall and Adam – Having a professional online presence
For everyone wanting information on best social media practices or guidance on how to set up a professional social media profile from scratch, Adam and Niall delivered a session to discuss all things social!
- Social Media profiles are free to set up and a great way of gaining extra exposure.
- Be consistent with posting on social media with pieces of your work and updates on work in progress, etc. You don’t have to post everyday, just show that you are actively posting and engaging online.
- Social media profiles are essentially online portfolios – show off what you do!
- You might want to set up a small website or blog to complement your social profiles where you can display the work you create. Point anyone you meet who is interested in what you produce to these channels.
- When starting out, have a separate social media profile for your professional work, and another for your personal life.
- Share you work on both personal and professional channels, but don’t share too much of your private life on the professional profile – you might lose some of your audience.
- Make sure you are happy with your privacy settings because employers may well look up your personal profile!
- Explore social channels and which ones work best for you. There are different audiences on each!
- Use scheduling tools built into Facebook and content management tools such as Hootsuite to put posts out in advance and manage your time more effectively.
- Find your tone. Be fun, be friendly and talk to other users!
- Have a consistent logo / branding across all of your channels.
- If you’re thinking about setting up a small website, it’s worth doing some research into SEO.
Lou and Sharon – Art and Fashion Workshop
Our Bexhill fashion tutor Lou got the students to make little concertina books that present a narrative through bold and colourful objects and key figures throughout history. A nice session to finish the day and allow students get in touch with their arts and crafts side.
Whilst our Brighton fashion tutor Sharon gave a talk about her experience working in the Fashion industry, designing clothes for TV shows and also about running her own tattooing business on the side that complements her Fashion and Art work and teaching.
Rich – Making money from music with a focus on sync and publishing
Events Management Tutor Rich took centre stage to deliver an insight into the world of sync publishing and making money from music. He shared his experience in selling the rights of songs to clients that want to use the music for adverts, films and other creative and marketing purposes. It can be a very satisfying rjob Rich explained. Sometimes he’d send a selection of tracks to clients and they’d pick something he wouldn’t have expected them to and used it in a way he didn’t it could be – that’s the beauty of creativity!
How can you develop your sync profile? Network, nurture contacts over time, research and develop a commercial awareness. We consume music absolutely everywhere and someone somewhere will be getting paid for that play you hear!
We’d like to say a big thank you to all the tutors and guest speakers that played a part in making our Careers Day 2018 a huge success and we look forward to hosting the next!