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Naomi Smallwood

"A crazy three years of hard work, friendship, industry experience and training."

Course: BA (Hons) Editing and Post Production

Year of Graduation: 2013

What appealed to you about Ravensbourne and your chosen degree course?

As soon as I walked into Ravensbourne for an open day, it felt different to anywhere else I'd looked. All through the building students were getting stuck in. I wasn't just looking at classrooms, I was looking at production studios, broadcasting kit - and of course, editing suites! This was somewhere I could learn a craft as well as the theory behind it.

How has your degree from Ravensbourne helped you achieve your professional goals?

From the get-go, the course was ingrained in industry training. I didn't just read about this stuff in a book, I actually got to try it for myself, working through problems and solutions on real projects.

I started building my CV long before I graduated which definitely helped when finding work.   Additionally, one of the best things my tutors did for me was insist that we all learn Avid - a piece of editing software I now use every day at work. That was all invaluable experience to have, when starting out in the industry.

What were the benefits that you experienced from studying with us?

As well as hands on technical training with great resources, brilliant teaching and industry experience, Ravensbourne brought out a confidence in me that I'd never had before. I'm not naturally one to believe in myself but the teaching and environment there showed me what I'm capable of - with a large dose of hard work and persistence of course.

Any highlights from your time at Ravensbourne?

My main highlights from Ravensbourne included, working on the end of year degree shows, this was a brilliant experience where I not only made some great new friends, but also learnt the value in working your way up. I started as a hospitality assistant as a first year, and ended up co-running post production by my graduation year. It was a great lesson in making things happen. Cutting a fellow student's short film in the second year forged another friendship I still value greatly now, and also taught me the value of working hard on something that you can be proud of. Also working on the 2012 Olympics as a video logger was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

How is Ravensbourne (and your chosen course) different from other creative institutions?

I think there's something very unique in the extent to which Ravensbourne trusts its students. Yes, a degree anywhere is all about independent study, but to give undergraduates a budget every year and say 'go and put on a degree show', shows an enormous amount of faith in your students, and a confidence in your own teaching.

Are you working at the moment?

I am currently working as an assistant editor in television drama, at a leading TV production company - my credits include Death in Paradise, Humans and Black Mirror.

What advice would you give to prospective students?

My advice would be to grab any opportunity you can, try things, work hard, and then work a bit harder - but in amongst it all, the one thing you should never lose sight of is being a genuine human being, be the person people want to work with.


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