Rave About It! - National Careers Week 2022

2 students in pink tshirts at a UCAS exhibition
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The Rave About It blog is written by second year BA (Hons) Digital Film Production student, Jenny Simpson. Jenny works one day a week as an intern within our Outreach team. This blog is a little insight into her views and experiences working with young people interested in the creative industries.*

*Source: The opinions in this blog represent those of the writer and not of Ravensbourne University London

National Careers Week 2022

Welcome to the second Rave About It’ blog post! This week, it’s National Careers Week, so I’m going to be touching on some creative careers advice. I'll also mention some organisations and places to get further help, as well as offering some advice that I’d wish I’d heard earlier!

National Careers week blue

For many Ravensbourne students, it’s probable that the university’s focus on industry and careers looked attractive to them, meaning they were more inclined to choose Rave as their place of study. The pressure to find a job immediately out of university can feel immense and quite scary, not to mention the misinformed belief that “creative degrees don’t result in jobs”.

Since joining Rave, and especially since joining the Outreach team and visiting different schools and organisations, I’ve realised how wrong this belief really is. I have seen first-hand how it can damage a young person's confidence, or perhaps persuade them not to pursue a creative career.  

This was one of the things I heard over and over while growing up. Although my parents and family remained supportive, I still remember when I saw them wince slightly at my declaration of “I want to go to film school!”.

I think being surrounded with more encouraging attitudes when I was younger might’ve played a part in eliminating some of my own self-doubt.

Being told that the creative industries contribute more than £13 million to the UK economy every hour* would’ve been more helpful than being told to think about pursuing law instead.

Ravensbourne is focused on industry and careers; with an excellent careers team, industry guest speakers and amazing connections with well-known organisations. But extra help and advice never hurt anyone, so I’ll also be listing some helpful organisations and sources of information revolving around creative careers.

Useful career contacts:

Dezeen Jobs: Featured jobs for creatives both nation-wide and London-based.

Crafts Council: A way to find out about awards, prizes, residencies, studio spaces and job opportunities in your area.

A New Direction: Offering training, mentoring, career support and advice, events and networking opportunities for diverse and talented young creatives in London

RunTheCheck: Varied creative job listings with all key information. They also run a helpful Instagram page.

Ravensbourne on the road

Speaking with students and parents

Currently, it’s a busy time for the Recruitment team at Rave, as we are attending and being represented at lots of school and UCAS events. Throughout last week, I worked at a couple – one at a secondary school careers fair in Bexley, London.

When speaking to the students and their parents, it surprised me that so many kids attending were in year 8/9 - meaning their school is clearly keen on getting them to consider their next educational steps as quickly as possible.

It just took me back to being that age and remembering what it was like to not even really understand what university and higher education even was.

Comparing it to being 20, it was a weird feeling, as it made me consider how young a lot of teenagers are they start having having these discussions about their futures.

I spoke to a lot of students at the careers fair, some incredibly nervous and avoiding eye-contact. Lots of the younger ones had no idea what they wanted to do, but knew they were interested in something creative.

Jenny is a white woman with red hair and a nose piercing, smiling at the camera

It's crazy to expect children as young as 13 to have it all figured out, but for them to even be slightly interested or inquisitive about creative careers is exciting.

I’m trying to make peace with the fact that it’s difficult to know exactly who you are as a creative, even as an adult, as this is always changing. Either way, they’ll always be support from various organisations, creative institutions, and your friends and fellow creatives for when you’re feeling off track.

You don’t have to have it all figured out. Happy Careers Week!

*2020 stats from gov.uk