I graduated from Newcastle University with a 2:1 BA (hons) in English Literature and Creative Writing in July 2017. Prior to, and during, my university career I have worked in various part-time roles including; sales, public relations, editorial work, secretarial jobs and hospitality.
My university course allowed me to direct my learning to areas I found most stimulating. This included creative writing modules that allowed me to take inspiration from past writers, as well as artists, musicians, photographers and film makers, and create my own work in response. The manipulation of history, recreated in poetic form using my own voice, really interested me and taught me the importance of past art forms in the creation of new art. I also focused my literature modules on post-modern and post-colonial writing as well as literature surrounding trauma and the war on terror. The significance of real life and the image of ‘The Other’ in these literatures proved prominent to me and allowed me to more closely analyse the real stories behind the fiction. Furthermore, the study of minor literatures and underwritten narratives taught me the significance of individual voice and the narration of history as personal as well as collective. This is clearly relevant to modern writing and the need for fast-paced, relevant but also genuine stories. The story of the individual proves, especially in our modern day, increasingly essential set against a background of generalised global contemporary issues.
I arranged to carry out short-term internships at Brides Magazine, The Daily Mail and at a contemporary fashion brand. Through this I gained an insight into the editorial business, including the rapidly evolving online world. It allowed me to better understand the processes by which articles are chosen, written and edited for particular audiences.
Whilst at University I was able to build my public speaking skills as a large part of the course involved sharing creative writing with other students and lecturers. This meant I was forced to speak and share my work without preparation and included individual presentations. This helped build my confidence and made me face my fears and overcome them. I also had to present group projects and assist in group theatre performances. This was an important step for me and made me realise that performing and presenting in front of large crowds is a positive and important skill to learn. It is something I am keen to promote as it helped me build my confidence and improve academically. Additionally, the students I worked with were equally anxious about the performance and it made me aware of my own ability to comfort and empathise with them using my own experiences to provide support and reassurance. My course also allowed me to fully understand my own writing style and direct my modules to elements I found most interesting. This allowed me to experiment with my work and voice to suit different situations as well as highlighted the importance to communicate it effectively to deadlines.
During my a-levels I was appointed as a prefect and was in charge of taking minutes at meetings, and then writing these up for the lead prefects to distribute. This has taught me how to quickly and efficiently take notes and it is something I have continued to do in each job I took subsequently. I always bring a pen and notepad to any meeting, both casual and formal, to record any important information that may be overlooked or forgotten as I have found it is often these comments that are most useful.
I have attended WordPress and InDesign courses to build my digital skills to suit the changing technological landscape and to maximise the efficiently with which I can develop and edit multi-media content. I show initiative in every task that I complete and am hardworking with projects that I am passionate about, including all areas of the arts.
I thrive when I am busy and so make sure I always have projects. During my university degree this included writing for my university paper and working with the fashion team with photography, editing and writing. I was also a member of the theatre society and worked with the costume team for two of the productions, winning ‘Best Costume’ for one of them. This was a role that I really excelled in as myself and a friend were given complete control over the organisation and creation of the costumes for a whole performance. I am very interested and have always enjoyed all elements of the arts industry and regularly attend both mainstream and independent theatre. Therefore, being a part of the whole performance process and working with the different backstage and onstage members of the team has taught me about the importance of communication and passion. It is an interest I am keen to further as I move away from university and into a career. Furthermore, during my university degree I chose a few modules that focused on theatre, both performance and analysis. This allowed me to experience theatre from both the inside and the outside and meant it was easier for me to appreciate the nuances of emotion and different elements that bring a performance together. I have also written a short monologue for a play that is to be performed in Newcastle later this year.
My blog has allowed me to maintain and develop my own writing style and voice prior to and during my studies. I have recently acquired a large collection of historic Vogue magazines dating back to the 1960s that I am enjoying reading and using as inspiration for art, which is also something I have always enjoyed. I am in the process of creating a blog to document these magazines and use them as a basis to examine the changing attitudes towards women and fashion over time. To continue my passion for writing poetry, I am also currently working with an illustrator to create a poetry zine which we will be self-publishing this year.
During my degree I was taught how to communicate information for specific audiences, using a wide range of formats including essay, article and educational posters. I enjoyed and worked well in the university atmosphere working with both academic professionals and students. Overall, my experience at university has proved to me the importance of a well organised course where students are made to feel comfortable with, whilst still respecting, their lecturers and other staff. This has inspired me to work, and continue my passions, in the academic landscape.
- Market researcher/assistant – at Librios (September 2017 – ongoing): responsible for research current projects, writing up reports and attending meetings. Role involves the creation and project development of an online resource which combines both science and art. I have worked with the company to build a site that will facilitate online exhibitions. My work with Librios as a researcher has forced me to use my initiative to complete tasks. It has taught me to work to deadlines and to use my common sense to make decisions and take risks. It has introduced me to a new way of working where I am responsible for the work that I am completing and am in complete control over what I am doing and when I am doing it.
- Receptionist – Billingshurst Centre (2013-2014, 2017): responsibility for running centre, liaising with other staff and clients.
- Sales Assistant – Hotel Chocolat, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (2015, 2017): responsibilities included cleaning, sales and cashier work.
- Exhibitor PR assistant – Goodwood Festival of Speed (2016, 2017): point of contact for public, including potential clients.
- Hospitality for private and public functions – (2011-2017): waitressing and food preparation, ticket sales and dealing with the general public.
- Internship – at Brides magazine and The Daily Mail (June 2016); role included proof editing, sorting post, being a runner at fashion shoots and in the office, writing, editing and formatting pieces for the newspaper (The Daily Mail).
- Internship – at a contemporary fashion brand (June-August 2016); role included writing up draft articles for a future blog, attending meetings regarding future projects, researching potential profiles.
- Runner– for a film maker at Kings College London (2015)
- Sales Assistant – Montezuma’s Chocolate shop, Horsham (2013-2014): responsibility for opening and closing the store, counting money, sales and cashier work.
- Promotional writing – Napier University Edinburgh (2013): work experience developing content for a university website.
- Customer service – Fishers Farm Adventure Park (2012 – 2013) waitressing, till work, operating rides, and work with the animals.
- I also have experience working in a ceramics workshop where my role included preparing and applying transfers on pottery.
BA degree (2017) – 2:1 in English Literature and Creative Writing from Newcastle University
A-level results (2014) – English Literature A*, English Language A, Biology A
AS result (2013) – History B
GCSE results (2012) – 4 A*s, 8 As and distinction IT.
I have a clean full driving licence.
References – Available on request.