Why did you choose to study at QMU and what attracted you to the course?
I chose to study at QMU because of the opportunities that the university offers. Mainly because of the number of multicultural students that the university recruits. I have had the chance to study and work with a number of co-students, whom nowadays I happily call colleagues of mine. I took advantage of my time spent at university to share cultural and entrepreneurial knowledge with fellow industry professionals, whom nowadays I have the privilege to collaborate with on so many different levels. I also chose to study at QMU because it was time for me to invest time in my career to reinforce my knowledge to progress in my sector.
What did you enjoy most about your course?
The opportunity of having the first-hand experience shared with us from industry professionals, amongst which were represented the Edinburgh International Festival, Festival Theatre, CCA and many more. This chance led me to have a better understanding of the industry and to build new contacts, which is a must in our sector.
How did your lecturers support your learning?
All lecturers have a wide range of expertise, whether that's a practitioner with first-hand experience or academic background. As stated before, I committed to reading for an MA to learn and polish my skills. It is usual for a student to prefer one module to another, but from my experience, I can say that I have and I still find what I have learnt relevant in so many different ways.
What challenges did you face with the course and/or university life? How did you overcome them?
Time management is vital! Studying in a foreign country can be overwhelming. Therefore it is crucial to set a set of rules and a timeline to make sure not to lose track. It was essential for me to understand what I wanted from the course and to use that time to have a better understanding of what I aspired to do in the future. Probably that has been the most challenging, and quite frankly you won't solve the mystery. However, my suggestion is to keep those brain cells going - do not be afraid to take on board new opportunities and do not be scared to fail. That is the beauty of being a student.
Do you have any advice for students who might be interested in this course?
I have three words - learn, explore and innovate
Enhancing student learning and personal development
Did you join any schemes/initiatives to enhance your learning and development such as a mentoring scheme, volunteering scheme, etc.?
Out of my own initiative, I did volunteer with a wide range of arts and cultural organisations in Edinburgh while I was studying. I wanted to take advantage of the fact that I was a student, motivated to learn as much as possible and willing to give something back to the industry while I could. Volunteering is undoubtedly the right opportunity to discover new skills.
Did you win any awards/scholarship/internships, etc., that helped you develop skills and experience? If so, please tell us about them.
I feel privileged to have won an internship and have had the chance to work with the Edinburgh International Children's Festival, which promotes, develops and presents theatre and dance for children and young people in Scotland. This experience has opened several doors in my career through strategic techniques and allowed getting to know other industry professionals whom nowadays I call colleagues.
Life as a Student at QMU
What's your 'top tip' for making the most of being a student?
Use books and academic papers wisely. Use the facilities that the University has to offer from career to mentoring and most importantly make new friends.
Can you tell us about your life post-graduation (your career path, notable achievements, etc.)?
It has been quite a ride after I have finished my course, and I must admit it does take a while to find the right projects and to get on the right track. However, understanding what I wanted to do, and what my ultimate goal are, is what led me to achieve my current projects as a creative entrepreneur. My passion for arts and culture can be traced back to my pre-professional days. Whether as a student studying history of art at college or as film crew professional on the world known TV series "Game of Thrones". Therefore, a few months after finishing my MA, I started by creating my brand name called Hello Creative which puts all my services under one umbrella. I like getting people excited about things that excite me by engaging and participating audiences in targeted events.
Amongst my projects, I am currently the producer for the multi-arts and cultural festival in Orkney, St Magnus International Festival and the Creative Learning Co-ordinator at the Perth Concert Series, a collaboration between BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra with a specific focus on developing and inspiring an eighteen and under audiences in Perth and Kinross.
"All lecturers have a wide range of expertise, whether that's a practitioner with first-hand experience or academic background."
[Story published in 2020]