Thursday, 22 October 2015

Expo 15: Careers in the Arts

 I was delighted yesterday to make my way up to Leeds to contribute to Expo 15: A careers event organised by the University of Leeeds across a number of different subjects and University schools.

After having immensely enjoyed my time in the city within the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, I was more than happy to take a day off work to give a presentation about my story to a group of really enthusiastic (and really cool) freshers - all of whom were desperate to start gaining experience now to make them as employable as possible in the future.

I was asked to discuss my role at 3D Printshow in sync with my degree (History of Art) and the work experience / internships that I engaged with during my time as an undergraduate at the uni - and it was a brilliant experience. Working in the 3D printing industry has given me the opportunity to travel the world and work with an extremely varied collection of individuals, and it was only when I began explaining what I do and how I got to doing it that I realised how lucky I have been.

I then took part in a really interactive panel discussion about what it means to be employable - including questions from the audience about how to tweak your CV, how to get that first internship, and where to look for opportunities and funding. I was seriously impressed not only by the outgoing way in which this group of 18 year olds were engaging with what I was saying, but it was also great to see so many young people taking the initiative to really work out how they were going to realise their project ideas. I would never have even attended such an event as a fresher - so its clear that the culture is really changing in terms of young people knowing how hard it will be for them to find work after graduation.

I left feeling inspired, and happy to have encouraged some younger students to continue pursuing their goals - and it was great being back in Leeds.

I stopped by two of my favourite museums spaces on my way back to the station: The Henry Moore Institute and Leeds Art Gallery. Catching up on the city's incredible scene is always a pleasure - and I was delighted in particular by touring exhibition British Art Show 8, which was presenting some very strange and interesting work. The highlight for me was a 1 hour video by Rachel Maclean - I had never seen anything like it (also, kudos to Leeds Art Museum for some excellent curation and some daring wall-painting in the galleries themselves). What a great city!