Ulster University helped me achieve my current career success by...
Providing me with just the right environment to explore, expand and develop my creativity, and by making me feel like I was part of a network of like minded people who could help me on my way
Activities I was involved in at Ulster to enhance my employability
Before my final year I undertook a placement year in the United States as part of the Business Education Initiative. I studied in western Pennsylvania. As well as being an extremely enjoyable time, it was also a formative year for me. It opened my eyes to the broader world and gave me invaluable social and communication skills.
In my final year, as part of my coursework I worked on a concept for a children's book. During the research and development stage, I contacted local schools to arrange readings of my story. This really helped me develop confidence in my approach to audiences outside the university environment, and also informed my approach to the creation of artwork to accompany the story.
How study abroad enhanced my employability
My experiences of studying abroad were hugely beneficial, increasing my independence, confidence and communication skills. It was the experience of living and studying in another country that gave me the confidence to pursue my career in London after I had graduated.
Top 3 most significant steps on my career path so far
- My significant first step was my first freelance commission! it wasn't the most exciting job, or the best paid, but it showed me that I could make money doing the thing that I loved.
- Moving to London changed everything for me – the opportunities and the creative community over there opened so many doors.
- Getting married and having children changed how I felt about work. WIth less time and more pressure to support a family, I realised the value in being able to have time and space to be creative more than I had before. It brought a new focus to my work.
What would your advice to students be?
Be open minded – follow your talent wherever it takes you and don't close down your opportunities too quickly. Leaving university is the first step of an exciting journey
Always be nice to people – it helps if people enjoy your company!