Graduate profile: Victor Chan

Film graduate Victor Chan is determined to follow a career that has creativity at its heart; he’s made a great start.

My aim is to keep learning so that I continue to develop creatively, while generating enough income to keep moving forward.

A passion for film brought Victor Chan to Kent. As his studies progressed his increased understanding of film theory gave him new insight into how film works, which in turn inspired his own creativity. Alongside his studies, he developed his love of photography, building up an impressive portfolio and having work published in a magazine and on the Apple website.

After graduation, Victor decided to build on his photography success by working as a studio assistant in a photo studio. ‘The role was quite practical and I learnt a lot. After a year I became the in-house photographer.’ Victor continued to develop his craft and after two years made the decision to go freelance.

‘It felt like the right time, but it’s still quite scary; there’s a big adjustment to make when you move from employee to organising your own shoots and running your own business. One thing I’ve learnt is how important it is to network, to be professional, polite and to work hard, so that people remember you and want to work with you. I’m now getting some work through a PR agency as well as directly.’

Since his decision to go freelance, things have moved quickly for Victor: ‘I’m now running a studio and have my own space to shoot; I recently shot the editor-in-chief of The Independent which was exciting.’

Working in the creative industries definitely isn’t a 9-5 career, even in his downtime Victor is thinking about future projects. ‘In my free time, I’m always researching, looking for opportunities. It’s exciting, every day is different and, most importantly for me, I’m enjoying the creative process.

I’m at the start of my career developing my own personal style and building my reputation in a creative field. I don’t know yet if I’ll stick with photography, I may transition into directing videos and films. Regardless of moving images or still images for me it is all about storytelling and connecting with an audience. My aim is to keep learning so that I continue to develop creatively, while generating enough income to keep moving forward.’

What did you think of the Canterbury campus?

There is a real community feel it’s like living in a little village. And I really liked the city. I live in London now but still enjoy coming back to Canterbury

Did you join any societies?

I joined the Film Society and would definitely recommend it; it’s a great way to make friends.

What did you enjoy about your studies?

I really enjoyed the seminars; they were fun and inspiring. The discussions were interesting. I think it’s good to have debates because it shows that what you are discussing is important to you. We respected each other’s opinions even when we didn’t agree. Now that I’m working I see how important it is to be able to communicate with confidence.

What advice would you give to someone coming to Kent?

I really enjoyed my time at Kent. I met a lot of people and still keep in touch with many of them. I’d say think about joining societies, it will expand your circle of friends. Obviously studying is important but it’s also important to enjoy university life, make the most of the experience!