Kent students network and plan their next career steps at the Creative Showcase

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A student reports back on her experience of a webinar with four panellists sharing expertise about working in the creative industry

My name is Tamika, I’m a third year  Politics And International Relations student and on Monday 7th March, I took part in the University of Kent’s creative showcase. I was there to listen to experts share their career pathways and looking for tips for my journey into the industry. If you missed it and are interested, you can watch the recorded session on YouTube.

There was a general consensus amongst the panellists that networking was very important. Rami Kadri (Digital Marketing Manager) spoke of how networking is important in both informal and formal settings. Speaking from her own experience, she stated that when first entering the music industry she didn’t like tea. Yet drinking tea with colleagues is seen as an informal way of networking. Rami saw this, and as a compromise would have hot chocolate during informal chats with colleagues. 

The session also showed that the path to your chosen career isn’t always straightforward, which is something a lot of people can relate to. Two of the panellists went through clearing in order to get into university. They also recommended not rushing into your occupation and instead allowing yourself time to think. One panellist spoke about her own post-graduate experience. Where most of her friends already had the graduate jobs that they wanted, but she was stuck in a job role she hadn’t envisioned herself doing for six months before she founded a job that she wanted. It was good to hear that the pathway to a job post-graduation and even leading up to education isn’t always smooth-sailing, but that doesn’t preclude a fulfilling career in the end. It can be frustrating to see others find their way more quickly, but important to bear in mind that many people are going through more convoluted steps, and it’s okay to take time to experiment and work out what is next for you. 

The session also touched upon rejection and how to cope with it. Lydia Hamilton (Programme and Digital Editor for ITV News) spoke of how rejection is something which most people will face. But she stressed that its also important to get your name out there within the industry, so they’re at least aware that you’re interested, as this may lead to other opportunities in the future. Rami also spoke about her experience of now being a recruiter and she stated that most of the time she knows what she is looking for. She stressed the importance of potential employees looking carefully at job requisites and trying to align their experience with what the job specification is looking for. Even if you do not meet the spec exactly you can be creative. For example, if they want someone to have the ability to plan an event, even if you haven’t had any formal experience in planning a professional event, you can use a personal experience such as planning a family party. 

The creative access showcase taught me how to make connections in both informal and formal settings. It helped me develop confidence for initiating a connection, by learning that sometimes you may have to fake confidence, it doesn’t necessarily have to come naturally in each situation. It also reminded me to throw myself into lots of opportunities and expect some levels of rejection, as others may not be as willing to make connections or I may not get every position that I apply for. It’s about being persistent and pushing through in order to eventually get the job that I want. 

Written by Tamika Adamson, student, on 25.03.22

More to help your employability journey at Kent:

For more information on developing your employability skills, planning your career, improving your CV and practice interviews, check out the Careers and Employability Service website, where you can book 1:1 appointments with careers advisers and useful workshops. To stay up to date with the latest from the Careers Service, follow @UniKentEmploy.

Check out further articles on Careers and Employability.