Sharing our experience – Providing work experience with Arts Emergency

How many times as a student were you told it’s not about what you know it’s about who you know? It’s all about being in the right place at the right time? Well it’s true, but it shouldn’t be.

 

This is a system that only leads to under represented groups of people staying under represented within our industry, through not having those initial contacts, or not approaching their creative careers in the traditional ways that would put you ‘in the right place at the right time’. The design industry suffers massively from a lack of diversity and a sense of exclusivity.

Speaking from personal experience and privilege I was incredibly lucky to be able to go to university. Luckily I was at that stage at a time when fees were a third of what they are now. Through my university I was able to make industry connections that have shaped my career ever since. I am immensely grateful for this, and find it hard to imagine where I would have gained these insights and opportunities if this hadn’t been an option for me.

The arts subjects at a higher education level have taken a massive hit recently, with 50% cuts to their funding, which only serves to make it harder for young people from low income backgrounds to get into university, the most common route into a design career. Which means that it is even more crucial that we can change the ways in which young people can begin their creative careers. We think changing this exclusivity is incredibly important within the graphic design industry and so wanted to do something practical about it. So we looked to the experts to see how we could help make a difference, and open up these opportunities to a much wider range of young people.

Joining a scheme like Arts Emergency’s work experience meant that we could work alongside a knowledgeable group that could ensure that our support was having a positive impact.

Arts emergency is a nation wide charity that aims to level the playing field when it comes to young people entering the creative industries. Helping 16 – 25 year olds with an interest in the arts and humanities through mentoring and work experience.

 

For our society to be fair and kind, every young person should have the chance to contribute to the culture they live in. That’s why we’re dedicated to levelling the playing field.

The Arts Emergency Vision

Sharing our experience

As a studio we worked with Arts Emergency to create a work experience scheme that could be offered to students who would benefit from it the most. Putting together a week of tailored activities that would help to give the student an insight into our work as well as help them work towards any personal goals that they came to us with. It was such a rewarding experience for us as a studio, and best of all we had great feedback from our work experience student Zoe!

 

 

Mentoring

I have been a mentor with the charity for 2 years now, and love being able to support students on their journey. A lot of that process usually focuses on working out the best path into the industry for each student, setting goals, and finding the best ways of working towards those goals. One of the best parts of course is just being a cheerleader for new talent.

It has been really amazing to meet these super creative students and share my knowledge of our industry with them. We can’t wait to see some of these talented young designers break through into the design world and make its future even more exciting.

 

We want to make sure that the energy behind this cause builds and builds so here’s a list of resources and ways you can get involved.

Join the Arts Emergency mentoring network

Find out more about offering work experience through Arts Emergency

Creative lives in progress, articles and resources for young creatives

 

 

Author

Lana Zoppi

 

further reading