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Creative Futures: Making the transition from Student to Creative Professional with Bex Raven

By Kyle Sutherland, Egwyl Editor

As students, our attention and time is usually filled to the max by University life, with lectures, assignments and of course the social side we all so enjoy. As a result, we can perhaps be forgiven if we don’t give much thought to what comes after we graduate, when we’re no longer students but rather adults expected to enter the professional world.

So, as we move into this, the second day of the annual Creative Futures week, students we’re lucky enough to be paid a visit by professional artist Bex Raven of the Funky Aardvark, Chester, to lay out our options and give us the advice for the future we all seem to have omitted to come up with.

Bex laid out that simply, after graduation we have four main options, the first being to ‘come right back on in’ and continue to study at the post graduate level, as she did, earning an MA.

Secondly, there exist what are called degree management schemes. These are pretty much schemes which recognise that as a graduate you have proven that you have the capacity to achieve something and are the usual route for retail managers, such as in supermarkets.

Now, before you turn your nose up at that prospect remember that managers like that earn a good wage so it could be a good stop-gap position, although Bex warns it is ‘easy to get sucked down that route.’

Third, you could do something completely unrelated to your course, or you can go professional in the creative sector ‘90% of the time that’s the best way to do things,’ said Bex.

Simply put if you are studying for your degree because you enjoy doing what you study you should go for it, as Bex’s mum says you should always ‘do what you will actually enjoy doing.’

However, this is a hard path to take which won’t make you a millionaire success story overnight and ‘you can’t do it half-heartedly.’ The fact is that here at uni we have lecturers and classmates to help keep us motivated and to set us deadlines or bounce work off of, whereas after uni it’s on us to ‘create that motivation, you will have to go out and get it,’ says Bex as well as warning us against putting things off, ‘do it now or you’ll end up putting it off.’

Probably from my point of view the most important lesson from this talk is the need to start creating a plan now for what comes after, you can’t get going if you don’t know where to, and you need to understand what sort of working environment, income and source of potential collaborators you will need for the future. So in short, make a plan, find a group (if your future aspirations require one) and do it now.

We all want to be able to take some time off when we finish uni but the fact is that as soon as we graduate we need to hit the ground running and there is a big gap between finishing your course and graduation.

Please remember to share your experiences of creative futures on #creativefutures17

Thanks for reading.

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