Exploring my career options
by Holly Bell
Although I’m still exploring what career path I want to go into after my degree, my studies have allowed me to explore different options for my future, build skills and realise what I’m interested in.
From studying theatre at Lancaster, I’ve realised that I’m interested in communicating with young people and I’m considering teaching as a career option after my degree. Similarly, the creative enterprise module I’ve taken has given me an interest in the creative industries, which I’m interested in exploring further after my degree.
My placement in a school
I selected an optional school’s placement module during my second year. I really enjoyed this module and it has sparked my interest in teaching. During this module, I went to a local secondary school for one morning each week. I got to observe and participate in drama classes in two different year groups: both in KS3 and KS4 classes. I was supported by the university and regularly had classes which prepared me for the placement and allowed me to speak to my tutors about any concerns.
During my placement, I wrote a report. I conducted my own research by interviewing the teaching staff and delivering activities for the students. I was assessed through the report and a presentation to my classmates. The presentation allowed me to summarise my placement, the project I had conducted, and key skills I had developed during this module. I really enjoyed communicating about my placement to my classmates and tutors and it was interesting listening to other people’s teaching experiences.
For another assessment, I completed a logbook about my experiences during the placement. In the logbook, I recorded the skills I had developed using the STAR framework (Situation, Task, Action, Result). The STAR framework was a useful technique to learn because employers and careers advisors recommend using it in interviews. One of the key skills I identified in the logbook was leadership. I got to teach a warmup with the GCSE students and be in charge of guiding them through the session. I enjoyed the creative freedom this responsibility gave me. I selected an activity that I knew would benefit the students and enabled them to bond together using a new drama style they hadn’t previously engaged with. It was rewarding to see the class work together and bond through trying something new under my leadership and this inspired me to consider teaching as a career after my studies.
Learning about the creative industries
I’m currently studying an optional creative enterprise module as part of the third year of my degree. In this module, I’m learning about the creative industries and the problems they face. I’m undertaking a group project, where we get to help solve a problem for a local arts company. We get to network and liaise with contacts from the company and conduct research about the problem.
I’m finding it interesting to research about the marketing strategies the company use and I’m excited to report back to the company about the findings of our own research. I’m supported through this process by the module supervisor and we have regular classes where we learn background knowledge about the creative industries.
We get to learn about our own strengths and weaknesses through this process. For one of the assessments, we will conduct a reflective report about the success of the project and the skills we developed during the project. This module has allowed me to develop many skills including my teamwork skills. I’ve learnt about effectively communicating with others, networking, and problem solving. These are skills I can take into my life after my degree. This module has also sparked my interest in working for local arts businesses as I can see the value they create to society.
Those are some of the ways I have prepared for my future career during my theatre degree at Lancaster. My modules have enabled me to develop new skills and gain work experience which has given me ideas for potential career routes. These are valuable experiences which I believe have allowed me to prepare for my future after my degree.
Holly is a third year undergraduate at Lancaster University and is studying Drama, Theatre and Performance.
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