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Ain’t no Showcase like a Creative Access Showcase!

Friday morning at Creative Access HQ, and we are still buzzing from the success of our latest Creative Industries Showcase, held last night at Channel 4.

More than 200 young BAME people, including many recent graduates, attended the showcase, all of whom aspired for careers in creative industries. They were joined by an incredible panel of industry professionals who gave honest and inspirational insights into their individual journeys and shared words of wisdom on how to launch a career and thrive in the sector.

The showcase was introduced by Head of Creative Diversity at Channel 4, Angela Chan & hosted by presenter Anita Rani. Anita opened up about her career in television, talking about how hectic her role was (she’d just recorded a voice-over in the toilet!) and reflecting on her journey:

“I’m a woman, I’m Asian and I’m northern. Not many people in TV looked like me when I started”

Satmohan Panesar, Factual Commissioner for ITV, then took the mic, emphasising the importance of being adaptable when you begin your creative career. He shared a wonderful piece of careers advice with the audience:

“Someone once told me, spend 80% of your job doing the tasks in front of you and spend 20% learning for your next job. Learn about how your skills transfer to other places”

Next, we learned about the world of literary agencies from the wonderful Emma Patterson (RCW). Emma emphasized the importance of loving reading in the role of Literary Agent and talked about the need to balance supporting existing clients whilst cultivating new ones in her role.

“My job is incredibly varied – that is partly why it can be so exciting. You’re constantly using different muscles”

Wanna-be firefighter, turned Google UK’s Public Affairs Manager, Elijah Lawal, talked about the changing directions of his career, having originally qualified as a Lawyer. A great reminder that it is never too late to pursue a creative role! After opening up about his struggle in finding a PR job, Elijah shared what he has learned so far in his current position. He said:

“I have two pieces of advice; first, go into things that you’re passionate about. Things you love doing – because you’re going to be in it for a long time. And secondly, the greatest piece of advice I ever received: be the kind of person people enjoy working with”

Naren Patel, Chief Executive of outdoor advertising company, Primesight was next. He discussed his progress through the company, from starting with them as a young graduate to becoming Chief Executive, and how the industry has changed in his time (for example, digital billboards). On advertising, he stressed

“Three important things – creativity, communication and a fun spirit” –

CA alum and theatre administration expert Bhavini Goyate was next, discussing her journey through incredible companies such as Paines Plough, Tiata Fahodzi and now the Young Vic. Remembering her internship and what she learned, Bhavini advised:

“If I could tell myself something a few years ago I’d say: be yourself, do YOU and be confident about it. Grab every opportunity you can”

Last we heard from another wonderful CA alum, Mubarak Elmubarak who decided to abandon his planned career as a pharmacist. After signing up with Creative Access, Mubarak went into publishing. Currently working at PanMacmillan, he gave top tips on how to smash an internship:

“It’s hard work! Its important to remember – for what you’re doing, no matter how tired you are, there are also fifty other people doing the same thing”

The evening was rounded up by Creative Access CEO, Josie Dobrin who proudly told the audience that not only has Creative Access placed over 800 trainees, but has also supported more than 13,000 young people with CV advice and support on interview preparation . This was followed by a drinks reception and the chance for the audience to network with each other, the speakers, industry guests and Creative Access staff.

It was a wonderful night and ‘inspiring‘ was the word we heard the most. Thank you to our generous hosts at Channel 4, plus wonderful panel of speakers for your time, honesty, humour and incredible advice:

  • Angela Chan, Head of Creative Diversity, Channel 4
  • Anita Rani, Presenter, BBC
  • Emma Paterson, Literary Agent, RCW
  • Satmohan Panesar, Commissioner, Factual Television, ITV
  • Naren Patel, CEO, Primesight
  • Elijah Lawal, Google UK & Ireland Communications & Public Affairs Manager
  • Bhavini Goyate, Administration Assistant, Young Vic Theatre
  • Mubarak Elmubarak, Sales and Marketing Assistant, Pan Macmillan

Take a look here for some feedback from attendees about the event…