Exploring future creative careers (curriculum case study)

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Investigating the way in which creatives work in large organisations, the Exploring Future Creative Careers conference involved both student speakers and notable industry figures.

Central Saint Martins (CSM) subject leader for Illustration Andrew Hall and Associate lecturer Michelle Salamon obtained support from the Curriculum Development Fund to lead a series of events for the Graphic Communication Design programme, which brought together key industry figures from the leisure, entertainment and media sectors.

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We definitely added to the debate within the Communication Design programme on future employability of our graduates.

Andrew Hall, subject leader for Illustration, CSM

Design and approach

The conference, held in June 2014, included a range of events, including Salon Sessions - a series of mini congresses and informal networking events.

The events were designed to encourage active learning through discussion between students and design professionals. This was focused on exploring the skills and attributes necessary for pursuing a career in large creative organisations.  

An event called How We Work involved presentations by industry representatives and CSM Graphic Communication Design students, exploring key graduate attributes.

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Outcomes

About 90 students attended the events, which provided students with the opportunity to network with key figures in the industry.

The project outcomes were more wide-ranging than the discussion and transmission of information about key graduate attributes. Five students were offered work placements as a result of the conversations that happened throughout the day. Interestingly, many of these valuable conversations took place in the informal periods between events. 

The organisers found the industry speakers, representing organisations ranging from Endemol to Unit 9, also benefited. They had the opportunity to see how the university department works, rather than simply view completed work at degree shows.  

One of the outcomes of How We Work was the development of a 'digital survival pack', which will be updated and amended for the use of students in the future. 

For further information on the project, please contact:

Andrew Hall a.hall@csm.arts.ac.uk

Michelle Salamon m.salamon@arts.ac.uk

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Future developments

Reflecting on the events, Andrew Hall believes that they definitely added to the debate within the Communication Design programme on future employability of our graduates.

Based on the feedback of both speakers and students, the value of informal conversations was seen to be key to the success of How We Work. The organisers reflected that future versions of the event might run with less emphasis on the formal conference element and more on developing opportunities for informal discussion between speakers and students.

The organisers also saw potential for developing the project iteratively, with similar events focusing on different departments within the college and subsequently across the University. 

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