Polona Dolzan

Born in Slovenia, I came to London in 2002 with a background in performance but wanted to deepen my knowledge in art and design. After finishing Foundation Art and Design, I enrolled in BA Theatre: Design for Performance.

During the course I trained with Rough Cut Theatre Company, Theatre de Complicite, was an intern at the Yugoslav Drama Theatre in post-civil war Belgrade, worked as an assistant studio manager for Hussein Chalayan, designed a solo dance piece in Ljubljana, helped with the logistics of the BA final show, and my performance sketches have been collected by the University of the Arts London.

I was also a Linbury prize semi-finalist. I continued my studies at the Royal College of Art, obtaining an MA in Communication Art and Design with a major project focusing on cultural exchange through the arts and immigration, the impact of 'Eurofication' on the Balkan states and the politicisation of Eurovision, with projects such as a cultural trip titled 'We Came to Take Your Jobs Away' and events at the SHUNT Lounge (Euroversion and Requiem for a Eurovision Dream). I am currently also selling a set of self-published books 'Haiku Film Reviews' at the BFI.

Why did you decide to study at Central Saint Martins?

The interdisciplinary course to explore theatre, design and performance didn't exist in Slovenia at the time.

What was the best bit about living and studying in London?

The mix of people, the flux of ideas, project-based work, different to what I was used to on the continent, the opportunity to fully express oneself and the urge to reflect on it through peer group feedback. Otherwise getting by was pretty hard, I worked two jobs to put myself through college and I maintain a love-hate relationship with the city.

What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?

Create an opinion, push your work and yourself with it by imposing frameworks to break, get out there and work, work, work. Get experience, get to know people, build up a skill set and go see things, even the most banal - you have to see the bad to know what good actually is.

And for students about to graduate?

Focus. Aim. Fire.

What are you up to now? How did you get there?

I'm lucky enough to juggle two jobs that get me through, still doing some installation work, a bit of writing, lots of volunteering and gaining more experience. During my studies my medium changed with every project, I somehow regret that but need to take it in my stride, I'm currently training to become an exhibition organizer at the V&A.

How has Central Saint Martins helped in your chosen career path?

There are some wonderful people that make Central Saint Martins, apart from tutors and course leaders, there are guest artists and staff, and a mix of students from all over the world.

The teaching is still rubbing off and in retrospect I am grateful to have been able to tackle so many different media, but stayed very focused when it came to leadership. Which is what I want to do - be a manager in the arts.