It can be incredibly hard getting a start in the competitive creative sector, the opportunities that Arts Temps offers can often be the launchpad of careers for many of UAL’s students and graduates. We spoke to Daniele Nolè, UAL’s Digital Content Assistant, about how he got his career started through Art Temps. From working in bars and events while he was studying his MA, to getting a full-time position in the UAL Digital Team curating content for the UAL website and Instagram account.
Hi there Daniele, so why did you join Arts Temps in the first place?
My course leader introduced me to Arts Temps, she was organising an event and she needed a couple of students to help her. She asked students to sign up to Arts Temps if they were interested.
I’d already been working part-time for a café to support myself financially whilst studying, but was struggling with the work/study balance. The suggestion to work for Arts Temps actually came at just the right time. I needed something I could balance more easily with my studies and it made socialising with peers much easier. What I think was great about Arts Temps is that I had an opportunity to develop my professional skills whilst I was studying.
You’re currently working as Digital Content Assistant; how did you start off in that role as a temp?
I got the job through Arts Temps about three weeks before I graduated, it was a great opportunity to get some good work experience related to my degree - it felt like I was on the first rung of the ladder and I was actually starting my career! The other roles I’d done for Arts Temps were great little jobs to bring some money in, but this helped me to start thinking about the workplace and what skills I could bring to a role.
I gained some really valuable skills, pretty soon after I first started I was largely running all the UAL social media accounts, so it was quite a lot of responsibility – especially for a nearly graduated temp! I enjoy working in an environment where I can really apply myself and push myself to go above and beyond. I think it’s important that you really show that you're interested, motivated, and that you're willing to learn.
How transferable was the knowledge gained in your Masters?
I’d had a bit of work experience before starting my MA so I knew that it was important to develop specific skills which you aren’t necessarily taught in an academic setting.
My MA was in Media, Communications and Critical Practice, so it was focused on studying the media but was quite theory led. It wasn’t directly related to what I’m doing now but it did give me a lot of conceptual tools that I use, such as how to create content for websites in a way that I know can have an impact.
I think fundamentally though; my studies gave me the theory and the job gave me the practical knowledge - it was a nice balance between the two things. I suppose for a lot of people working in these roles, Arts Temps is such a good opportunity for students to actually start to put into practice the skills they gain whilst they’re studying.
And now you are in the role as a permanent position, how did that come about?
When I started this position I was on a temporary contract, but I must have made a good impression as I was invited to apply for the permanent position! It was great to be recognised for my hard work. I was given the time to develop my skills for the role and gain the experience that I wouldn’t have had without Arts Temps.
I think starting the role as a temp and then moving to permanent was good for both me and for my employer. I knew what to expect of the role and felt confident that I could do the work when I applied for the permanent position; and my employers knew that I was very capable of doing the role when they hired me.
It was also a really good transition and when I started to get an actual salary instead of having to fill out timesheets each month, it was such a relief and it gave me a real sense of personal achievement!
How has this job affected the way you think about your career?
My team have a lot of trust in me and I have quickly taken on several responsibilities. I soon became skilled at using new tools and systems and my manager often comes to me to ask about how certain function works – which is great for my self-esteem!
This also gave me space to experiment and understand what I really want to do. As I said, I started with managing the University’s social media from a “marketing” perspective, but working on websites made me realise that I’m more interested in User Experience and Content Design. My managers are really supportive and have helped me find the right development opportunities to move in that direction.
I now work on important projects on the UAL website, the UAL intranet and curate the UAL Instagram account.
That sounds amazing, I hope to hear more about your experience in these new areas soon!
Make sure to check out the recent #UALShowcase campaign run and curated by Daniele and all the amazing opportunities available at Arts Temps.
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