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Meet a Mentee profile on... Aliyah!

SLP profiles the dynamic and passionate individuals in our first Meet a Mentor cohort. We get their views on the industries they are breaking into and uncover one fun fact about them!

What area of the creative industries do you work in?

Museums and Galleries.

I have always been intrigued by this area of the creative industries because of the work that goes on behind the scenes. I visit museums and galleries when I can and I like to attend exhibitions and showcases. I enjoy finding out about new things and exploring other people’s talents.

What area of the creative industries do you want to work in?

I would like to work in Creative Media, particularly in post production; editing footage for various projects and productions.

I find editing fascinating because you can transform a piece of footage by using different techniques and styles. Editing is a key component in production and the skills are transferrable because you can use the skills in other areas of the creative industry, which makes you more versatile.

It would be amazing to be a part of a production that I can attach my name to and say that I have had a role in creating this.

How accessible do you think jobs in the creative industries are?

I feel that there are always opportunities within the creative industries – more so now because of how much more attention the creative industries have gotten. It seems that people are starting to realise that we actually do need this industry. However, getting a job and even securing a long-term contract is very difficult. You find yourself hopping from one place to the next, which isn’t always a bad thing but you never have any stability. If you're set on what you want to do and work with an amazing company but find that they can’t keep you on, it is a little disappointing and then that means the search has to start again.

Networks are important in this industry – you have to be knowledgeable and well connected to find out what organisations are hiring and what events they are hosting so you can get involved and meet potential employers. This can be quite time consuming and difficult to do.

On the other hand, I would say that the best asset having experienced all of this is.... yourself!

Really think about what it is you want to do and give yourself realistic options that you are excited to take. 

Once you’ve done that, put yourself out there to as many people you know who are relevant to the areas you are interested in. Any opportunities that come from doing these things that might be beneficial to your long term career, go ahead and do it! From people I’ve spoken to, they can’t stress enough that an amazing opportunity cannot be missed.

This has got me to where I am now and I will continue until I’ve reached my goal!

How important are mentors in the creative industries?

Very important.

I had my first mentor when I was 15 and aspired to get into architecture. I am still in touch with her now and we occasionally catch up to see where we’re at if I need any help/guidance with anything.

Mentors are brilliant. You have a professional that can guide you and speak about their career journey. One thing that I think is great about mentors is that you aren’t confined to one area. You can have an idea but if you realise that you are better at something else, they will be there to help to lead you in the right direction.

They have knowledge and connections that you're missing as someone at the beginning of your career. They also help you plan your journey and set yourself targets and challenges, which all contribute to a better YOU. If there are things you want to improve, you are able to do that without feeling left behind. They can also help you to build on skills you already have and to learn important techniques that are necessary in the world of work.

What would you change about the industry you're trying to get into?

There are quite a few different things that I think could be improved.

Firstly, there should be more programmes and schemes in place for young people. I know this requires input from various places and that it isn’t easy and money is an issue. However, I feel that these schemes are a good way for young people to get a start in their career if they don’t want to go to university or they don’t have the qualifications but enjoy making films as a hobby. I've found it difficult to find organisations let alone get in touch with someone and I tend to find that when you aren’t all about education – you don’t always get noticed as much, when I thought personality amongst other things was what stood out for this industry.

Secondly, I think there needs to be more networking opportunities and events for young people that are relevant to the industry. I know that there are lots around, however sometimes being a young person, you don’t always feel the most comfortable or welcome at these events because of what it is and who is going to be there. It is reassuring to go to an event and know that you are all in the same position. I think that networking is key to any industry and your connections are your most important asset in your career.

And thirdly – Education.

As great as it is, not everyone has access or the opportunity to go to higher education and further yourself in the knowledge of the industry. I know that this doesn’t necessarily give you a head start, but it is definitely something that gets noticed by employers first off. This industry is very competitive and I feel that you have to be or do something amazing in order to get noticed. I often think that people who have created their own projects and built their own brands/productions have a better chance of getting further – but they just aren’t noticed enough because they don’t have a degree or didn’t study media.

Tell us one fun fact about you.

Two years ago, I had a run in with a razor and shaved one side of my head too high – now I have no sideburns! One less thing to worry about I guess. And it looks really cool.

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