Here is your light-bulb moment. The life of a student aspiring to join the creative industries should be methodical. Your effort should transcend lecture attendance and handing in assignments on time. The goal for you is not only to graduate. You can have the skills and experience required by the industry as you cast that graduation cap up high.
How can you be a full-time student acquiring the experience and skills needed in the creative industry?
The answer: networking, volunteering, internships and relevant industry connections
As a full-time Film & TV production student at ADMI, Koome graduated (pictured) while working as a freelance photographer, videographer and DJ for multiple companies.
Koome, now an ADMI alumni, started off by volunteering as a videographer and photographer in school related events. After all, he was attending film production classes. An internationally acclaimed media conglomerate where Koome interned, would turn out to be his employer.
He shares the following tips on how to succeed as a student in the creative industry.
What better way to perfect what you learn? A sound engineering student should be part of the sound crew at a concert, to understand sound engineering techniques used in different set-ups.
2. Be open
The more you learn, the better. A film production student, looking to be an Oscar Award winner can take up digital marketing training. You will be part of advertising that African or Hollywood movie you produce. Why not take the time to learn how to do it professionally?
Make time after classes to attend industry-related events. That make-up artist you meet may know a client who could use an amateur photographer for a wedding. If you are serious with that photography course, you will take great pictures, gain experience, and get calls from potential clients.
4. Build up your resume
Don't wait to write up your resume until after graduating. Build it while you are still a student. That graphic design award, film award nomination, or certificate of attendance documentation could go a long way into getting you a job. Accomplishments, even while a student, demonstrate both the hard and soft skills you have worked hard to acquire. You have to back up that diploma or degree.
5. Find out how the industry works
Sadly, the passion you have and the certification attained will not shield you from real industry experience. Your lecturer can cut the budget, or have you re-do the project proposal over and over again. While these experiences can feel unpleasant, it's good to learn exactly what awaits you.
If the dream is to own a school of music production, intern with one and learn how it's run. Also, those graphic design projects that your lecturer will turn down, or think highly of, are the same projects you can design when looking for a job.
6. Learn your niche
Find out what problem you solve in the creative industry. This simply means identifying what you do best, and why. Launching that passion to profession is dependent on this. For longevity in your respective industry, value has to be added to a specific audience. Only you can find out what you bring to the table. The earlier the better.
For aspiring film makers, check out our blog on How to Choose a Film School in Africa.
Think of the last time you heard or watched an advertisement that evoked any emotion. Whether you liked it, loved or hated it, or were indifferent, just know that it was once in idea in someone's mind. Then it turned into a plan, and was created and executed upon.
Your career is no different.
As you start or continue studying, keep in mind, the execution of your career and life has begun.
At ADMI we believe that soft skills are as important as your technical skills.