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From University Student to London’s Creative Scene: My Journey

You just handed in your final dissertation, and the reality of job applications, interviews and 9-5’s starts creeping up on you. Transitioning from being a university student to the jungle that is work-life can be overwhelming as it is, but there is more: COVID.

Confronting the End of an Era

It’s the spring of 2020, I’m sat in my room staring at my laptop screen with a document named “Final hand-in” in front of me. My mouse hovers over the “submit” button, but I’m unable to press it. The thought that this is my last step as a student before becoming an “adult” feels overwhelming. On that random Thursday, I finished three years of hard work and dedication, but also 16 years of education. The education system was all I knew. Yes, I’d had summer jobs and internships here and there, but I could always fall back on the rhythms of education.

It all felt so anti-climactic. So this is it? I’m an adult now? I’m supposed to go out and work a 9-5? All these regular questions popped up in my head, but there was another aspect looming over me: Covid. 

The Creative Industries Federation reported a projected decline of 31% in creative jobs in the UK due to the pandemic.

Resilience Amidst Crisis: Forging Ahead in the Face of Adversity

I could have given up. Taking the easy way out, returning to the safety of my childhood home, and just riding out the pandemic, but I didn’t. When I decided to move to London, I made a promise to myself: Finish the degree and crack London’s job market. I was determined to gain valuable work experience in this city, and I wasn’t going to let Covid stop me. The next year was probably one of the toughest years in my life so far.

Entering the workforce, I was brimming with optimism, armed with my creative degree and eager to dive into the professional world. However, the reality quickly hit me hard. Despite my efforts in applying for various positions and reaching out to past connections, the responses were disheartening. Many businesses were not hiring, some had downsized due to the pandemic, and others had closed their doors altogether. Gradually, it dawned on me that my priority shifted from seeking an ideal creative job to simply securing any job to make ends meet.



"In the face of adversity, we discover our ability to adapt and create. While the pandemic brought uncertainty and change, it also opened doors to new opportunities in unexpected places."

My journey led me to a stint in photography, a passion I had nurtured since childhood. Although the job was inconsistent and financially challenging, it allowed me to expand my portfolio and hone my skills. Subsequently, I found myself in another undesirable job, navigating through uncomfortable situations and toxic work environments. Through these trials, I learned the harsh realities of the professional world and the importance of advocating for oneself.

A turning point: The Journey of Seeds Sown

Despite setbacks, a glimmer of hope emerged when a former connection recognised my talents and offered me a chance at a new opportunity. This marked the beginning of a stable job during the pandemic—a turning point in my career. Although not my dream job, it provided security and reignited my passion for photography. Despite the stress and demanding workload, I embraced the experience and emerged stronger than before.

Through adversity, I developed resilience and learned invaluable lessons. I discovered the significance of trusting my instincts, setting boundaries, and persevering in the face of uncertainty.

Fast forward to a year later when I bumped into someone I knew from university – someone who got me my first internship. An internship I absolutely loved. She mentioned she was due to meet with a company later that week, and offered to mention my name. A few days later I get a message on LinkedIn, then after a few phone calls and an interview, I was offered a role as a Content Creator, right here at Blackline.

A role that includes every aspect of creative that I love. A role I didn’t even know existed. I started my job and suddenly found myself sat at the desk I sat at years ago. I had come full circle. At that point in my journey I couldn’t even have imagined that the work I did as a summer social media intern would come around and reward me all these years later.

"Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit." Napoleon Hill

From Dreams to Reality: Where I am now and my tips for graduates

And now I’ve been here for almost two years. I have worked on an array of exciting projects, worked on shoots I only used to dream of. And seen how big campaign shoots with models, photographers, videographers, graphic designers, makeup artists, stylists and art directors work. I’m exactly where 2017 Frida hoped I be when she boarded that plane all those years ago with her whole life packed in a few suitcases.

The journey has not been smooth but I wouldn’t be without any of it. Through my experiences I gained clarity on my career preferences and acquired valuable skills that I wouldn’t have obtained otherwise. I know covid has passed and the world has returned to ‘normal’, but I want to give a shout to those who struggled with work during that time.

And I want to say to those who are graduating this spring that it might not be easy, but you will get there. Every challenge and obstacle will be equipping you with valuable tools. Lean on those around you and keep up the hope!

Stay open to opportunities and don’t disregard seeds you have been sowing. They might come back and reward you in tenfold!


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