Alumni working across the creative industries returned to ECA in February to give students and recent graduates’ guidance and advice at the 2017 Creative and Cultural Careers Festival (CCCF). 

CCCF is a week-long festival of free events dedicated to careers in Creative Industries, Media and Cultural institutions. The festival, now in its fourth year, allows students and recent graduates to meet and network with successful practitioners, who can share their insight into careers in their sector.

CCCF 2017’s success was recognised by the esteemed Times Higher Education Leadership & Management Awards (THELMA) who have shortlisted the festival for demonstrating Outstanding Employer Engagement Initiative.

Fashion statement

Kicking off the festival was the Fashion Industry Insight panel event, held in the historic Playfair Library at Old College. The popular session brought together fashion professionals and included ECA alumni Louise Bennetts, Barbra Kolasinksi and Rhys McKenna who discussed their individual journeys following graduation and offered tips on how to progress within the industry.

Hot on the heels of the fashion panel was Starting out as an Independent Practitioner. This session offered tips for success in the world of freelancing from an all-alumni panel featuring practising artists, designers, and musicians. The session left attendees inspired and some were considering self-employment after graduation because of the session.

Good advice

Despite the wide scope of the festival, which covered careers in Digital Media, Music, Performing Arts, Journalism and much more, speakers reiterated the same advice: be proactive, polite, and enthusiastic, expect to fail sometimes, learn from your mistakes, and if you want to do it, do it now!

Speakers also reminded the audience that it is important to persevere - Louise Bennetts, ECA Fashion graduate and Designer at Toogood, was runner-up in British Fashion Council (BFC) competitions four times before being selected for the Trust Traineeship which allowed her the opportunity of twelve months training at fashion house Roksanda where Louise later joined as a designer.