College alumni join forces to promote creative careers

College alumni join forces to promote creative careers

A group of former students who achieved degrees at New City College, have joined forces to help young people learn more about careers in creative industries.

The seven alumni, who studied at our Ardleigh Green campus in Havering and went on to secure professional creative roles, have launched an online project called Compose – a website for students aged 14-19 who love arts and media subjects but are worried about future job opportunities.

The students are Lisa Walker (Fine Art degree) now the Curator at The Appleby Gallery; Natalie Bays (Fine Art Foundation degree), Deputy Centre Manager of The Mercury shopping centre; Kirsty Packer (Fine Art Foundation degree), a Technician at the City of London School for Girls; Stephen Timms (Graphic Design degree), a Graphic Designer at Saint Francis Hospice; James Jackson (PGCE Teaching Certificate), Project Director of Havering Changing; Bobby Sayers (Fine Art Foundation degree), an International Artist and Hannah Davis (Photography), a professional photographer. Former A Level student at Havering Sixth Form, Georgia Trower, who is now an Architect at BDP, is also involved in the project.

The website showcases their journey from college to the jobs they have now – with all of them saying that it was their creative education that made them stand out to employers. Young people can log on to listen to advice, enter competitions and ask the professionals questions.

The alumni are also members of local arts organisations Bluerskies Creatives, The Appleby Gallery, and The NO Collective – which have been working hard to promote careers in the arts which have suffered during the pandemic.

Kirsty Packer said: “Without cinema, music festivals, theatre, galleries, magazines or radio – or any innovative ideas, our world would be incredibly dull. We want to support creative students and those around them to appreciate what a creative education can give them, not just for the broad range of creative careers, but also what creative thinking can achieve in all types of businesses.

“During the pandemic, some creative freelance careers were not supported as much as they should have been and this has really affected how students are choosing their career paths. We are now worried that we might lose our next generation of creatives when actually creative education is really important in all industries – as well as mainstream arts for our culture and well-being.”

The Compose website is here:

New City College alumni create Compose website