"What are you planning to do after uni?"
It’s a question that students are asked time and time again, and one that I’ve never been able to answer! The route to a career in the arts can be seem particularly varied and uncertain so knowing where to start in terms of getting experience and finding your direction can feel overwhelming.
To help with this, the Theatre department recently hosted an alumni event so that its students could have to opportunity to make connections with professionals working in a variety of different fields. The alumni at the event had all studied Theatre at Warwick so it was really exciting to meet people who had once been exactly in our position!
I’d never experienced a networking event of this kind and wasn’t sure what to expect, so I was relieved to find that the atmosphere was really welcoming and relaxed. There were lots of tables set up around the room making it easy to talk in groups and there was also plenty of space to move around and mingle. The structure of the event was really informal and we were free to dip in and out of conversations and could approach new people at our own pace. Lots of staff members from the department were at the event and were happy to introduce us to the guests – having familiar faces around was really reassuring and made striking up conversations much easier.
The alumni at the event had really diverse careers – whilst some worked directly in the theatre industry (such as actress Bathsheba Piepe and producer/director Lawrence Till), others worked in different areas (such as Laura Williams who works as a specialist Art, Design & Architecture Librarian at the University of Huddersfield). As someone with lots of interests outside of theatre, it was really interesting to hear about the different options that the course opened up for the alumni. It was also comforting to be able to talk about the experience of leaving uni with those who had been in our position and had found careers that they were passionate about.
Talking to others about their different career paths was hugely reassuring and inspiring – the event has made me feel really positive about the different possibilities that studying Theatre has opened up and has helped me appreciate that not knowing exactly where you’re going is what makes the future exciting!