Showcasing your creativity during lockdown: Some inspiration for Media & Performing Arts students
by Matt Lewis (Employability Adviser for Media & Performing Arts / MDXworks).
30th March 2020
So… we’re all in lockdown, arts / creative industries have suffered and you might be anxious about what this means for your graduate career. Well all is not lost: Here are some inspirational things you could do right now to showcase your talents, improve your employability for the future and help others at the same time!
Firstly, we need to get you in the right mind-set for career survival. So here’s a quick question for you: When all this blows-over, do you want to tell employers that during lockdown you…
A. Watched funny cat videos and hoarded toilet paper?
B. Used your creativity to do something inspirational for your community?
If you answered ‘A’ then keep reading because you just need a little inspiration. If you answered ‘B’ then well done! Here are some ideas to get you started:
Showcase your creative talents in a way that helps your community
If you’re inspired to do something creative to help others, then this could be a fantastic achievement to tell employers about in the future, as-well-as a great opportunity to practise the skills you’ll need in your graduate career.
Here are a few of our favourite moments of creative people spreading the lock-down love:
Jessica Kingsley used her talents as a performer to save a Frozen birthday party for a child in isolation. Be like Jessica.
We loved seeing Jessica performing songs from the movie Frozen for a child in isolation, on the BBC news. If you’re a performing arts student, then you could use your talents to keep people’s spirits up. This would make a great thing to talk about on your CV or in interviews. We’ve also seen people getting online to entertain care home residents and hospital patients, or serenading local communities with balcony performances. We’d love to see more!
Joe Gaughan used his film-making skills to create an inspirational video: COVID-19: In It Together. You could create a short-film or positive video of your own which could help you to get the attention of recruiters in the TV or Film industries. Plus, you’ll be spreading joy to everyone that sees it!
Watch: ‘COVID-19: In It Together’.
Annemarie Plas started the ‘clap for carers’ campaign which went viral.
We thought we’d never want to hear the word ‘viral ever again, but then Annemarie came along and did a wonderful thing: starting a campaign to get everyone clapping to show appreciation for NHS workers. If you’re looking to start a career in social-media, PR or similar then imagine being able to tell employers that you started a social-media campaign for a great cause!
We’ve witnessed many other fantastic examples of people using their media / performance skills to help their communities during lockdown, including: Dancers helping people get their daily exercise through online classes; musicians giving beginners lessons and budding journalists keeping people informed through vlogs / podcasts /YouTube channels and more. We hope that with a little research you’ll find the inspiration to put your talents to good use. However…
If these ideas are a little bit out of your comfort zone then stick-around. Here are some other things you can do right now to improve your employability:
Join a group of like-minded creatives
Getting involved with a group of like-minded creatives could make a great addition to the ‘Interests’ section of your CV or give you more to talk about in interviews:
For musicians and music lovers: MakingMusic.org ‘COVID-19: Staying connected’
Join a virtual jamming session, share your compositions or give lessons online. MakingMusic.org have compiled a list of groups and useful links where musical people can come together to… you guessed it… make music. You’ll find details of many different and varied groups you can join, such as virtual choirs and even a Facebook brass band, plus links where you can learn an instrument online, share your music and more.
Lockdown Larry YouTube Channel for kids
If you’re a student at MDX, you can get involved in producing content for Lockdown Larry
a really cool YouTube channel for kids in lockdown. Host looks familiar? It’s Dale from Television Production!
Get on social media, search the internet and seek out groups that might interest you. If you can’t find a suitable group, then why not start one of your own?
Learn something new
Keep yourself mentally stimulated whilst developing skills that could help make you more employable in creative industries.
FutureLearn.com has lots of free creative online courses from top universities and creative organisations. You can explore acting, animation, creative writing, filmmaking, photography, poetry, songwriting or storytelling.
You can also watch video tutorials on a wide-range of creative topics at Skillshare.com
For more tools to help you learn creative skills during lockdown, check out Katy Mulherns blog-post: (coming soon!) You’ll find more links to creative tutorials, resources to help you start your own podcast or blog, or even your own fitness video! (we can’t wait to try that one), plus many more ideas to help you turn your creative ideas into something that others can enjoy.
MDX students also have access to LinkedIn Learning through MDX’s library resources. LinkedIn Learning can help you develop technology and creative skills through more than
5,000 online courses. You can also add completed courses and related skills to your LinkedIn profile to help demonstrate your skills to employers.
One last suggestion to help you maximise your career prospects at this difficult time…
Give employers permission to keep your CV for when the lockdown ends
Remember… there may be fewer jobs around now, but things will get better. If you’re searching for opportunities, then makes it clear to employers that they can keep your application on file and give you a call-back when things improve. We’d recommend putting a statement at the bottom of your CV, perhaps something like: ‘I give permission for you to retain my CV for recruitment purposes and to contact me about career opportunities in the future. Thank you’.
Ok, just one more final suggestion…
Get support from MDXworks!
If you’re an MDX student or recent graduate, you can still access careers & employability support from MDXworks during the lockdown.
You can also access a wide range or useful stuff on our online portal at MDXworks.com, including resources specific to careers in a range of Media & Performing Arts industries
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need any employability support.
For other concerns relating to COVID-19… current MDX students can find a COVID-19 update on MyUniHub, including useful information and details of available support.
We hope you found this useful. Post a comment below to let us know about your creative projects.
Good luck & stay safe.
– Matt Lewis (Faculty Employability Adviser – ACI / Media & Performing Arts)
& The MDXworks Team
(Special thanks to Katy Mulhern for providing links used in ‘Learn something new’).