Creative Futures media festival welcomes up to 600 students and speakers
7 March 2016
A UNIVERSITY’S four-day media festival welcomed up to 600 students and speakers, including the man who invented the world’s first cordless kettle and pocket mobile phone.
Wrexham Glyndwr University’s annual Creative Futures conference proved to be a showcase for a wide range of topics, from the arts and education to PR, design, animation and radio.
The free event, organised by the North Wales institution’s careers team, is dedicated to helping students develop their professional and business employability skills as well as raising the quality of creative work being developed in the region.
Careers adviser Neil Pritchard, who led the organisation of last week’s event, said: “Employability is a key focus of what we do at Wrexham Glyndwr University, and delivering a successful Creative Futures week is one of the ways we demonstrate our commitment to our students.
“The various workshops, presentations, performances and advice sessions were delivered by industry professionals, so we can be confident our students are getting the most up to date information about the realities of the world of work.
“Student feedback has indicated that the programme was inspiring and I was very impressed by the levels of engagement across the whole week.”
Speaker Dick Powell, co-owner of Seymour Powell, a design and innovation consultancy which has produced a host of world first products of the last three decades, including designs for the world’s first cordless kettle and pocket mobile phone, said: “It is extremely important to hold events like this.
“I remember when I was a design student in the early 1970s we had experts talk to us and they were so inspiring.
“It is particularly important that art and design students experience all disciplines. They must think about what they are going to do after they finish university.”
Former students, including Samantha Harris, who now owns her own design agency, also gave presentations to share their experiences.
Another was Jim Weaver, communication strategist for HOME, who said: “It was an absolute pleasure to be able to support the Creative Futures event and I think it did an amazing job of creating awareness-building opportunities that properly prepare students for the real world.
“It also helps to manage their expectations around just how much of their future can and should be determined by themselves rather than having it laid out in front of them by lecturers.”
Samantha, owner and creative director of design agency The Ideas Cupboard, added: “It was a big decision to go to university. I’m dyslexic and was always told early on in life I would not make much of myself but I wanted to prove people wrong.
“Wrexham Glyndwr University was the first place that really gave me support with my dyslexia, and graduating was probably my proudest moment.”
The entrepreneur studied Game and Interactive Media Design until 2010 and then gained her “dream job” as a designer in Manchester, before setting up her own business.
Samantha, based in Oswestry, said: “I got a part-time job cleaning, it wasn’t glamorous but it paid the bills. Then I started a Go Wales course which gave me the basic business management information I needed to set up my business.”
The entrepreneur also became a mum just after launching the firm, and shared her experiences with balancing family life and work as a self-employed parent.
She said: “I actually went into labor in the studio as I was working so hard. But I learnt how to balance life as my little girl was very poorly when she was born - I had to juggle family and business.
“But now my little girl runs around in the office and I love having her there, children can be so creative. I’m so lucky I’m self-employed and I can have my daughter with me, and thankful to all the support I received from Wrexham Glyndwr.”
For more information on Wrexham Glyndwr University, visit http://www.glyndwr.ac.uk