I was impulsive enough to apply for the Male Undergraduate of the Year Award in 2016, following an out-of-the-blue email and, after a series of challenges, assessments and presentations that pushed and propelled me, I was fortunate enough to make the shortlist for the top ten. This meant not only meeting Fiona Bruce at a wonderfully bizarre dinner in Canary Wharf, but L’Oréal had seen a creativity, confidence and energy in me that they wanted to nurture. I received a ten-week summer internship as the prize, living and working in London for the first time and finding a new joy and pride in learning marketing. My weeks in Hammersmith, working primarily on Kiehl’s holiday collection, were eye-opening and fabulous – I went as far as to present for the Head of Luxury Brands for Europe, as well as the Head of Marketing for Kiehl’s in New York. These were amazing, positive opportunities and I had to rely on the skills TARGETjobs had identified to best seize.
What made all of this so much more surreal, was that I was a second-year English and drama student at the time, who, other than working for an independent bookshop, knew nothing about business.
I found it puzzling upon first applying that the degree rubric for the potential applicants included English but not drama. The skills I maximised in myself – confidence, creativity, positive energy and the ability to build meaningful working relationships – all have much more root in my drama studies than my English. Now a graduate, I am incredibly glad I got to experience marketing, but principally that I trusted my instincts, both in applying for your competition back in January 2016, but also that I am currently not pursuing marketing, but instead my dramatic passions.
I am incredibly fortunate to have just returned from Edinburgh Fringe, where I featured in a comedy-drama for a week, with Exeter University Theatre Company. ‘Me, As A Penguin’ by Tom Wells is a gorgeous, heartwarming play about indecision, turning points and trusting yourself, whoever that may be. It discusses coming from a small town and trying to find your place in a big city, as well as pushing yourself to try something daring, while not losing what makes you special. It relates to so much of what I, and many other students are going through, whether graduates, interns or young professionals. We received a four star review from Broadway Baby and got to make our contribution to the biggest arts festival in the world.
It's further encouraged me to pursue my own playwrighting – taking myself seriously as a capable, enthusiastic individual, much as I did during my time at L’Oréal. For more information, do find me here: https://app.hiive.co.uk/profile/7648ceb0-ae8e-4ae2-a0ee-c553bd71efde/
I am so glad TARGETjobs takes pride in the arts accomplishments of its alumni.
I can confidently say it is thanks to the Male Undergraduate of the Year Award that I have found the drive to make the most of my abilities.