From Politics graduate to a job in the Arts: Cameron Meldrum

After studying for a degree in Politics and International Relations, and becoming Vice-President Democracy and Creative Industries at SUSU for 2016/17, my internship with the Arts team has been the latest step in my journey…

I have previously written about how I ended up working in arts by accident, but until now I never quite realised all the opportunities had been presented to me in just 8 months, and I have worked on a huge range of projects that I am immensely proud of. Arts at University of Southampton (Arts at UoS) has allowed me to focus and refine my skills in social media and communications, something I started doing all the way back in my first year at university when I was Social Media Officer for the Glen Eyre Halls Committee. One of my key skills, if not the most important skill, I have picked up is learning to communicate in a concise, effective manner to promote the huge variety of things happening across the university. This will help me immeasurably in the next step of my career.

Most recently I took a lead on our digital communications for Southampton Celebrates, the week-long celebration of the launch of Studio 144. This included being responsible for our ‘whiteboard countdown’ campaign featuring photos of our Arts Ambassadors doing all sorts of crazy poses which you might have seen on one of our channels! I also oversaw the creation of our promotional videos of the Cultural Quarter to create some buzz in the run-up to Southampton Celebrates. I also created a Facebook event for the launch night which reached thousands of people we wouldn’t have reached otherwise. It’s also been nice to reflect on the whole campaign, and I created a case study document that noted our successes but also included some recommendations so that we keep improving what we do.

Other key projects I have worked on include a Social Media Handbook designed to make sure that digital platforms are being used as effectively as possible, and that our tone of voice is consistent throughout. To make sure everyone hit the ground running, I gave a social media induction to our Arts Ambassadors to ensure they properly understood everything!

Something else I am incredibly proud of is our How-to Guide for Performing Arts Societies that I created in conjunction with partners across the University and from the Students’ Union. I hope that this becomes a useful tool for societies to use when it comes to putting on a performance at an external venue. Watch this space for its official launch!

Working on such a broad range of projects has equipped me with the tools I need pursue a career in digital marketing and communications, and has given me confidence in my abilities that I didn’t know I possessed before.

It would be silly of me not to mention all the fantastic people I met along the way, especially the incredible teams from Turner Sims and John Hansard Gallery. It has been a real pleasure working with them and getting to know them. My time spent at Arts at University of Southampton wouldn’t have been anywhere near as good if it weren’t for them!

My Excel internship has been a fulfilling and rewarding way to gain experience and improve my skills in an area that interests me. Knowing that it has the backing of the University’s Careers and Employability Service also meant that I was reassured the placement would be of  high quality. I would encourage anyone who is looking to bolster their experience to find out more information about the Excel Internship programme. Hopefully my blog post is testament to just how much you can get out of it.

It is sad to say farewell to the team I have enjoyed working with so much, but here’s to the next stage of my journey!

Arts Ambassadors is a paid opportunity, supported by the Careers and Employability Service’s Excel Southampton Internship programme, University of Southampton.

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Arts at University of Southampton

Whether you’re a student, staff or from our wider community, there are plenty of exciting cultural opportunities for everyone through Arts at University of Southampton.

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