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Ted's tips for a creative career

Ted Simpson (History 2016) has taken the perhaps unlikely career path to being an adventure filmmaker, creating action based narrative films for various industries. Here he shares his top five tips for students and graduates wishing to pursue a career in the creative industries.

Ted Simpson

1. Seek out and listen to advice

Listening to the advice of university graduates was a massively important part of my professional development as a student. The things I learned about developing a career in the creative industries and the opportunities borne out of meeting professionals from different sectors gave me a lot of experience that shaped my path towards becoming a filmmaker after graduation.

2. Get to know the industry

Opportunities are there. When I was a student, I wish I’d appreciated the true wealth of career opportunities available in the creative sector. Creative industries in the UK hold some of the most challenging and fulfilling job opportunities available to graduates. They're growing at nearly double the UK average, and creative jobs are very future-proof in a world that will be increasingly dominated by artificial intelligence. Creative jobs are sometimes not held in the same esteem as traditional ‘professions’, but I feel this is unfair - not only are they a great option for graduates, it’s almost always a fantastic environment to work in too.

3. You don't have to take the beaten track

Often, life after graduation can seem very uncertain, especially when there is no defined career path to employment from your subject choice, in my case History. However, one thing I took away from listening to graduates is that - now more than ever - there is not ever really one direct path. In fact, by working hard to develop skills and experiences at university, you can push your way forward and build a career based on your strengths and passions, not just your studies. Most importantly, it’s okay to not know exactly what you want to do, and if you’re proactive, Edinburgh is a great place to find out what motivates and inspires you.

4. Get involved

The extra-curricular opportunities at Edinburgh are fantastic, and so is the support. As a student interested in a career in broadcast journalism and media, I wanted to learn more about television production, and with the University’s support I was able to set up EUTV, Edinburgh’s first student TV station, which is now a flourishing society on campus that provides all students with a chance to get creative and learn about television and film production.

The experience of setting up and running EUTV was a massive learning curve for me, from a leadership and organisational point of view to the hands-on experience. Just about every aspect of my experience helped me to feel confident enough to set up my own production company, Just Trek, after leaving university.

5. Keep in touch with the University

The University's Careers Service offers advice up to two years after graduation - make the most of it. I also chose to take part in last year's Creative and Cultural Careers Festival where I spoke to students and recent graduates about my experiences. Events like these are not only satisfying as a way of inspiring others, but also present peer networking opportunities that can prove invaluable.

This year's Creative and Cultural Careers Festival takes place on 5 - 9 March. More information is on the dedicated website:

Creative and Cultural Careers Festival

Your insights

If you are interested in offer advice and career support to current students, please contact CJ Cochran, Alumni Manager:

Email CJ Cochran

Related links

Careers Service

Just Trek (external)