Need evidence of your writing skills? Write for us.

helpIf you are applying for any type of job where you need to show evidence of writing skills or social media engagement, then having a blog can be a good idea.

If you don’t want to set up your own blog or fancy developing your portfolio why not write something for this blog.

We love hearing from students, and other students love hearing your stories.

We want to hear about:

  • Your successes and failures looking for jobs.
  • How you started thinking about your future options.
  • Placements, volunteering or any other work experience you have done.
  • How you have managed to fit in extracurricular activities around your Uni work.
  • Interview stories – good and bad.

We are not looking for over achievers, just regular University of Manchester students like you.

Why not share your story?

email us at


Tell us what you would like to blog about and we will give you some more info to help you write your post.



Creative entrepreneurship 101

iStock_000007915036Small ChecklistThanks to Andrea Michael for her presentation at This is it Manchester event.

In the creative industries theatre, publishing, art, music, gaming and creative IT roles, film & TV, journalism, social and cultural enterprises to name but a few, it’s not uncommon to be self-employed or freelance for at least a part of your career.

Before launching yourself on an unsuspecting world think about yourself and your product and do a bit of research.

Know yourself

  • What do you want your life to be as a freelancer?
  • What is your measure of success? Is it money, being published, getting your work into a gallery??
  • What do you need vs what do you want?
  • What will you sacrifice?
  • What is the minimum you can survive on?
  • What makes a difference to your lifestyle?
  • Know your specialisms and transferable skills
  • Know what you are passionate about BUT also what you are good at.

The skills of a successful entrepreneur

Tenacity, committment, adaptability, enthusiasm, survival instinct, self belief, curiosity, self-sufficiency, and some business and admin skills will be handy too.

Make contacts

Recommendations are key in self employment. It’s not just about knowing your stuff and being good at it you need to get work. Other people have work and if you want to hear about it you need to be on their radar.
In the public sector jobs are advertised and its a pretty formal process but you still might need someone to give you the heads up! For privately funded organisations anything goes, they can give the work to whoever they want to so be the person they want!

  1. Networking is just having a chat it’s not always formal.
  2. Be nice and try to offer win-win situations, what can you offer someone what they need in exchange for something you need?
  3. Be someone everyone wants to work with – be indispensable, word will get around.

Promoting yourself

  • What are you offering?
  • What is your unique selling point?
  • How will you be perceived?
  • Who are you similar to?
  • Be consistent and be confident
  • Who is your market?
  • Where do they live, shop, work?
  • What do they spend money on?
  • Do they want you and do you want them?
  • Who else could you target?
  • Understand your worth, value, costs, prices.
  • Understand how to market to them, is it social media, advertising, flyers, websites?

You should now be able to write a short bio. Imagine it on your website / album cover / book sleeve – does it sell you?

The good stuff about self employment

  • You can do what you
  • Be your own boss
  • Be involved in a variety of exciting and interesting projects
  • Work when you want to
  • There is no such thing as failure, only learning.

…. and the not so good

  • No stability
  • It’s not a get rich quick scheme.No pensions or paid holidays. How will you fund yourself?
  • Loneliness.  Find a local network or group to join eg CING Creative Industries Networking Group in Manchester
  • Antisocial hours and the danger of becoming a workaholic.
  • Other people perceptions can be negative, disparaging or belittling of what you do.

Getting funding for your project

More support:

See also blog post on Getting work in the creative industries

Getting work in the creative industries

Large_format_camera_lensThe creative & cultural industries are pretty diverse including: Theatre, publishing, art, music, gaming and creative IT roles, film & TV, journalism, social and cultural enterprises.

They all work in slightly different ways depending on funding, private or public sector, not for profit and of course self employment and this can govern to some extent how you will find work.

There are some common themes:

  1. It’s a small world –  be nice to people, tomorrow you could be asking them for a job.
  2. Unpaid internships and working for free to get experience are all too common.
  3. Starting your own business or freelancing is likely to be part of your life at some point.
  4. You are unlikely to have a job for life, portfolio careers are the way forward.

In the creative industries, especially when you are starting out it’s not that easy to find the perfect paid job. You may not have the skills or portfolio of work yet, so how do you get a foot on the ladder?

Working for free still seems very common in the creative industries, from working as a runner in the media industry to DJing a local pub, everyone is trying to make a name for themselves in order to build up contacts and a portfolio so that they will be taken seriously in the industry.

You do not have to be a starving artist, there is another way.

  1. Volunteer while you are a student – working for free is distinctly less palatable when you graduate.
  2. Seek out entry level paid opportunities in organisations related to your area of interest.  Work as an usher, in the box office, behind the bar, anything to be in the right place at the right time.  Help people, be useful and get yourself known so that when another job comes up you are in the right place.
  3. Get a day / night job to pay the bills and work on what you are passionate about around it.  Yes you won’t get much sleep but if it is truly your passion you will make it work. As an added benefit find jobs that give you customer service, financial, administrative and marketing skills you will need all these for your own projects.
  4. If you are freelancing or able to volunteer by all means offer a freebie if you will get something out of it too; learn a new skill, get something to put on your CV or portfolio, make new contacts etc. But know your own worth and consider carefully how you will survive while you do this.  Find out more 

Getting noticed

  1. When applying for jobs recruiters are looking for:  Passion, resilience, potential (skills can be taught), someone with an opinion who can back it up, someone who knows themselves, initiative, people who get things done.
  2. Upload your portfolio, create a website and compete for prizes or other opportunities:
    eg Noise festival offers free exposure and the chance to get an industry mentor
  3. Ask to meet someone for a chat. You are not asking for a job, this is an opportunity to meet someone who you are genuinely interested in and respect. They may be someone whose career path you are interested in or whose work you admire. If you are lucky you may be able to get a short meeting with them. Emails that get responded to are:
    – free from spelling errors
    – polite and genuinely interested in the person – so do your research, be passionate about what they are passionate about
    – ask for only 30 minutes of their time
    – specific and practical about what you want to meet about

More  advice  and jobsites for the creative and cultural sector 

Don’t forget you can talk to us

If you can’t find a job, create one – go freelance!

Next blog this week … Creative Entrepreneurship









Breaking news! Media Club Facebook Group to replace the Media Club Blog

media club logoInterested in working in the Media, PR or Advertising? Want to know about opportunities and Media Club events giving you a chance to meet people from these industries? From now on all this information will be included in a Media Club Facebook Group that you can join if you are a University of Manchester student or graduate. It’s listed along with all our other Facebook groups via our home page A direct link is>%20

This will take the place of the Media Club blog so don’t waste time and sign-up today!

Travelling this summer? Check out this photography and writing competition

Large_format_camera_lensTravelling this summer? ‘What I See’ is a global art and science project that celebrates women and their stories. They have accumulated hundreds of films of amazing women from 30 different countries and are asking anyone over 18 years old to film or write about any interesting women they meet on their travels and ask them “What do you see when you look in the mirror?”

The best films and stories will be uploaded onto the site, and there is a prize for the top entry (and runners up). For more information, visit their blog: or email for an application form and information pack, no later than midnight on August 2nd.

BBC Sport – vacancy for a trainee woman reporter

blq-blocks_grey_alpha[1]Women are currently under-represented in BBC Sport and this positive action initiative (as defined under the Equality Act 2010) is part of their commitment to address that.

The BBC has said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for someone with strong and demonstrable interest in sports journalism (through a qualification and/or experience) to join BBC Sport for twelve months and work in a trainee capacity across our multi-platform output. This opportunity is not a guarantee of a job and is aimed at those who are at the early stages of their career.”

“We are passionate about recruiting and developing the best journalists to work for BBC Sport and we have brilliant teams working on some of the best sporting events in the world. We have created this traineeship as we want to continue to provide award winning content and services and can only keep doing that if we remain at the forefront of sports programming – and part of achieving that is to have fresh and diverse voices in our teams.”

Full details are online

MC2 – account executive recruitment day – Tuesday 16 July

MC2 are holding its account executive recruitment day next Tuesday (16th July) from 10:00-16:00, and have space for a limited number of exceptional graduates to join them. You’ll be joining a select group to work on briefs from real clients, as well as having the chance to meet some of the most renowned marketing professionals in the north west.

The key attitudes and aptitudes they’re looking for are:
• An entrepreneurial outlook
• A talent for creativity and innovation
• Determination, ambition and drive
• A genuine desire to work in communications
They have four roles available across their teams (public sector, financial and professional services, consumer brands, technology and property), all of which will involve exciting work with big name clients and have outstanding opportunities for progression.

If you’re interested in these vacancies and are available next Tuesday, please send your CV to Mary Wilson on and they’ll will be in touch.
To look for opportunities like this and a range of vacancies, go onto

Free event for aspiring entrepreneurs

Make things happenInterested in working for yourself? Then don’t miss out on a free event in Manchester supporting young entrepreneurs, as part of the Start-Up Loans scheme, on Saturday 13th July, 11am-4pm. There’s a chance to receive business plan guidance and participate in a free workshop designed by Deloitte. You can also find out how to apply for a government start-up load of between £2,500 and £9.500 and get a personal business mentor. For full details and registration, go to or call 0800 731 1511

Make your local news work – Manchester event – Tues 9th July

file000792494771We’ve just come across this event in Manchester on Tues 9 July, 6-8.30pm, which will be of interest to anyone interested in local news. Full details and free registration are at Details are:

“As ever more local newspapers close and titles merge, more and more communities are left without a local media outlet, feeding a sense that local media is undergoing a slow but inevitable death. But there are examples across the British Isles, the US and elsewhere that tell a different story.”

“Co-operatives UK and Carnegie UK Trust have joined together to organise a series of meetings across the UK showcasing these alternatives. By attending these free events we hope you will be inspired and stimulated to take action to save your local media. This is your opportunity to make local media work as a sustainable business and help to protect our democracy through local accountability.”

This is a great opportunity to meet others who have an interest in local media and join the discussion about alternative ways to own and run local media (i.e. co-operatives and community ownership) – access inspirational talks

ted_logo-300x158I’ve just been browsing , an online resource for inspirational talks. It’s free and easy to use as talks are grouped under categories such as Entertainment. This is a great way to broaden your knowledge on, for example, the impact of social media on the communications industry and how we access information. Check it out and see what you think!

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