Written by Joshua Gilsenan
Why wait to be taught how to do something that may be useful for your future career when you can learn by doing it yourself?
Now, I’m not trying to say that you can just search youtube tutorials on everything and then you will know more than your tutors or managers; learning from them is very valuable.
However, what I am trying to say is that by putting yourself out there and using vital tools that are frequently used by industry professionals, you are benefitting yourself with practical experience.
It’s not uncommon that when meeting people at uni a majority have created their own brand, run media accounts for small businesses, or have even developed a large online following for themselves. In fact, during my time at uni, I came across two students who had started their own creative media agency called Studio Blackardt.
The team behind Studio Blackardt, Brianna Black and Samuel Bernard, have worked closely with leading real estate agents from the local area, as well as top companies and public figures. They have provided these clients with innovative content and marketing strategies.
After a short interview with the team, it was clear that through their work they have gained a high level of experience that will be recognised by future employees.
Has this business taught you specific skills that you haven’t learnt at uni?
Yes, definitely. It has taught us how to sell our own products and services even though we began with little to no client base. It has taught us many other skills along the way, particularly client management and social media skills that we had not learnt at uni (self-taught).
Do you believe practicing media skills on the side has given you an advantage in the industry?
Definitely. Whilst you get a few chances to practice filmmaking and photography at uni, the Bachelor of Business/CI degree just does not provide enough opportunity to really practice and learn from your mistakes or to create a solid portfolio. Even before Studio Blackardt, we both created media content on the side as a hobby. Creating media content outside of uni allows you to explore, create a variety of content, and further practice and collaborative opportunities.
Has your age and limited real-world experience, held you back in any way?
Yes. Considering we are young and still at university, people trust our knowledge and skills less in the beginning and usually want more proof that if they were being pitched to by an older business person. It hasn’t necessarily held us back but we have just had to work harder to get where we want to go.
Before starting Studio Blackardt had you been aware of other students who showed similar entrepreneurship? Did this inspire you in any way?
Not directly in our field but we had certainly heard of people doing. The idea and goal to get ahead of the other future graduates was more of our inspiration.
Would you recommend other students to try learning by pursuing their own business ventures? If so is there any advice you could give them?
Definitely. Set goals and have a clear point of difference. And mainly, just give it a shot. Especially whilst in university, the risk is a lot lower and if successful, it provides so much value to yourself when wanting to explore other career avenues.
Studio Blackardt is a great example of learning by doing. They have demonstrated how self-motivated experiences can propel your future career within the media industry.
So, consider the possibilities of where your interests can take you and what you want to learn.
Don’t be afraid to learn and try this yourself, as your experiences could be exactly what leads you to a successful career within the industry.