Trying out a creative career

,  4 April 2013

Creative employers and teachers in Northern Ireland shared their views on how Creative Choices events can help to inspire and support young people to develop creative careers.

Sharon McLennan

Head of Education at the Playhouse Theatre in Derry/Londonderry

"When people think of the arts, they think of people painting on the wall or being on the stage.

"But trust me, there's a lot more happening behind the scenes, and today is just a taster of the different types of career that are available."

Danielle Collins

Teacher at Blackwater Integrated College, Downpatrick

"We chose to come along today because it's a fantastic opportunity for young people to find out about careers in the creative industries.

"You can't learn everything in school. Some things you have to learn outside."

"They get to come out, meet the professionals, and find out who they are and how they got where they are. They can find out about all the different career opportunities there are, and actually see the products these professionals are working on.

"They can say, 'Here's a bottle we're using – someone has designed that.' Then they're making a link from their life to an actual career that's out there."

Stephen McGilloway

Design Director at Big Small

"I think the value of today is that the kids get to work with people who are in an industry, and who are dealing with clients and live design briefs. They get to understand what the overall process is.

"You can't learn everything in school. There are things you have to learn outside, and these skills classes, where they get exposed to new ideas and new ways of thinking, really help. 

Seainin Passi

Of social enterprise, Community Facility

"This is a really special opportunity. Young people are getting to ask questions, interact with professionals, and have a hands-on experience.

"They're able to connect with industry disciplines and industry practice in a way that is exciting, ambitious, and innovative – this way of working doesn't exist anywhere else."

Fiona Pender

Teacher at Thornhill College in Derry/Londonderry

"In the set design workshop, for example, young people are given the tools and told, 'Right, design a set. Build a set.'

"In the lighting design workshop, they had the chance to touch the lanterns, program the lighting board, raise the faders and dim the lights. So they're actually learning by doing, which is brilliant. It's not just 'sit down and talk'."

Heather Lowry

Teacher at St Malachy's College in Belfast

"Creative Choices have lots of creative events – they have in-school events where people come in and talk about what you might be, but this was just different.

"Learning by doing is brilliant."

"When you're standing here and talking to someone who has been on the stage, been a stage manager, put together an event, been through all the hiccups, and had to have a 'Plan B', then it's more real."

Sharon McLennan

"One person turned round to his teacher and said, 'I think I want to do marketing!'"

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