I wrote an article for Futurerising about my experiences with doing my masters and how it helped me gain more confidence professionally. The online article can be found here or you can read it below.
The creative industry can seem rather scary when we don’t feel prepared or ready. You don’t know if companies are going to be nice or tear you apart. It almost feels like standing at a cliffs edge waiting to jump. But you are simply not confident enough to do it. I chose to do a masters in Creative Advertising for this reason.
After doing some research on a masters I quickly found out I would easily have a good amount of spare time with the right prioritizing. A couple of hours a week to read industry books, practice new skills and to build my network.
The first thing I did after starting was to get a four week work experience inside a marketing and communication agency called Carswell Gould who are based in Southampton. They later gave me a paid freelance project.
Getting to know new people in the industry has become very useful and by always letting people know I was free to do projects and eager to join events found me more freelance jobs. This gave me great insight in how to prepare and act professionally.
The difference between a bachelors and masters degree is there is often limited time during the week days to gain more experience unless you do freelance. But not everyone has the network or skills developed enough to do so. This makes it all a little more complicated. Doing a masters full time only requires few week days (in my case, only one day) which makes my week incredibly flexible.
A masters course pushes you to be more aware of how you should strategically place yourself in the industry and how you can efficiently use social media, networking and develop your skills and strengths.
The most valuable asset I found was being able to identify my weaknesses and reflect on how I may turn these into strengths. As a result I then became more comfortable and confident professionally. Insecurity weakens your work, being confident is everything.
I have often heard industry people say that it is not necessary to do a masters, and it is not. My advice on why you should do it simply for you to be able to gain more experience and to develop your skills further.
It is only a matter of seeing your free time as an opportunity to gain more knowledge and use the university as a resource.