Arts Careers Week a soaring success thanks to our alumni

Humanities, Modern Languages and School of Arts students were wowed with the passion, knowledge and expertise of the alumni volunteers who came back to Bristol to talk all things careers during this year’s ‘Arts Careers Week’. Run by the Faculty of Arts and Careers Service, this year saw a week of talks and panel events geared up to get students thinking about the kinds of jobs they could go into upon graduating.

For the first time, this December we also hosted a careers networking evening which proved to be a real hit with our students. Feedback received was hugely positive from the event, which allowed students to talk to alumni from a whole host of different areas from TV to Law about how they found their career calling over drinks and nibbles. 

Now in its third year, this year we saw our highest ever attendance figures, which is a real testament to the quality of the talks that our alumni give. Panel sessions were held on careers in law, banking and finance, charity and the not for profit sector, working in higher education, media and journalism, publishing, advertising, event management, languages careers and working in the film and TV industry, to name but a few!

Mu Ali with English student Josh Peleg

Special thanks go out to the following alumni, who gave up their time and travelled from far and wide to be there to give something back:

  • Mu Ali (Classics, studied a little while ago, in his words!) who works as Chief Growth Officer for media agency Wavemaker UK has attended Arts Careers Week for the second time running, where his talks on working in advertising shed light on the pros and cons of the sector, as well as his top tips for success, including bringing all of yourself to work. Mu has also assisted English student, Josh Peleg, to find an internship opportunity in advertising.
  • Charlotte DC (BA Philosophy 2013) works as the Event Manager for MOMA festivals and told us about the ‘glamorous 1%’ of what still sounds like a very cool job!
  • Lucinda Elliott (BA Spanish & Portuguese 2012) was kind enough to fly from Brazil where she is now a journalist covering South America, to remind students of the benefits of doing a languages degree, and the amazing possibilities this opens to them upon graduation.
  • Rosanna Quigley (BA French & Portuguese 2015) works as a Conference and Event Manager and gave a down to earth recollection of what it’s like to enter a competitive job market for the first time, but how beneficial her experiences on her year abroad in France were to her current career.
  • Katie Foxall (BA English Literature 1997works in Publishing for e Cancer, a site that provides free oncology information and education worldwide and talked to students about the various paths available in the publishing industry, as well as the importance of gaining all-important work experience whilst studying.
  • Rosalind Neely (BA French and German 1984), Freelance Editor, Proof Reader and Project Manager for Illustrated Art Books provided an insight into the varied and rewarding career of an experienced publisher.
  • Francesca Wilson (BA History of Art 2011), Arts Charity Director of Programming and Development for a non-profit organisation called the Easel Initiative was inspiring and open about working in the sector and the importance of opening up the arts industry to a wider and more diverse audience.
  • Eleanor Boyer (BA English 2015), who now works at Google in the Government and Public Policy team, allowed students to consider how their degrees can have more of a relationship to working in the tech industry than they might at first think.
  • Sarah Pit(BA English Literature & Community Engagement 2014), who works as the MD for MSP TV has attended both our networking evening and our session on Film and TV! Her wisdom on the area and channelled creativity were truly second to none.
  • Natasha Riordan-Eva (BA Music 2011), Event Manager at the Southbank Centre specialising in classical music, captivated the audience with her experiences of being at Bristol and how this has helped her in her career, including achieving her life-long aspiration of presenting on BBC Radio 3).
  • Piers Alder (BA English 1988) works as a Copywriter and extolled the virtues of working freelance, writing for a living and being able to work on a variety of different projects and initiatives.
  • Hannah Armstrong (BA Archaeology and Anthropology 2010), Principal Heritage Consultant at Pegasus Group, works in the planning sector and advises on heritage assets. It was interesting to see how relevant a degree in Archaeology and Anthropology can be to the legal world.
  • Gemma Brace (MA History of Art 2010), Exhibitions and Engagement Officer at the University of Bristol highlighted the dedication, passion and drive that go into forging a career in the arts and culture sector.
Natasha Riordan-Eva talks to our Music students about working in live events

To all the alumni who contributed to our events this year, including those who could not attend but would have liked to, we would like to extend a huge thanks from all of us in the Faculty of Arts and Careers Service. Your input is invaluable to our students and provides both a source of inspiration and greater clarity on what it’s really like to work in your chosen sectors.

Faculty of Arts alumni: please get in touch with Anona Williams (Faculty of Arts) if you would like to get involved in future events, interviews or promotional videos at

Find out more about the Bristol Volunteers programme for alumni.

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