Swarnim Agrawal, a MA Creative Writing student, completed the Pathways to Arts, Culture & Heritage programme in July 2023. Swarnim writes about her experience completing the training element of the programme and working with Mayes Creative as a Heritage and Arts Research Assistant

Swarnim stands outside in the rain, giving the thumbs up sign, they look very wet but happy
Swarnim Agrawal, MA Creative Writing student

How has the Professional Pathways programme helped you in taking the next steps in your career?  

Through attending the various employer sessions during the Pathways training, I got introduced to the many opportunities present in the Arts, Culture and Heritage (ACH) sector. Before Pathways, I used to think that publishing is the only field I can go to after having studied literature and creative writing, but Pathways made me realise that irrespective of my degree, I can develop many new skills through opportunities like volunteering, which will help me enter different roles within the ACH sector. The training week was also very helpful to develop a consistency and professionalism that’s required in jobs especially because it was my first near-job experience. Through the internship, I got to learn that my writing skills can be an asset while looking for jobs if I am confident and good at putting them forward. 

After Pathways, I have been looking for more volunteering opportunities and attending more events related to my field which is helping me connect to people and have conversations that will hopefully help me in entering the workforce.

Please briefly outline the project you worked on during your Professional Pathways internship

I was assigned the task of creating content targeted at school children and teachers about the Meldon area near Okehampton. The highlight of my internship was to create a tour for the Meldon area and design content for the tour leaflet. I also went to the Meldon area to test the walking trail and made a short video of my experience. Moreover, I got a chance to collaborate with the Marketing Pathways intern in the designing of the leaflet on Canva.” 

How do you think this experience will impact on your employability as you enter the job market as a recent graduate? 

As a recent graduate as well as an international student, I think the Pathways programme will be very helpful in applying to jobs. Through my learning from the programme, I have become more aware of the UK’s arts, culture and heritage sector, which is going to be helpful while approaching employers. Apart from the internship, the variety of things learnt during the training have also added skills, such as marketing, finance, customer experience, to my skillset which can be beneficial in increasing my employability.

Why would you recommend the Professional Pathways programme to other students? 

During my time in the Pathways programme from attending the assessment centres, training, till the internship, I have learnt a lot not just in terms of skills but also about ways to network and communicate with people in the professional field. I would definitely recommend students to apply to the Professional Pathways programme irrespective of their prior work experience as it will help them get acquainted with some of the aspects of working in the sector they choose.

If you’d like to apply for Professional Pathways, applications are now open via Handshake for our 2024 programmes. You can find further details on the 4 available Pathways and how to apply here. Applications will close at 1:00pm on Tuesday 16 January 2024.