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Here is the next installment in our "A Week In The Life Of" series!

Hi, I’m Pip (Philippa). I grew up in Cumbria (just north of Hadrian’s Wall), I was so lucky to live in such a beautiful place.  I moved to York in 2009 to study an MA in Building Conservation, I fell in love with the city and have been here ever since. 

What do I do?  a Skills and Training Manager for Screen Industries Growth Network (SIGN). On 18th March 2020 I was sent home from my office with the rest of my team for a trial work from home scenario. That afternoon I had a job interview with SIGN . I never got to return to my office, I have never had a leaving do with my work friends. I did however have a successful job interview and in May 2020 I joined SIGN. 

My role as Skills and Training Manager is about overseeing development and implementation of screen industry skills and training activities. The project is about supporting people from underrepresented backgrounds get into the Screen Industries (TV, Film, Animation and Gaming). I organise courses covering a huge range of topics from leadership to coding. My biggest work passion is that we find ways to support those who have faced barriers to entry in their careers. We need to level the field. 

A typical day, currently I am working remotely via Zoom. In the morning we share our to do list on instant messaging then check emails before several hours of meetings. I have set up my area of the business from scratch so since May I have written a strategy, drawn up a budget, developed terms and conditions (lots of paperwork). I also design courses and recruit trainers to deliver the sessions. Once a week or more I will host a course. I love getting to meet our new learners and seeing them develop their skills. Projects I have developed since starting my role include; a mentoring scheme for freelancers impacted by Covid-19, free online courses open to all in the industry and a scheme to support women develop their careers in the screen industry. 

How did I get here? When I graduated I wanted to follow a career in heritage management however I couldn’t afford 12 months of unpaid work experience so I just got a job, any job. I am quite outgoing so gravitated towards sales roles. I don’t really like asking people for things so I struggled with this and then decided I wanted to support others rather than sell to them. I moved into recruitment and then my desire to help really grew and I found out about guiding others through career development and opportunities. It can be overwhelming to pick a career and often people are not aware of how to make these decisions, and might not even know about the huge range of roles available. This led me to Career Consultancy. I completed a postgraduate diploma in Career Advice and Guidance and spent 4 years working for the University of York helping students become more aware of their options. 

If I could give advice to you all it would be. Think about what excites you, what do you care about. Find a job that allows you to get involved in these things. Consider your preferences of working situations like do you enjoy working with others or do you prefer working alone. Does it frustrate you if other people are not on the same page or do you enjoy the debate.  Try lots of different experiences, this will help you understand what matters most. Don’t worry if you don’t get there straight away. 


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