From Drama to sex ed: Laura's career journey
Everyone’s career journey is unique to them and won’t always follow a straightforward path. Our Grad Support Unit often talk about this subject, so it was with pleasure that they got to chat with Drama alum Laura about their career journey.
Graduate career journeys are filled with a world of possibilities, often take unexpected turns, and experiences along the way may not always be related to the specific degree subject studied. This makes it sound like things go wrong, but actually... this is okay, and very normal!
Everyone’s career journey is unique to them and won’t always follow a straightforward path. Here's Laura's story.
What have you been up to since graduating from Bath Spa University?
After leaving Bath Spa University I moved to Brighton to complete an MA in Gender Studies as my intention was to go on to produce feminist theatre on social issues relating to sex and gender. However, while doing my MA I began working at the YMCA in a Youth Advice centre that provided young people with sexual health advice.
I fell in love with sex education and LGBTQIA+ work and have since become the Partnership Coordinator for an LGBTQIA+ partnership of 40 major LGBT UK charities, including Stonewall, Mermaids and LGBT Foundation.
"I fell in love with sex education and LGBTQIA+ work..."
I've worked with the NHS and government to improve health inequalities for LGBT people, and recently I've gone part-time in this role as I have started my own sex education business – My Body & Yours – where I’m making online content and starting my journey of delivering sex ed in schools, colleges and universities.
Alongside all of this I also work for a London charity (AYPH) to help young survivors of sexual assault to know their rights, work for Brook on a bank basis doing sex education in schools, am currently a consultant on a sex ed book with a major publisher and also run social media accounts on TikTok, Instagram and Twitter under the username @mybodyandyours.
What have you learned from the changes you made in your career?
I’ve learned that the things you want at 17 when you apply to university may be wildly different than the things you want at 26. That opportunities will arrive for work that you may not have even known existed, in industries you’re not informed about at career fairs. There are so, so many jobs out there and there are also a million opportunities that you can create for yourself.
"Through studying Drama I acquired the confidence to stand up in front of a group of young people and lead a workshop..."
I’ve also learned how transferrable the skills I gained during my degree are. Through studying Drama I acquired the confidence to stand up in front of a group of young people and lead a workshop – a workshop that may include elements of creativity, or drama games to assist learning.
"Always big up your degree in job interviews, even if it doesn’t feel relevant, because the fact is by earning a degree you’ve worked hard and all employers will recognise that, no matter what the field is."
And I think the most valuable thing I’ve learned is that I don’t have to do just one thing. I’m a teacher, a writer, a consultant, a facilitator, a project manager, an events organiser, a social media content producer and so much more. I’ve found that freelance allows me to do a little of everything that I love, so that it doesn’t become stale. I’m constantly finding new ways to fall in love with what I do – and I don’t take that for granted.
What one piece of advice would you give a recent graduate?
Push your way into every room. Make yourself seen and shout about your skills at every opportunity. I’ve gained so much work from places that weren’t even technically hiring, because I emailed and said “I want to work for you; here are my skills – how can we make this happen?” Create your own opportunities and don’t wait for everything to be handed to you on a plate.
Also, when you apply for a job, email or phone the person recruiting and say “Hi, I’ve just applied for your role and I thought I’d drop you a line to introduce myself”. It'll make you stand out from the crowd of other applicants. Make your name stick in people’s minds. It won’t always work, but you’ll be surprised how much it will.
"I’m a teacher, a writer, a consultant, a facilitator, a project manager, an events organiser, a social media content producer and so much more."
Do you have a career story to create – or share?
We offer a range of support services for recent Bath Spa graduates, from guiding you with employment and further study to taking that next step in your career, and we're always keen to hear from our graduates.
You can contact our Grad Support Unit for career support after you graduate, and stay in touch with Bath Spa through the Alumni Office.
Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.
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