Recent studies have shown that 77% of students take on a part-time job while at university to support their education, tuition costs and social life. Although careers across all sectors nurture transferable soft skills, creative digital businesses value sector-relevant experience slightly higher than other sectors and bar or retail work is not viewed as pertinent. As a result of this, many young entrants believe the best way to go about building experience is by working for free for as long as 14 hours a day for up to 6 months, leaving relevant experience only to those who can afford it. There is however another way: SharpFutures POD: People on Demand. Two new entrants, Martin and Connor, realised that POD is the place to grow your CV, work flexibly alongside their university commitments and get paid for every hour worked.

Martin McGreal (Moston) graduated with BA Filmmaking from The Manchester School of Art with two job offers due to his array of sector relevant experience. Martin was inspired to work in the sector after he visited The Sharp Project on a SharpFutures Discover tour. After understanding the importance of a creative digital hub on his doorstep, Martin applied for a sector relevant degree. As Martin’s love for production grew, he was nurtured through POD, which connected him to work in one of the most prestigious media hubs in Manchester: Space Studios. This valuable experience exposed him to a network of professionals and turned theory into practice. He now works for the MOB film Company as a Content Director.

Another MMU student, Connor Mathews (Fallowfield), is an ambitious filmmaker and wanted to utilise his spare time in university by building his network and portfolio. Due to graduate in 2019, he has not only utilised POD to gain industry relevant experience though production running, he has also pitched an idea for a documentary which will be featured on [Framed], a youth channel which showcases content made by Manchester for Manchester. [Framed] allows aspiring content creators to work with executive producers and be paid for their contribution. Entrants also support the social media promotion, adding new skills to their portfolio.

Connor said “I have been at POD for 4 months now and already they have connected me with industry professionals and given me the opportunity to work on big name productions. POD care about getting their members moving into the Creative Digital Sector, whether it be editing or events planning etc., they are supportive in helping you find your passion and the connections which may help you to secure a job within this sector.”

To find out more about SharpFutures POD, please click here.