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Your future career

Your future career

Media Arts alumni have grabbed opportunities to progress since graduating, achieving great success soon after leaving Royal Holloway.

We know that gaining experience while you study is vital. It’s important for your career - whatever you decide to do - and important for your studies that you have practical experience.  

Our alumni have created diverse careers for themselves, in the media and elsewhere.

Learn more about some of our recent graduates below.

Our recent graduates

About me: I’m Iona Westlake, and I graduated back in 2013. Several very busy years later I’m an established freelance Production Co-Ordinator with a pretty strong CV. I’ve worked across a wide range of British and American productions, including the latest James Bond film, No Time to Die. And somehow, in the midst of all this, and a pandemic, I completed a Master’s Degree in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute in King’s College, University of London.

My journey: Six months after graduating, and after sending out a lot of cvs and knocking on a lot of doors, I started out as a runner in the drama department for Tiger Aspect Productions, one of the top companies for drama and sit-com. My role was to support their Head of Production and Production Managers across a slate of programmes including Peaky Blinders, Ripper Street and Fortitude.

That project got me a foot in the door, and I managed to get subsequent jobs with relative ease. Alongside my paid employment, I also produced my own short films to keep me involved creatively in projects and going to film festivals when I could. From 2015, I worked on a diverse range of film and television projects. I also took opportunities to travel with work. I was stationed out in Budapest for three months working on Homeland, Series 7 and when I worked on No Time To Die, I was able to travel with the unit to Jamaica, Scotland and Italy, which were fantastic experiences.

After Bond, I decided to take a sabbatical year to strengthen my academic base by studying for a Master’s in Art History at the Courtauld, which I recently completed. The course was focused on modernism, specifically in German modern art of the Weimar period (1918-1933). I’d already worked on some of this as an undergrad, taking Chris Townsend’s course on Modernism and Avant-Garde Film in my second year, and working on Expressionism with him for my final year dissertation. That course, my favourite, taught me about challenging conventional ways of seeing and thinking - something that’s essential in a creative industry.

The trajectory of my career from here will probably move between more commercially driven film and television projects and other arts projects. My aspiration is to become an independent producer and have a diverse career across the arts sector - I am open minded about what the journey to get there will be. I’ve just started a production with Apple TV which will keep me busy until the middle of 2022. 

My studies: When I started my BA back in 2010, all I knew was that I was committing myself to learning more about the imaginative world of film and television. Not having any connections or relatives working in the industry, it seemed like a difficult business to get into off your own bat. For me, the degree meant I was connecting with my passion in a more serious way, furthering both my academic potential and practical skills as well as obtaining a qualification from a leading institution which would carry weight with potential employers.

I took practical modules in my second year, in cinematography and producing. I have always had a deep appreciation for cinematography, and I wanted to see if I could translate my interest and passion into practical skill. However, I soon realised my strength was producing, which then gave me the impetus to specialise in it for my final year and also focus my career development in this area after graduating. My aspiration of becoming an independent producer was formed at this point and working within the production department to get there was a constructive way for me to work towards this. 

My three years at Royal Holloway allowed me to develop my interests in both practical and theoretical ways. Learning from some of the best academics in higher education on a course which offers a healthy range of modules gave me academic grounding as well as practical knowledge. The film and television industry seems to be entering a new golden age. There’s an abundance of investment within the UK, developing new studios as well as expanding the existing industry. There is also a culture change happening that’s improving working conditions and experience in a post #MeToo and Black Lives Matter era. It is an exciting time for anyone to be entering the industry. 

For more information about Iona’s career, see her IMDB or LinkedIn page. 

About me: Hi! I’m Alexandra Budd, Lexi to my friends, and I graduated with first class honours in 2019.

My journey: On 14 August 2021 I found myself on a plane bound for Tokyo, where for the next month I would be based, working on British TV coverage of the 2020 Paralympic Games for Channel 4, with the production company Whisper.

I first learned about Whisper during my second year in Media Arts, in 2018. A group of us from the department visited the company’s headquarters in Kew and took part in a research session about how to promote content to a younger audience during the Paralympics (scheduled then for 2019). Towards the end of my second year I took part in the department’s “Micro-Placement” scheme.

I spent two weeks working with Whisper. I then spent a few months before graduation working for them as a Logger on the W Series. (That’s the specially established championship for women racing drivers - Whisper, which does a lot of innovative sports programming, provides the coverage.) After graduation I went straight into a job at Whisper as a Post Production Assistant.

Fast-forward two years and there I am, jetting off to the other side of the world to work directly on the Paralympics - something that I couldn’t have done more than dreamed of back in 2018. The majority of our team were still based back in the UK, so we had to learn fast to adapt to time differences so that we could work well together, and we had to come to terms with the strict quarantine regulations prevailing in Japan.

About me: Hi, I'm Jack Salvadori. I graduated in Film Production from Royal Holloway in summer 2018. Since then, The Liar, the film I directed for my final year project, has been selected by over 30 international film festivals. After graduating, I began freelancing as an editor to keep money coming in while working on my own film projects. So far I've made two more critically acclaimed shorts La Petite Mort in 2019 and Sed Libera Nos A Malo in 2020, which was selected by an Academy Award & BAFTA qualifying festival.

I'm currently developing a feature film in the USA.

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