Having spent a considerable amount of time and energy applying for jobs and internships after leaving uni and feeling I was getting nowhere, this opportunity actually came as a result of networking and volunteering, and didn’t even require an interview. I personally feel that when you are at the very beginning of your creative career it is more valuable to show what you are capable of by doing it voluntarily, rather than trying to convince people via countless application forms (although this may not apply to everyone).
When I finished my art degree, I gave a month of my time to volunteering full time for a theatre company. I worked as a design assistant, creating sets and props. Sacrificing this large amount of time put me seriously out of pocket but it was worth it as it meant that I could work intensively on the project, gaining proven skills and work experience. I shamelessly sold myself – in other words ‘networked with’ the woman I was working for, reminding her several times that I was looking for similar work and for her to keep me in mind. This, doubled with the fact that I worked my arse off, resulted in her contacting me a few months later with some freelancing work for Anthropologie in London, which in turn lead to gaining this full time position.