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Bristol Creative Industries Internship Programme: Celebrating the graduation of cohort one

12th December 2023

On 24 November, we celebrated the first group of interns who took part in the Bristol Creative Industries Internship Programme with Babbasa as part of the OurCity2030 Pathway into Creative & Tech.

We had a wonderful night celebrating everyone’s achievements over the past six months. The graduation event, at the Gather Round co-working space in Bristol, brought together the brilliant interns plus many of the programme contributors, friends and family to reflect on the successes and learnings from the scheme.

We launched the programme earlier this year. It is aimed at young people aged 18-24 from diverse backgrounds wanting to gain more insight and real experience in the creative industries.

Two of the biggest challenges facing the sector are a long-term skills shortage and a lack of workforce diversity. This was highlighted by Bristol Creative Industries’ A Creative Force to Be Reckoned With report which found that increasing diversity and inclusion is a significant priority for six in 10 creative firms in Bristol, but almost half said they want help finding diverse talent from underrepresented groups.

The internship programme was designed specifically to tackle those issues and create more inclusive workplaces. We were delighted that brilliant agencies from the BCI member community stepped up to provide three month placements to the 14 interns:

At the end of the first placement, three of the interns used the experience to explore other projects, while 11 stayed to undertake a second placement.

What happens next: Five of the interns got jobs

As the pilot programme comes to an end, here’s an update on how taking part in the initiative impacted on the interns and what they plan to do next:

Abdifatah Kheyre is going travelling for a while but has some exciting plans to launch a new project with a friend.

Abdur-Rahman Shafi has been offered a continuation at his first placement at Noble where he will be doing an internship extension, with the view for being promotion to digital marketing executive after six months.

Ahmed Ismail is considering his options in design and software development.

Amy Smith has been offered a role as production runner at Aardman on an upcoming project.

Kayjay McDonald-Ferguson is looking to continue with his freelancing projects in design and strategy and is set to start a bootcamp coding course.

Laurel Beckford has been working with Babbasa on the organisation’s social media campaigns and is looking for further work in film production and social media.

Mohd Wani has gone on to study an MA in information experience design at The Royal College of Art.

Omar Ibrahim has started a front-end web development bootcamp and will continue to study whilst trying to get more work experience. He is looking for a junior level role in front-end web development.

Priscilla Kodjo is staying on at her placement at Time Machine Designs as a freelance concept artist.

Sara Matloob has applied to study with the Chartered Institute of Marketing and hopes to build a career focused on public relations and the experiential sector.

Sophie Kirk is continuing to pursue her career in film and television art departments, with her improved graphic design skills opening up more opportunities for freelance work.

Seren Spooner was offered a job as a junior designer at Armadillo, her first placement.

Touka Mostafa led an EDI audit at one of her placements and delivered her findings to the board. She has recently accepted an account executive role at Armadillo, one of the participating agencies.

Yasmina El Khatib hopes to continue her education and study a modelmaking course with a focus on fabrication. For now, she is looking for a design and creative role to allow her to save for her masters.

Bristol Creative Industries Internship Programme intern graduation

The impact the programme had on the interns

We asked some of the interns to reflect on taking part in the programme.

”The programme helped me find myself, be a better human and chase my dreams.”
Abdifatah Kheyre

“This internship really has made my dream career happen. The continued support throughout has been great. I have also made some friends that I will have for life.”
Amy Smith

”I took many learnings from the experience, but above all I learnt the importance of being an active learner. In a work setting it is important that you can communicate with the different departments and not be afraid to ask for what you want. In both agencies I felt comfortable to be myself and felt listened to. I like that the internship was tailored to what I needed.”
Kayjay McDonald-Ferguson

”Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t always a straight path, and I was never comfortable to put my hand up and say I want to learn more. But I have to say, I’m so glad I sat in the uncomfortable space for a little bit because I pushed past that point, I managed to develop and grow in so many different ways. ”
Touka Mostafa

”I loved seeing how many agencies were interested in diversity and inclusion and I really enjoyed the networking opportunities that came with the internship programme. I also enjoyed learning new skills during our Friday sessions and watching all of the interns develop new skills that they’re proud of.”
Sara Matloob

Bristol Creative Industries Internship Programme cohort one: A short film

For more from the interns, participating agencies and other who took part in the programme, watch this brilliant short film: 

The experiences of the participating agencies

The Bristol Creative Industries Internship Programme is not possible without the fantastic agencies who take part and provide placements for the young people to gain valuable experience.  

Here, some of the agencies reflect on their experiences:   

“The best businesses need the best talent. The best talent is diverse. This programme has helped us collectively engage that talent.”
Nina Edmunds,
Halo

“We’ve always aspired to have an internship programme that promotes diversity and inclusion and encourages the community to open more doors, yet time and resources have been a barrier to achieving this. By joining forces with Bristol Creative Industries, Babbasa and other member agencies, we were able to make it happen.”
Lucy Rees, Newicon

“Collaborating with peers from other participating creative agencies has been a great experience. It has allowed us to actively contribute to shaping the program while exchanging ideas and learning from one another, particularly in areas around HR, people & culture, and innovative working practices.”
Anthony Butterfield,
Aer Studios

“We wanted to be challenged in our DE&I efforts. We hoped this scheme would help us push forward on our learning and DE&I journey and it has done exactly that.”
Abigail Croft,
Diva

“Our intern was really keen to learn all the different roles within the agency and really engaged in everything she was doing. Seeing her confidence grow each week, so she was asking the right questions to allow her to execute the task in front of her was a real highlight. The fact we could see the talent was there enough to offer her a job shows what an impact she made, and that is the true highlight.”
Jeremy Bourton,
Armadillo

“This amazing opportunity provides a springboard for young people with a paid placement that can really make a difference to their professional development. On the other side of the coin, it’s made me a more rounded professional and helped me to evolve.”
Matt Woodman,
Atomic Smash

“The BCI Internship Programme is a golden opportunity to partner with community-facing organisations. It is a real opportunity to learn as well as teach, whilst being supporting by BCI who follow the interns through the whole process.”
Ceilia Hunt, Aardman Animations

Bristol Creative Industries Internship Programme intern graduation

All of the interns are now Bristol Creative Industries members. Please do reach out to them if you are looking for collaborations or for young people to fill junior roles. We will also be welcoming them to Bristol Creative Industries events in 2024, so you will get a chance to meet them.

We look forward to welcoming back the cohort as ambassadors for the programme in 2024 and to help inspire the next group of interns.

Want to get involved and offer placements to interns?

Conversations for the 2024 Bristol Creative Industries Internship Programme have begun with Babbasa as part of the next OurCity2030 Pathway into Creative & Tech.

If you run a creative business in Bristol and are interested in hearing more about how to get involved, contact Bristol Creative Industries membership manager Alli Nicholas on [email protected]

Big thanks to @eljaybriss for the images.

Member

About Bristol Creative Industries

Bristol Creative Industries is the membership network that supports the region's creative sector to learn, grow and connect, driven by the common belief that we can achieve more collectively than alone. 

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