What I studied
GCSEs: English Language, English Literature, Maths, Additional Maths, French, Physics, Biology,
Chemistry, ICT, Music, Art, Business Studies, PE
A-Levels: Physics, Mechanical Maths, Art, Music, Photography and Architecture as an extra-curriculur subject
I have always been a creative person but have also really enjoyed the academic subjects such as science and maths. When choosing my subjects at school I always had the thought of “choose something you enjoy but that will also help you get into the career you want.” At the time I wanted to be an architect or design engineer so chose the subjects that would help me pursue that path – Art, Physics, Mechanical Maths – the other subjects I chose because I enjoyed them.
After changing my career path from architect/ engineer to set design and construction, I started looking into art and drama schools. I ended up taking a theatre production degree at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. It was a degree that involved exploring all areas of backstage theatre – stage management, lighting, sound, AV, prop making, set design, scenic art and scenic construction. After a few days in the workshop being trained in carpentry and metalwork I realized that that was what I wanted to specialise in. This meant in my third year I would have to produce all the drawings for the carpenters, lead the build, attend production meetings, work with designers, and lead the fit up and the get out.
My career path
I secured my job at Factory Settings five months before finishing my degree. While I was studying, I did as much freelance work as I could in Fringe Theatre, but I also took unpaid work experience where I could. In my first year I had work experience at Elstree studios, in my second year I spent two weeks at the Royal Opera House in their metalwork and carpentry departments and in my third year I spent three weeks at Factory Settings in their paint, carpentry and metalwork departments. When I was offered the job, I asked the head of CNC to teach me everything about machining. It wasn’t until I’d finished my degree and began working that I learned how to program and machine.
I feel that my career journey has been eventful; I began wanting to be more office and design based, then wanted to work as a builder in theatre, and then changed again to adore being in both a workshop and office space running and programming a CNC machine. Every experience I’ve had, whether its been good or bad, has led me to where I am today. I have made a lot of mistakes, but I have used these as learning curves rather than setbacks. The opportunities I’ve had are because I’ve gone out searching for them, each one has taught me something new has helped me develop as a person.