Creative Challengers at a workshop in France
Earlier in the programme, the Creative Challenge participants were asked about their experiences so far: this is what they said:
What made you take part in the Creative Challenge programme?
Jonathan Ramalho: The Creative Challenge first stood out to me with the ‘Being Entrepreneurial’ workshops: it gave me a platform that would nurture my development in not just my creativity but also a way on how to establish myself independently and that was extremely attractive. Personally what made me participate was the opportunity to learn how to connect my skills to a concept with great meaning.
Maria Torres: I had an idea that I would like to put in practice but I wasn’t sure how and whether it was good or not. In a Christmas Fair at Rochester Campus I talked with a student who was part of the Creative Challenge before and she told me to apply and that I would get really good advice and help to make my idea stronger and perhaps become real – and I’ve not been disappointed!
Jessica van Twuiver: I am in my final year and I wanted to take part in a competition to get myself out there. As I am not sure yet what I want to do when I graduate I thought this opportunity might give me some more ideas as well. I also wanted to gain more confidence about myself and my work. Becoming a finalist has definitely helped!
How has the programme helped you?
Imogen Coleman: It has boosted my confidence sky high! I feel I have improved in so many levels.
Ikesha Patrick: It has enhanced my ability to have confidence in bringing an idea to reality – making something out of nothing.
Olivia: I met some really wonderful people on the Creative Challenge. I was also pushed out of my comfort zone which is always a positive thing. Overall it let me clarify my idea and give it the time and focus it needed to develop.
Ben: I love interaction with people and Creative Challenge was basically a big interaction. I also learned the power of communication. We spent a whole lot of time with the French students and were having in depth conversations with them only after realising we share only a few basic words of vocabulary.
Imogen: Number one would have to be the people I have met. Never has it been so refreshing to be in an environment with like-minded people communicating and really getting to know each other personally. The chance to showcase my work and feel really a part of something was exceptional.
What things have you learned so far?
Maria: How to network effectively, through real collaboration, honesty and trust; how to make a proposal practical, credible and all the associated things: audience, budget/funding, promotion, teams and timings, etc.; how to communicate and summarise my ideas so I can get the most important points across.
Ikesha: Perseverance; getting people on board with your idea is always good as it helps the idea to grow in dimensions that I may have not considered; the importance of strong presentation skills.
Patricia Mato-Mora: Targeting a group of individual to direct my idea towards; considering financial issues within my proposal; presentation skills; refining my thoughts to communicate my ideas more clearly.
Ben: It’s good to seek out other perspectives on things and evaluate other solutions; the greatest commodity is people, and experiencing the world in a childlike way from time to time is a very therapeutic thing to do.
What did you learn from the residential in Le Havre?
Olivia: I learned about collaboration, and how to work with people different to myself in a productive way. I also learned about Le Havre, both the university and the town. I also learned about different ways of looking at a problem, particularly through an ecological viewpoint.
Jessica: We are more similar to each other than we sometimes think we are. Talking to people and talking about my ideas.
Ben: Perhaps most importantly I learned that it is important to look for people who are completely not like yourself and gain perspectives from them as they can usually uncover an angle which would otherwise be impossible for you to see.
Maria: Everyone was really generous and every time I think of the days in Le Havre I always smile and I think of everyone with care…and I think most of people feel the same! I believe that we were willing to collaborate with each other because the network that we made was so strong that we really believe in each other and we want everyone to be successful and make the proposals come true. I became more open to hear other people and it helped me a lot in understanding all the connection points and decisions in my jewellery work.
What would you say to other students considering entering Creative Challenge 14/15?
Maria: Just do it! It’s really worth it and you might get surprised with what you can do! Don’t doubt yourself.
Imogen: It’s a real chance to prove what you’ve got offer and get your ideas set into action. Do not hesitate to fill out that submission form – you are a creative, you have something to offer. This is the perfect opportunity to get your thoughts and ideas out there and get the chance to make them a reality! Not only are you surrounded with like minded people, but people who can help you and your idea grow. Enter it, Enjoy it, Experience it.
Ikesha: Firstly it does not have to interrupt your studies if you are well organised. There is a lot of experience and knowledge to learn in the way of enterprising and communication. This is particularly useful for those who want to set up businesses or create their opportunities in a similar way. It has opened up further opportunities in the way of my project actually being realised. You can only gain and not lose in this experience: It incredibly valuable and does not cost anything to participate.
Patricia: It will help you take yourself and your proposal seriously, and develop your ideas in a competitive, feasible way that could effectively be applied in the real world, beyond academia.