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Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries, Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Training Programme. Image: Outroslide Photography

Bethany Walsh reflects on the fourth Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Training Programme Session

07 July 2016

For the final Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Training session, we met at Eastside Projects in Birmingham to discuss career planning and taking our next steps.

After introductory talks from Gavin Wade, Director at Eastside Projects; Kate Danielson, Director, Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries; John Opie, General Manager, Jerwood Charitable Foundation; and our training facilitators, Mark Wright and Nicola Turner, we were armed with an array of coloured sharpies and masses of paper to create a huge timeline of our experiences throughout our placements. We then formed small groups to share challenges and triumphs with our peers, walking through individual contributions and highlighting key milestones. It was a great chance to look back and reflect on our time with both the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries cohort and our respective host organisations; the scrolls of paper were packed with scribbled text acting as a testament to the sheer amount we’ve achieved as a collective.

We were then given a fool-proof formula for mapping career trajectories, which involved breaking down our experience into composite parts before putting them within the framework of a story. Some participants proposed throwing caution to the wind and delineating their ‘narratives’ in order to be more open to projects and opportunities that might appear along the way, an idea which was welcomed as an alternative. Sometimes it’s more fun to be Huckleberry Finn than Harry Potter.

As with the previous training event held in Glasgow, a handful of people participated in a Pecha Kucha presentation relay which was a fast-paced and lively way of learning about other placements as well as organisations we may not have been familiar with.

The final hour of the event lent itself to an open floor discussion regarding the development of leadership qualities, as well as career planning and options following the end of our placements. Our facilitators were open in their answers and had lots of handy resources to refer us to for further research and reading.

The future is an indeterminate landscape which can often be difficult to navigate and predict, but with invaluable experience at an array of innovative organisations through the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme, as well as a vibrant network of people to collaborate and share ideas with, it looks like the cohort will be taking steps forward with an air of excitement as opposed to apprehension.