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Student story

Imogen Loakman

20 July 2023

"An Arts degree opens the door to so many diverse opportunities..."


Bachelor of Arts in English and Cinema Studies, with a minor in Media and Communication

Imogen has been involved in a whole range of opportunities during her Arts studies at UC, which shows just how varied the degree can make your university experience.

"I am well aware now that I've finished it, how much I appreciated the experience and what a positive, happy experience it was for me. None of it would have been possible without all the support I received from friends, family and the University," she says. "I am very grateful for the opportunity that UC provided for me and now I've got to put the myriad of skills I learnt over the years to good use!"

Born and raised in Dubai as a British citizen, Imogen had only recently moved to New Zealand for high school studies. UC being located conveniently close to home gave her the opportunity to settle further into the Kiwi lifestyle, along with the bonus of a UC Undergraduate Entrance Scholarship.

She was determined to study her favourite subjects from high school so she could devote her university years to studying what she loves, which meant choosing a BA degree with a double major in English and Cinema Studies, and a minor in Media and Communication.

"An Arts degree teaches you to use your imagination, improve your grasp on language and utilise a wide range of analytical and critical skills. It's true that an Arts degree might not get you into one career but what's the fun in that? An Arts degree opens the door to so many diverse opportunities."

Imogen had a number of work roles throughout her Uni studies. For her first two years she worked as a relieving librarian at her old high school, which suited well with her interests in English and encouraging younger generations to read.

She also had a role with Auckland-based Company Epic Studios Ltd editing website content for editing role with Enabling Good Lives, a Christchurch organisation working with families with disabled children.

Her latest venture was an internship with the Ministry of Awesome, a non-profit charity organisation supporting Christchurch startup businesses.

"My responsibilities revolved around updating, editing and creating content for their website. I also documented a few events that Ministry of Awesome hosts such as their infamous weekly Coffee and Jam networking events. I've also had the privilege of conducting and writing three interviews with supporters of Ministry of Awesome, which has been illuminating and at times a challenge so I feel as if I've learnt a lot in such a short time."

"There are so many aspects of my internship that I found interesting! If I had to pick one, it was being introduced to the world of social entrepreneurship and the amazing people I've met along the way, as Ministry of Awesome is a huge contributor to the thriving community here in Christchurch."

All of these work experiences were a great way to practise her study content in the real world.

"How to be an effective communicator, work well in a team environment and listening and sharing ideas are all skills that my study at UC definitely reiterated and skills that are integral in any workplace," she says.

During her years here, Imogen has enhanced her skills through learning opportunities as well. Her absolute favourite course CINE 210 she took during the summer months to help fast-track her degree.

"It was a screenwriting course called "Creative Writing for Screen" which was taught and coordinated by Martha Hardy-Ward, a screenwriter who is actively working in the industry, so the information we were learning during the course was able to be translated into practical work experience and advice from Martha which was an invaluable resource.'

She further realised her passion in Cinema Studies and founded alongside a group of friends, the UC Film Club, working as a Secretary and helping coordinate events for students.

By far her favourite experience out of UC, however, was an exchange to the University of Exeter in the UK, with support from a UC International Mobility Outgoing Exchange Award.

"I was actually the first UC student to go to University of Exeter as it was a brand new partner institution at the time! It was such great fun I would recommend an exchange experience to any student wanting to travel and experience University in a different country or culture. You meet so many amazing people and you get to explore a new country; I'd never been to Exeter and I loved the history of the old, quaint town."

"The only piece of advice I would give is that it is a lot of work to organise and complete, you do have to be committed to going on the exchange but once all the paperwork is complete and you're flying to a new place and attending a new university it is so exciting and well worth it!"

From everything she's accomplished so far, and as someone with cerebral palsy who uses a wheelchair, Imogen is especially thankful to the Equity & Disability Service for supporting her throughout study.

"The Disability Service has helped me in countless ways over the years with helping me solve mobility and accessibility issues on campus, to the more academic side with organising my extra time allowance in exams, with my exchange and internship applications as well as providing advice and information of evacuation procedures and just being a general source of support to me."

Now graduated, Imogen's study has opened up a range of career options in the creative industry for her to explore.

"In terms of dream jobs I would love to into publishing from an English perspective, alternatively, the idea of scriptwriting or film reviewing or producing is also a career avenue that I'm interested in," she says.

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