Letting creativity lead the way
BA English and Theatre Studies alumna Vinitaraj Aulak may have only graduated in 2021, but she wasted no time chasing her dreams and securing a radio presenter role on BBC Asian Network. Here she shares how her undergraduate degree taught her to break the mould and follow her passions.
Why English, and why Warwick?
I’ve always felt inspired by English Literature, how it has the unique ability to create new worlds, shift perspectives, and encounter voices you wouldn’t otherwise encounter. I love how English combines so many different subjects together: Drama, History, Geography, Psychology. They coalesce and intertwine. English Literature opens up the opportunity to question, to realise that there are more perspectives than one, each being completely valid. It is a subject that naturally invites conversation, debate and discussion, all skills which you carry with you throughout your life. For me, I always knew that English would be a subject and path that I would follow.
Growing up in Warwickshire I would often watch productions at the Warwick Arts Centre and so was already familiar with the University’s campus.
I also loved how Warwick offered the opportunity for English to be paired with a related subject. I opted to study English and Theatre Studies, which was the perfect combination and balance of creative subjects. Additionally, Warwick is a highly regarded and prestigious institution. All of these things combined to inspire me to apply.
Tell me about your favourite undergraduate memories
I have too many to share! But whenever I think about my time at Warwick and the memories that I made, I’m always filled with such warmth and happiness. I met the most wonderful people, staff, students, and creatives. That’s what made my university experience so special.
How did you feel on your graduation day?
Immense joy and happiness. Completing my final year of university during the pandemic was challenging. So, coming out of it with a first-class degree, with my family and friends by my side and knowing we were able to succeed despite the challenges, is an accomplishment I’ll always be proud of.
What’s your proudest achievement so far?
Graduating from Warwick and going on to present my own show on the BBC Asian Network are top of my list!
What was your experience taking part in the TeamWork programme?
Despite the difficulties faced during the pandemic, I was determined to gain as much experience as possible and the TeamWork Programme at Warwick provided a fantastic opportunity to do just that. It was an incredibly rewarding experience and one I would highly recommend to current students. It was a unique opportunity to collaborate with students from Monash University in Malaysia and Australia, and gain valuable global connections. My team bonded quickly, and we created work to be proud of. In fact, I’m still in touch with my team members today which I think highlights how rewarding the programme is.
How did you fill your time outside of lectures?
Prior to my degree, I was a regular radio presenter at my local radio station (Fresh West Midlands), and I knew I wanted to further expand my radio presenting portfolio. I’d heard great things about Warwick’s student radio station RAW 1251AM. I was the live events Co-ordinator and presented my prime-time weekly show, Vinny’s Vibe of the Week, where I would play music I love and have discussions with special guests. The experience was amazing, and I’d highly recommend making the most of all the student societies on offer.
How did you feel that English at Warwick was ranked 5th in the UK for employability?
It’s fantastic to hear! The English department certainly equips you with strong foundations for the workplace and future endeavours. The ability to question, inspire debate, see things from different perspectives, discuss, interrogate, and seek excellence are all valuable skills which employers are looking for and can be applied to a broad spectrum of roles in the future.
How did your time at Warwick prepare you for life after university?
The staff at Warwick treated me as an independent thinker and academic. I think it was this environment which enabled me to reach my full potential. We were never encouraged to follow the same rubric – quite the opposite in fact. We were encouraged to write about what we were passionate about. I had a lot of creative freedom, but with invaluable guidance when needed. I think it was this teaching method and quality which provided strong foundations for navigating the workplace outside university.
What will you be doing in five years’ time?
Continuing to do what I love: presenting, acting, and playwriting. I know I will always be an individual who enjoys lots of different creative projects and for me the above is the perfect combination. Whatever path I follow, I know in my heart I will be doing my best to make a positive difference and contribution to the creative field.
Vinitaraj’s top tips for recent graduates
Now is the time to explore different paths and avenues and find what you are truly passionate about.
Don’t be afraid to send those emails out and expressions of interest. There isn't a job advertised at your dream company? Drop them an email and introduce yourself, get the ball rolling and when an opportunity arises, you’ll already be on their radar.
It’s about networking, going with the flow and having confidence in yourself. You already have such a fantastic foundation in place by graduating from the University of Warwick so believe in yourself and the rest will follow!