Growing up in northwest London, Kaya Patel (BA Film and LiteratureLink opens in a new window, 2020) considered a range of universities all around the UK. But she trusted her intuition and chose to move to the Midlands for her undergraduate experience.
Why did you choose Warwick?
Warwick was the first university that felt like home. I attended other open days up and down the country - in Scotland and Surrey - but the people I spoke to didn’t feel like ‘my people’ and that’s what decided it for me. Because of this, I became an ambassador for the Film and TV department. It allowed me to share this experience with others. I worked part-time and would go to open days and talk to future students and their families.
Tell us about your Warwick experience.
First year was the best of my entire life! I lived in Bluebell, which was full of international students, and I quickly made friends. Everything felt so easy – getting to know people, access to modules I was genuinely interested in, and extra help from my tutors if I needed it.
My degree focused on how Literature, and Film and Television Studies meet and overlap. It was the film aspect that initially appealed, and the skills I learned have great relevance to my work today.
Film is a very creative medium. It makes you think about how things need to look and feel, which is a skill that has helped me when it comes to writing blogs and social media content for work.
Can you tell us more about your course?
I studied traditional aspects of film like the history of cinema, but I was also able to choose some external modules in areas like marketing management, genetics, science and society. I remember a former manager being impressed by the range. It was it marketing management module in my final year that set me on my path.
My mum has worked in email marketing all her life, with brands ranging from Ladbrokes to Ralph Lauren. That’s what I love about marketing. You can work across different industries doing the same thing. It’s vast, but specialised.
What do you do now?
As a Digital and Marketing Manager for pharmaceutical company Santen, my role involves website, social media and e-retailer content for consumers and medical professionals.
Website content is my favourite. I’m a big believer in consistency in design and making sure front-facing content looks good. I am also a massive planner – which comes in handy when juggling several types of content and deadlines.
What key things did you learn at Warwick that you use in your professional life?
A key thing I learned from Warwick is the power in planning and now I can’t work under pressure without a plan. I had a lot of essays, and I’d always have a to-do list and library sessions booked in when deadlines were approaching.
And the soy latte from the library on campus was the best - I would come back to Warwick for that alone!
What’s your advice for recent arts graduates?
‘Do what you love doing.’
Unfortunately, there is still the perception that an arts degree is ‘airy fairy’. But I know, and so do my peers, that as an arts graduate, you bring a unique perspective: more innovation and out-the-box thinking. As well as the knowledge you build through the course, you learn how to fight your case, write to a high standard.
If an organisation doesn’t see the value of your degree, they aren’t the home for you.