Becca started her six month ScotGrad placement at Isle of Skye-based ATLAS Arts in January 2016 and her contract has been extended for another three months. ATLAS is a pioneering producer and commissioner of contemporary art, helping artists bring their ideas to life in unusual and unexpected places.
In the four years between graduating and applying for the placement, Becca had already been working in Scotland’s dynamic creative arts scene, but felt as though she wasn’t progressing in her career. Becca looked to the ScotGrad graduate programme to help her develop.
After successfully landing the placement, Becca’s role has been incredibly varied due to the small, close-knit team she has been working in. With only three members of full-time staff, she had to be flexible to manage all manner of events and relationships to allow the business to succeed.
Her placement saw her take on a number of important internal and external projects for the company. Explaining her role at ATLAS, Becca said: “Internally, one of the main focuses of placement has been on informing and developing the Equalities, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) action plan, the introduction of which was critical to secure funding from Creative Scotland. I conducted in-depth research on legislation, best practice models and cultural policies to feed into the EDI.
“Another fundamental element of the placement was working on the redesign of the company’s website. This included drafting and proofing copy, sourcing and creating images, and liaising with technical developers.
“I’ve had the opportunity to assist on the delivery of a variety of external projects including regular film screenings, pop-up film events, national symposiums, a school outreach programme, and an outdoor exhibition/guided walk event.
“The biggest production I worked on was the ‘Singing for the Sea’ exhibition where I assisted the producer on logistical, technical, location, budgeting and promotional aspects of the production. Due to my university degree, I had the experience to become the lead staff member on the technical aspects of the installation. It was my responsibility to coordinate with the venue to ensure that the specifications required for the project were delivered.”
Becca’s graduate placement has not only given her invaluable work experience, but it has also improved her confidence. She said: “When I applied for the position I doubted that I was qualified for the role, to the point that I almost didn’t apply, but one of the biggest lessons this placement has taught me is to trust my abilities. I also put the technical audio-visual and digital skills I learned at university into practice which have developed significantly as a result.
“Working in such a small team has given me a well-rounded knowledge and understanding of visual arts production. Yet, I’ve had the chance to work with some great partner organisations and expand my network of contacts which should stand me in good stead as my career progresses.
“My placement was extended, so I’m looking forward to continuing working with ATLAS. Once it’s complete, I’ll be looking for similar opportunities and likeminded organisations.
“I’m also looking to gain further qualifications to help my career progression; I’m planning to take on a number of courses in graphic design and copywriting to broaden my knowledge and skills. I’m also considering returning to university to pursue a Masters degree, potentially overseas to widen my network in the industry.”