Becky Boucherat, BA (Hons) Arts and Festival Management
Like many LSBU students, Becky Boucherat already had some relevant work experience on her CV before she even applied to university. It's something that comes highly recommended, demonstrating your commitment to your subject and proving that you have a good understanding of what it will take to succeed in your chosen profession.
Becky, however, took her work experience to the next level. The BA (Hons) Arts and Festival Management student worked on a project with a group of friends, creating the Ventnor Fringe Festival on the Isle of Wight – and what she is learning on her course is helping her to improve the event even further.
"I've always loved being immersed in the unique atmosphere there is at festivals, so recreating that for other people would be a pretty wonderful career," says Becky.
The course at LSBU is particularly ideal because it has a real focus on getting first-hand experience of working in the arts, and London is the perfect location for that.
It's the practical experience that Becky is finding most valuable. The Ventnor Fringe Festival has recently been incorporated into a limited company, the process of which Becky was able to follow due to skills learnt on the course, recognising the value of the education she has received at LSBU.
"It's not all dancing in muddy fields," she laughs. "While we still look at the artistic side of creating arts events and festivals, we also cover all the practical aspects that are needed for those events to happen and give them meaning. We cover accounting, law and fundraising, for example, as well as the social theory and the cultural and historical context of the arts."
Range of interests
The wide-ranging nature of the course leaves graduates well-placed to find employment in a wide range of areas, another plus in Becky's eyes. "There's a real range of interests on the course, and everything we cover can be applied across the arts," she says. "While a few of us are definitely interested in working with festivals, others are looking at moving into a mix of areas including dance organisations, music promotion and gallery promotion."
As with all our courses, Becky's learning has been helped by learning from an academic team with practical experience they can draw on to bring their teaching to life.
The lecturers all come from interesting arts backgrounds and have worked in music, visual arts and theatre. My tutor even has a vinyl record of his own music on the wall of his office, which we really should have asked him about more by now! The lectures from visiting practitioners are also really engaging, because they are so current.
Looking to the future
Becky is confident that her degree, coupled with the experience she has gained with the Ventnor Fringe, will help her when it comes to finding employment. "I'm really passionate about the Ventnor Fringe, so I'll continue my involvement there for as long as I can, alongside other work. For now, I'll stay in London where I aim to find work with an independent arts organisation or small arts events company. In the long run, I'd love to be involved in the programming for independent festivals - the course has a good reputation for graduate employment so hopefully that will work in my favour."