Allan Aligula graduated with a Diploma in Graphic Design and Media Studies. His long-term interest in media was initiated when he studied art in O level. He was eager to work in the media industry, as he felt it offered more challenging prospects than a general – office based role. After completion of his Diploma, Allan freelanced until a contact forwarded him a job advertisement, and his online application was accepted. He had not envisioned himself based solely in an office, so the variety of working in a TV station as a Graphic Designer and Promo Producer, which would mean spending time on various locations, attracted him to the role.
Allan comments, 'There are so many elements that are part of my role now. I’m able to carry out all stages of film and video production from making a film, planning and writing scripts, to directing and filming, as well as editing and creating motion graphics. Most media roles will see a graduate at my level specializing in one area, such as editing, filming or graphic design, so this is a very rare, hands-on role.'
Allan secured his continuous work by taking a proactive approach. He created a portfolio of work and recommends that recent graduates should follow the same route, for example, by putting their own material on YouTube, Behance, skillpages or creating a website to showcase their work.
“When I first started I did free promotional films for companies. I got this by ringing round, making cold calls and asking if I could do it for free, to boost my CV. This then led to paid freelance work. Producing work to your highest standard gets you noticed, and it brings new opportunities as you build up a reputation by word-of-mouth. I moved into paid employment as enquiries from the public sector came through. Departments I’d previously worked with recommended me to other colleagues. And of course, networking is really important in this industry.”
Allan’s Diploma and Creative Entrepreneurs Certificate have given him relevant skills and experience in both the theoretical knowledge and the practical skills needed for the industry. He comments, “I didn’t think I’d find a job that would match all my skills; or at least so soon. At first I started with a few projects but now I choose which projects to take on and how they develop. I manage my own workload, and I've learnt to improve my time management to make sure that I meet deadlines and am as productive as possible.”
In an annual cycle Allan’s role covers:
Brainstorming with clients; writing scripts;
Making sound tracks/music;
Out-putting material to the web;
Directing/working with other creative teams.
Allan finds the most enjoyable part of his job is having creative control over his own projects. His team is conscious of the importance of tailoring content to recent trends and technology, which is always advancing. Allan remarks, “I love experimenting with new styles and technique.” Sometimes, he finds that it can be frustrating, when clients “don't understand the amount of preparation that goes into a project, and set impossible deadlines.” Increased experience means that he is generally able to communicate this to a client and negotiate a more realistic timeframe or solutions to problems.
Allan is pleased that there are several areas where she can develop and progress in his current role, as it requires a wide variety of skills and a strong commitment to personal development, and his employers are supportive of this. His ultimate goal would be to direct and write for television programmes and film.