I want to be able to help students who may be struggling, either through their personal motivation, guidance in terms of their entry into the industry or feeling just a little lost.
Nick Patterson (BSc Music Technology, 2011; MSc Music Production and Audio Engineering, 2012) recently got in touch with the alumni office, as he was keen to re-engage with the University and to share with current students his inspirational career trajectory.
Nick graduated in 2012, and since then has gone on to become Production Director for Storm & Shelter, a Cardiff based production agency. He explains:
"I oversee and maintain all production work here at Storm & Shelter. I set up the company with two friends I met after Uni, and since then, it’s been a consistently crazy adventure. My working day can vary massively from liaising with clients regarding current projects, meeting with prospective clients to being out on a shoot either producing or behind the camera. No two days are the same here, which is ace."
We asked Nick how he went from jobseeking graduate, to co founder of a small business: "During my MSc studies, I taught myself how to use a camera and edit as part of my Masters project and after that, I met a few guys who were really passionate about filmmaking. After doing a couple of projects together (including a 200-mile charity walk!) we set up the company and the rest is history."
Nick really enjoyed his time at USW, describing everyone on his course as incredible. He felt his lecturers were interested in taking the time to go through everything with you and nothing was ever too much trouble. He said: "It genuinely felt like they had your best interests at heart, and that really made a difference."
Storm and Shelter have won awards for their music videos and have a diverse set of clients, with work being featured by the BBC and audio giants Bose. They recently expanded their team to 5 full time members and built an office on Mt Stuart Square in Cardiff. In the future, they aim to expand their operations and develop a variety of offerings to clients. Storm & Shelter want to nurture fresh talent and create content that will inspire others - a worthy goal.
Nick contacted the alumni office because he had felt inspired to volunteer his time and expertise back to students at UG and PG level.
We asked Nick for an alumni ‘pearl of wisdom’ that he'd like to share with a current student or recent leaver, and he advised that current students should make the most of the USW facilities, cause once you’re out of Uni life, you’ll realise actually how useful having that tech there whenever you want really is.
His advice to a recent leaver would be:
"Whether it’s film or music, just get out there and start making. For me, having a strong portfolio or reel is much more impressive than a well-written CV. Doesn’t even have to be full on paid projects, just show snippets of the kind of thing you love doing, and that will speak volumes for the kind of maker you are."
Thanks for getting in contact Nick - it's great to see one of our enterprising alums making an impact in the creative industries, post graduation, and being willing to take the time to inspire the next generation of budding filmmakers.
Have you achieved greatness since you completed your degree? Get in touch to tell us more, and you too could be featured as an alumni profile.