Niamh was cast for Netflix's Sex Education has a traineeship with the BBC
Niamh Davies is a current BA (Hons) Performance and Media student who will be graduating this year. Throughout her time on the course, Niamh has had some amazing opportunities to engage with the industry and was even cast on season 4 of Netflix’s Sex Education.
We caught up with her to hear all about her university highlights and the advice she would give to future students.
Why did you choose to study BA (Hons) Performance and Media at USW?
I chose the University of South Wales because they provide diverse courses tailored to creative individuals and I liked how the Atrium is in Cardiff which holds many job opportunities in the media.
Performing is one of my passions but I didn’t want to feel pressure to pursue it as a career since it can be a hard industry to get into. Having the media aspect of this course allows you to explore a different side of the industry that isn’t spoken about.
How have you engaged with industry on your course?
I have been lucky enough to gain industry experience in the TV industry after I was cast on Season 4 of Sex Education as a featured supporting artist. I have been filming since September and have got to see the amount of work that goes into TV shows and how many jobs and roles are available that I never even knew of.
USW works with Maddog 2020 who I was cast with so I couldn’t have gotten there without the university. They also work with Screen Alliance Wales and Bad Wolf who also work on projects like Sex Education. The skills I have learnt on this course have also helped me get a traineeship with BBC’s Its My Shout! where I will be working on documentaries as a trainee production assistant and researcher.
We have had the opportunity to go to Bad Wolf studios on more than one occasion where we got to see the sets of productions they are working on and talk to professionals who have shown us job opportunities that might be available to us once we finish our degrees. These opportunities have given us insight as to how much Wales is involved in many productions we see on TV and that we have everything we need on our doorstep.
What have you learnt that will make you more employable?
At the beginning of our degree, we were given access to the Adobe Creative Cloud which allows us to download software that is used in the industry to use on our projects. The main software I have used is Adobe Premiere Pro and Audition to create a range of projects which can be used as part of a showreel to show to future employers.
Once you know how to use this software you are already one step closer to being a professional in the industry in terms of editing. You also get access to cameras and a TV studio on our course, so you have all the equipment you need to create industry-level work.
I’ve also learnt to never turn down the opportunity to learn something new as you might find something that you didn’t think you’d enjoy or be good at and then make a career out of it.
I’ve gained a great amount of confidence that has allowed me to take opportunities I wouldn’t have even dreamed of before university.
What is student life like?
I like studying in Cardiff because there is so much going on in the city, especially in the media industry. Being in a creative hub means that you’ll at least have one thing in common with pretty much everyone you talk to. Don’t be afraid to talk to people you wouldn’t usually because you might make some of your best friends.
Overall, the Atrium is a friendly environment that encourages you to thrive socially, so I never dread walking into the building.
What’s the best bit of advice you would give to someone thinking about studying this course?
I would say don’t be afraid of trying new things. If you’re too set in your ways, you will never know what you have a knack for and you could find an opportunity or skill that will lead you to your dream career.
Also, have fun and take risks with your creativity because it’s rare that you’ll be in a place that will give you as many resources and opportunities in the media ever again.
Overall just enjoy yourself because it’s so much fun.