August 15, 2023, by Jackie Thompson
My Placement at Nonsuch Studios
By Alex Paszkowicz, music and music technology student
I applied to the competitive Nottingham Advantage Award module, Experience the Culture Sector, which requires students to undertake a 36-hour placement. I was delighted to be assigned to Nonsuch Studios because of their inspiring and positive values.
Created in 2013 by a group of graduate artists and theatre-makers, Nonsuch Studios is an independent fringe theatre and arts charity with six studio spaces that enable opportunities for creativity. Their ethos centres around the simple principle: ‘creativity is power’, which they believe will lead to a more positive future. For Nonsuch, providing a space for people of any ‘age, cultural background or access to opportunity’ to express their creativity will lead to cultural freedom, which can empower communities.
Building my skills
Like the beginning of any new job, some challenges require self-reflection to gain the most success in learning new skills and consistently building on them for future job roles. My first initial challenge was confidence; I did not know what to expect since this was a sector I had not experienced. However, they quickly began giving me tasks, so I learned to build my self-confidence by completing them and asking for feedback on whether my work fit their brief.
Lastly, linked directly to confidence is communication. I had to reflect on the way I communicated with my new colleagues to understand the tasks they provided me and to verify I was completing them to their needs. Also, understanding their terminology for procedures across the workplace helped me to work more efficiently.
Learning new skills
By building on these skills and retaining the information I learned as I began working, I was able to learn new skills that are transferable to other career paths. Because Nonsuch has a small team with overlapping roles, I developed digital marketing and business development skills. As a result, I got a real insight into some factors that are considered when running a theatre, which is potentially helpful for a future career.
Marketing and business development tasks
I created a flyer using Canva and edited the company’s website as part of the digital marketing tasks. While improving my design skills, I also had to ensure I was accurately marketing to their desired target audience: new clients to hire the studios. While editing the website, I learned the importance of search engine optimisation tactics (SEO) to increase customer traffic to the ‘What’s On’ page.
On the business development side, I sifted through the clientele who hired their studios for various projects (ranging from theatre to yoga classes) and created a business directory. This task showed me the importance of organisation within a business. Moreover, it improved my problem-solving ability because they had a specific method for selecting suitable clients for the directory.
Reflecting on my placement
During my time at Nonsuch Studios, I learned transferable skills I could take with me into whatever career path I choose. A strong company ethos motivates me and will be something I consider when I next start a new job. Self-reflection increased my productivity, and I look forward to continuing to learn unique and valuable skills.
Want to know more? Find out more about the Nottingham Advantage Award and the wide range of modules on offer on our website.
Our advisers have also developed career pages on working in marketing as well as the arts and culture sector. Explore these pages to find out about the roles available, the skills needed, and the entry routes.
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