Megan Savage (2010-2012)

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My name is Megan Savage and I’m 18 years old. I studied my GCSEs/A-Levels at Burnside Business and Enterprise College. In September 2015 I will be studying BA (Hons) Contemporary and Popular Music at Newcastle University.

What encouraged you to take part in TICE? What creative area did you choose and why?

I have always wanted a career in Music since I was in Primary School but like any other amateur musician, I was blind-sighted by the harsh reality of the music industry. Throughout High School I was becoming more frustrated with what I wanted to do. Music is so broad and I wanted more focus, so when the school encouraged me to take part in TICE (2010-2011) I was hoping that it would help me gain knowledge and understanding. Of course, it did that and more. I loved it so much in the first year that I begged to come back again (2011-2012).

Can you describe 3 things that stood out for you in terms of opportunities, mentors etc. during your TICE experience back in 2011-12?

  1. Gold Stage projects: The realistic approach to the Gold Stage is like no other experience I’ve had before. For Music, we were given legitimate pitches i.e. the first year involved writing a song for One Direction and getting feedback from Universal Records. It was a surreal and exciting experience to go through the songwriting process and record an original song in the studios.
  2. The Final Show: Having the Final Show at the end of all the hard work is a wonderful and proud moment for everyone involved. Being able to share your work with professionals and supporters is so satisfying and not only is it self-encouraging, but it is great to see other students showcasing their talent.
  3. Contacts/Mentors: Many people I know now originate from being involved with TICE. I wouldn’t have started my band without meeting another music student on the Gold Stage. I wouldn’t have met my mentor, Sam Burt – who has not only given me advice during the TICE stages, but has also been a regular contact when I need advice on my career path. I wouldn’t have had the pleasure to meet Jenny who inspires me with her driven and committed attitude that I hope to live up to in my career.

 How do you feel TICE has impacted you on a personal level, particularly involving confidence levels and other qualities that are important to have when working in creative industry?

Being involved with TICE had an incredibly strong impact on my personal qualities. I was once very timid and reserved with a lack of self belief. Taking part in TICE has transformed me in to someone with drive and resilience for success. All of those invaluable qualities I had once obtained have deteriorated over time. Having the ability to sing in front of more than a handful of people was an achievement in itself, but also being able to confront my discomfort with public speaking was a very proud moment. Most significantly, having Sam (music mentor) explain the importance of these qualities was even more of a motivation to go out of my comfort zone in order to get the best possible outcome.

How do you feel TICE has influenced your career choice?

TICE helped me realise that working in the creative industry was no longer an impossible dream and in fact, something that I could thrive in. Moreover, the Silver Stage (2011-2012) involved a tour around Newcastle University and the facilities/opportunities they offer in the Music department. Around the time of deciding what to do after Sixth Form, I immediately remembered what Newcastle University offers. Now I am fortunate enough to say that I will be studying there in September.

Your school is one of a few in your region to enable young people to access the TICE experience, how has their decision to work with TICE supported your career decisions?

I have a lot to thank to Burnside Business and Enterprise College for allowing me to take this opportunity. Many schools, including this one, aim to encourage students to figure out a career path – I would probably be doing something completely different or even something I didn’t particularly enjoy if Burnside didn’t encourage me to take part in this programme and the creative arts in general.

Did TICE open up other opportunities for you after completing the programme? i.e Work experience, more contacts, working with other students who took part, mentioning it in interviews etc

After finishing TICE, I had an interview for a part time job (first job interview I have ever had, to be specific) at a supermarket. I mentioned TICE regularly in my interview which I feel had a lot to do with getting the job offer soon after. In my last year at Sixth Form I was given the opportunity to do work experience at TICE and become a ‘Young Evaluator’ which involved research in to past students. Now I am officially a member of TICE staff, working part-time as an Intern and assisting Jenny. I couldn’t be more grateful to work for TICE and I can only hope that my involvement in the programme develops.

What piece of advice would you give to a student who may be considering taking part in TICE?

To those who are considering to participate, I can’t stress enough how it important it is to do it if you are seriously wishing to be involved in the creative industry. You will get professional outlooks on your chosen strand, a huge growth in contacts and life-changing opportunities which will only help you to achieve more. TICE is one of a kind and only with this programme, you can truly be educated in the best way possible. To summarise, realism, professionalism and motivation is what TICE gives to young students.