Creativity Works Trainee Joanna on the programme that made her dreams a reality

Posted 5 October 2017

Joanna Falconer joined Media Trust's Creativity Works Multimedia Genius training programme in April 2017. The twelve-week programme, run in partnership with Mayors Fund for London and the Berkeley Foundation, offers free media and employment skills training and mentoring to young people in London, who are not currently in employment, education or training. Joanna shares her journey through the programme. 

I will try and put this into words but the gratitude is from my heart. So as I write it’s my heart that truly wants to say, Thank you. 

Thank you Media Trust, Mayor’s Fund for London, Berkeley Foundation and Harry my mentor from Channel 4.

My life before Media Trust was bleak and to be honest that is an understatement.

My life before Media Trust was bleak and to be honest that is an understatement. If you asked anyone that knew me, before I joined the Creativity Works programme they would have said of me: ‘She has so much potential, she’s young, why was she depressed?’ A depression that turned into a physical illness that resulted in me spending a significant period of time going in and out of hospital.

Trying to carve out a career in PR and marketing

After years of working behind a till in retail, I tried everything to move into the PR and marketing department within the company. Failing to get anywhere, I started to contemplate whether my decision of not going to university was the right one. But faced with fees that had just gone up from £3,000 to £9,000 a year, it wasn’t a realistic option.

Although I loved, working with people face-to-face it was not what I wanted. I ended up leaving my job in a worse position than when I started. But the one thing that remained constant was my passion to work in marketing and PR.

I knew I wanted to carve out my own career and work on my own projects.

When I discovered Media Trust’s Creativity Works programme, it was a gift. The gift was something I felt when I went to my first masterclass in Photography. It was the gift of hope. I now had hope, as I had skills. I felt like I had a good chance in life and nothing was going to get in my way.

I felt like I had a good chance in life and nothing was going to get in my way.

Finding a love of photography

Joanna with DSLR camera

I asked my cousin to borrow her DSLR camera (as she rarely used it). I had learnt the basics of how to get a great shot not by myself in books but by a noted photographer within the media industry, Richard Pascoe.

Training from Nat and Will from Media Trust taught me how to vlog. From Jasmine Dotiwala, I learnt to say yes to every opportunity, and I still keep Naomi Sesay’s wonderful words from her public speaking masterclass, in my mind to get over my fears.

With this, I decided to make my first video for Media Trust’s Vlogstar challenge about Food waste in London. With my new found skills I interviewed the team at the Felix Project.

 

 

Suddenly I was going to press launches, dinners, film screenings and events.

My chance

I felt more confident than ever, I started to talk about my passions for media to the team and spoke about my new blog I was launching for London Food Month. It just so happened that the chairman of Evening Standard was in the room that day. As I was leaving he approached me and asked: “You’re training in Media at Media Trust?”

“Yes” I replied.

“Do you do photography?”

“Yes.”

“Do you do videography?”

“Yes” with a level of excitement beginning to rise.

“Would you like to come and do some press work for me?”

“Yes!”

With four yes’ I was now on my way! Catapulted suddenly I was going to press launches, dinners, film screenings and events. All while still using my cousin’s DSLR camera to take pictures that have now been used in the media.

Massimo Bottura and Felix Project Team

The photograph I took of three-star Michelin star restauranteur and chef Massimo Bottura with The Felix Project at the Evening Standard’s London Food Month.

Reaching out for support

Being at Media Trust didn’t just help me professionally. I faced adversities at home, that were enough for me to throw in the towel and quit. But thanks to the kind-hearted individuals at Media Trust I was able to reach out to them. In turn their advice and guidance helped to take my pain away.

Thank you, Jasmine and thank you, Frances.

Channel 4 mentor

Media Trust connected me with my mentor, Harry. He helped me to stay focused. We shared a love of film and writing and he encouraged me to develop my own projects. I revisited my love of acting (I’m a former student of Italia Conti and National Youth Theatre | Playing Up) when I got to take part in Zones, a film made by Creativity Works trainees. A fantastic example of creative minds being together.

When the masterclasses ended, it was time to get myself out there. This is where the CV and cover letter workshops became useful. I was able to apply for jobs I found on LinkedIn and when I applied for a creative internship I was able to practice my interviewing skills with Reshma from Media Trust.

My dreams are now my reality made possible by Media Trust, Mayors Fund for London, Berkley Foundation and Harry my mentor from Channel 4. 



Achieving my goal

I am now a creative intern at Academy Class. Every day I am learning and working on the very thing I set my intention on, PR and marketing.

By the end of my internship, I will have a working knowledge of the tech and media industries. I will also be certified by Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Premiere Pro. My manager at Academy Class values me for the skills I have gained through my training and has given me additional training. I now have certificates in Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing and Google Analytics.

Joanna at creativity works graduation speaking into microphone

At the Creativity Works Graduation ceremony at City Hall

Radiant Soul Food, my conscious food and lifestyle blog which was born out of joining the Creativity Works Multimedia genius training. This is my own project I now work on. I feel if I continue to gain and apply the skills that I love, I will grow. My blog is and will continue to act as evidence of my skills in social media, interviewing, press work, photography, marketing, graphic design, journalism and much more.

My dreams are now my reality made possible by Media Trust, Mayors Fund for London, Berkley Foundation and Harry my mentor from Channel 4.

Thank you

As you have read my words of gratitude, know it’s my heart that wants to say, thank you.

My name is Joanna Falconer and I am thankful to have completed Creativity Works Multimedia Genius training.

Victory is within my reach!

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