Megan: My experience of being a Kickstarter

Megan tells us about her experience as a Kickstarter on the DWP’s Kickstart Scheme, in her role at TMC helping to bring the charity’s brand to life…


What was your experience of work after leaving education?

I finished college in early 2019, as I finished my courses. During my final year I had a lot to think about: what did I want to do? Where did I want to be? All the questions that you would usually ask yourself. I knew that I didn’t want to move on to university, as I want to gain experience in the world of work, and I did debate backwards and forwards over the time at college if I wanted to go to university.

I spent 3 years at college. In my first year, I took the step back to redo my English and pick up GCSE Art and GSCE Graphic Communication alongside doing my BTEC level 2 in Business Studies, as I had only achieved level 1 in secondary school. During my first year, I found out that I liked and enjoyed doing graphic design, so it was an easy choice for me to decide to continue with this subject for my second and third year of college, by continuing with the A-Level alongside keeping with the Business Studies BTEC level 3. In my final year, I made the decision not to go to university as personally I didn’t think it was right for me, so I looked into apprenticeships.

From my experience of looking at apprenticeships in the graphic design, arts, and creative fields was hard. I always seemed to hit walls, as some places wanted the experience that I didn’t have. I even moved on to job searching, which was hard due to not having the qualifications required (most of the jobs required some form of degree). I did apply for multiple jobs and apprenticeships but didn’t always hear back from them. So, I had to take a step back completely and rethink. I even looked back at my skills, and what I  enjoyed doing, like organising, which led me down a route that I’d never thought of: events! I don’t remember exactly who told me about a job at The National Space Centre. I wasn’t quite sure at first about it, but I took the chance and applied for it. To cut a long story short, I was successful with getting the role of Events Assistant on a 6-month contract. I started in September 2019 and finished at the end of February, right before the pandemic hit. Honestly, it was a great experience as I got to work on different types of events, everything from private hire to weddings, to corporate events and meetings. It drew another interest for another route I could go down possibly.

How did you ended up applying for Kickstart jobs and what was your experience of interviewing for the TMC Kickstart job?

After I finished there, before we all got hit with pandemic, I was back at the job search again. I applied for multiple jobs, and I was successful in getting an interview and a trial shift in one but because of the pandemic, I don’t really know what happened, so I had to go back to the drawing board again. My parents told me about applying for Universal Credit and to see what they could do to help. I applied, which led my work coach to tell me about the Kickstart Scheme for young people. I was interested but also worried that I wouldn’t find anything.  – I felt I’d dug myself into a hole, because I was looking for creative roles, events and even a few in home design. I applied for so many different jobs but never seemed to hear back. I was successful with one application to do with kitchen and bathroom design. I got through the whole process with the informal chat over Zoom, an interview and tour of the place, as well as the trial half day shift to see what it was like. At the end of it, it was a difficult decision for the company as it was a choice between me and another person.  They choose the other person over me since they had more experience in the role, but the company did give me some positive feedback and wished me well.

I started applying for jobs through the  Kickstart Scheme with my work coach, until the role at The Mighty Creatives came up, which piqued my interest. I applied, filled in the application form, and heard back. I was invited to do an interview, which  was initially a meeting about my experience and my interest in the role. About a week later, it was on to the next stage of the process, which was a design task to create a promotional social media image about one of their campaigns, in line with their brand guidelines.

Can you describe your experience of the induction process?

If I had any questions, The Mighty Creatives’ team was willing and kind enough to answer them. The whole process was quite simple, and the communication was amazing, and I quickly found out I had been successful in my application for the role of Creative Content Administrator!. A couple of weeks later I had my induction with the other starter. That was overwhelming, but it was expected as with any new job. I had to say that it was a ton of information to digest but the person who did the induction was always there if we had any questions.

What have you done in the role and what have you learnt?

So far in my role, I have done multiple things from designing new ‘doodles’ (The Mighty Creatives’ brand style) and putting copy into designed case study templates, designing social media posts, and even working on my own project. I had an idea to encourage staff to share fun facts or share out little activities, that they could do for fun to share knowledge.. So far, this project has gone down a treat, as it’s about learning something new – I have even managed to get conversions going about the smallest things. The feedback has been great to hear and the staff enjoy seeing this every month.

One skill I have learnt is using Abode InDesign. I didn’t have much experience in the past, but I’m up for learning and experimenting with something new. One of the things that I feel that I have brought to TMC is another creative mind, as we all are creative in our own way!

What did you hope to achieve or have you achieved already from the role?

I think the biggest thing that I will take away from this role is the experience and the time spent at TMC. It’s honestly been great, as it has helped me to figure out if this is a role I would like to continue with in the future. This experience has also helped me to figure out if I could handle working in an office or remotely at a desk (due to the pandemic). Currently, I am still undecided about it. Another thing that I have gained from this experience is developing a new skill using the software Abode InDesign, as it was something that I hadn’t really used previously. So that was a fun experience of learning and experimenting! It’s also another software that I can add to my CV to show that I now have experience of using it, especially for design and layouts.

What are you next steps?

My honest answer is I currently don’t know. I still want to explore other roles and opportunities before eventually settling in something that I enjoy and will be able to grow and thrive in – but I am keeping my options open.