"Thanks to Goldsmiths, the world is mine for the taking"
On leaving Goldsmiths our students have gone on to work for companies including Sony, Tate, Channel 4, Harper Collins, Unicef, Saatchi and Saatchi and Merrill Lynch.
Beyond traditional career paths, graduates have become entrepreneurs, launched their own companies, and often Goldsmiths graduates are freelancers at the forefront of their subject.
If you'd like to let us know what you've been doing since you left Goldsmiths and about your career, please complete our Graduate Profile Form.
"Thanks to Goldsmiths, the world is mine for the taking"
I came to study at Goldsmiths from my home country of Tanzania and it's been really easy to adapt. I've always felt welcome and supported, even when I moved courses between my first and second years (I was originally studying art but decided that design was a better fit for me) I've met some absolutely great people and the networking opportunities that the university has opened up have been fantastic.
I have no doubt that whatever happens in my future, it will come from the connections I've made here. Thanks to Goldsmiths, the world is mine for the taking.
If I had to describe my experience in one word it would be 'awesome' I know that's not very academic, but it's true. I'm going back to Tanzania for a while, but I hope to return to London to do an MA in the near future.
BA Fine Art, graduated 1969
Margaret Howell has worked across men’s and women’s fashion for the last 40 years and is famed for her classically British take on tailored shirts, duffle coats and lace up shoes. She was awarded a CBE for services to the fashion industry in 2007.
"I wasn’t especially aware of Goldsmiths before my interview” she explains “We only lived in Surrey, but London seemed quite far away and my parents hadn’t visited very often! I remember being very nervous taking my portfolio on the train, and the interview being terrifying. They said something like “you’re very nearly very good” and I came away thinking, “I probably haven’t got this.”
From that inauspicious start, Margaret started to make the most of her course and even won the first year prize, which was £26 “A lot of money in those days! I remember going to a bookshop on Charing Cross Road, and choosing these lovely books. One was to do with the old masters, one was the impressionists, and one was about the pioneers of modern design; I still have them all.”
Life drawing classes proved especially useful “They were tremendous training for understanding proportion. Because of it I can tell when something is half a millimetre off, which is extremely useful in what I do now!” However, it was the extra curricular activities that Goldsmiths offered which proved to be life changing. “The film club, which was put on one evening a week by the Students’ Union, was fantastic– it was great seeing all those early films by people like Fritz Lang and Kurosawa, and I was really inspired by icons like Katherine Hepburn and Louise Brooks – she was so beautiful I put a picture of her on my wall. In the evenings we also used to study subsidiary subjects including architecture. One of the lecturers had just been to Japan and he showed us beautiful slides of the temples. The emptiness and the minimal quality of those buildings really appealed to me.” More...
"Goldsmiths has allowed me a sense of social mobility and social inclusion that I did not feel before. Everything here is set up for students to succeed, however unconventional their background might be."
Studying a degree was never within my realm of possibilities. I had no formal education as a child, and neither had any of my family. The route my life has taken has been far from straight forward, and my past has made getting even the most humble of jobs very difficult.
However, I ended up doing a Basic English and Maths course in Brixton, aged 33. Through this I heard about a Goldsmiths Open Day. On approaching the front door and seeing all young and beautiful potential students, my gut reaction was that this place wasn’t for me. Luckily, I made it through the front door and met Joe Baden from the Open Book programme. He is the first person who ever suggested I could do a degree, and I believe that without him I wouldn’t be here today. I started a History foundation course, but within a month the course tutor could see it was too easy for me and she transferred me to the BA (Hons) course.
Here, tutors and Open Book have worked with me on an individual level. Their support and therein my experience has been tailored to suit me. It has been a personal struggle to make my past and my life as a student complicit. But it has not been a struggle for my fellow students, who have received me openly. As a part of Open Book I have now been invited to be part of an RSA Think Tank to suggest new ideas for educative institutions. It has been suggested I could go on to do an MA and maybe even a PhD.
Goldsmiths is a special place. It stands out from the other Universities. Goldsmiths has allowed me a sense of social mobility and social inclusion that I did not feel before. Everything here is set up for students to succeed, however unconventional their background might be.
"Tutors and coursemates always supported my career as a writer"
I continue to tell anybody and everybody just how good the MA is, and how useful it proved to be for me. Not because it greased my wheels into the publishing industry, but because the relationships I developed there, with fellow students and with tutors, have supported my career as a writer ever since. This has happened because of the atmosphere of the course, and its concentration on the craft of writing process and the importance of having the mindset, rather than the publishing competitiveness of some courses.
I began my first novel at Goldsmiths, and am now starting my third. Things have gone very well for me so far, I suppose, career-wise, but it is testament to how and why I began writing, on the course, that the work itself is always more important to me than that work's place in the book world."
Ross was one of two MA Creative & Life Writing graduates recognised in Granta's 2013 Best of Young British Novelists list.
"I learnt something every day, and the people in my life say they have never seen me happier or more in touch with my goals and dreams."
Studying the Applied Theatre course at Goldsmiths was one of the greatest personal and professional experiences of my life. I come from a background in Playwriting and Human Rights and still feel so lucky that this programme exists. It has validated my passions and inspired me to dream big in the future.
I learnt something every day, and the people in my life say they have never seen me happier or more in touch with my goals and dreams. I also made a great local and international network of friends and colleagues of amazing people passionate about the power theatre can have on people's lives.
I plan to go on for my PhD and one day start my own company. I cannot stress enough how much London, Goldsmiths, my coursemates, my hall mates and the world of Applied Theatre have changed my life for the better.
Content last modified: 11 Nov 2013
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