Budding freelancers inspired by alumni in new programme

Emma Britton sitting in her studio Image: Emma Britton, photography by Elly Lucas

Image: Emma Britton, photography by Elly Lucas

Alumni have recently supported a new freelancer programme designed to support Loughborough students who are interested in pursuing a freelancing career.

More than 20 students from School of Design and Creative Arts took part in bespoke online events in a pilot programme that launched in December 2020.

The programme included a range of learning techniques to excite our budding freelancers and help them to build sustainable foundations for their businesses. Through a weekly online course, they learned about initial steps to get started.

Alumna Emma Britton (Printed Textiles 2008), who set up her own business in 2010 with support from the Loughborough Enterprise Network, was the keynote speaker at the launch event.

Emma, Decorative Glass Designer, said:

“It was such a pleasure to share my experience of self-employment and help teach them to value their work and skillset. I have learned so much setting up and running my own business and it means so much to be able to share that with students on the freelancer programme and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurial talent.”

Following the launch event, experienced entrepreneurs supported the programme through mentoring, and panel events during January and February.

Panel discussions covered topics such as “knowing your worth”, “setting up and getting going” and “sales and finding new clients”.

Joining from Brazil was freelance translator Lais Cattassini Pinto (Digital Media and Society 2017) who talked about utilising language skills and freelancing in content creation. She took part in a session on “knowing your worth” alongside alumnus Ian Tricker (Fine Art 2013), a freelance sculptor and artist.

Alumna Tiffany Afflick (Sport and Exercise Science 2019) is a Sports Nutrition Advisor at The Cooking Yam, a business she founded during her studies at Loughborough. Having been through this business and freelancing journey recently, she shared insights into growing her business, and supporting herself financially alongside this work.

She was joined by Tony Elkington (Product Design and Technology 2017), Creative Director at Studio Elk, Anna Malaeva (Design Ergonomics 2018), a web designer and localisation specialist, and alumna Emma Hatton (English, Physical Education and Sports Science 2004), who is a self-employed singer, actress and presenter.

The panel discussed their personal journeys from Loughborough onwards, navigating their way to a freelance career, and shared honest tips and learnings with the students.

Three more alumni freelancers joined a panel open to all Loughborough students in March, as part of Employability Month. Jemma Robinson (BA Illustration 2005), Peter Knight (BA Information and Library Studies 2000), and Ioannis Pazaitis (MSc Engineering Design 2000) shared their freelance journeys at the Going Freelance event.

Thank you to everyone who shared their experiences. If you are interested in contributing to the programme next year, please get in touch.