Oliver Martin, BA New Media student (now Digital Media)

Oliver Martin

What made you want to study a degree in digital media?

I found my passion for design and media when I attended college to study Interactive Media. Since then, I focused on continuing my studies in the media industry by applying for a BA in New Media (now BA Digital Media). After attending a couple of open days at Leeds University, I knew this was the university for me. In terms of the course, the diversity of modules involved was a big attraction due to the fact that I would learn a wide range of new skills. Knowing that I also had the opportunity to do a placement year or a year abroad swayed my interest as well.

What makes you passionate about studying the media?

I believe media is huge part of today’s society and is something that we come across every day in our lives. I was intrigued to study further and get involved in some of the aspects that media has to offer. I would definitely say I am more aesthetically minded and thoroughly enjoy the design and creative aspects of the course, but I have also enjoyed the theoretical side of learning about topics I didn’t necessarily expect to come across.

What have you most enjoyed about your course?

I have nothing but good things to say about the course. It offers a wide range of modules and there is always constant support when needed. I have really enjoyed using new and industry standard software as this is beneficial to know when applying for jobs in the media sector. I looked forward to starting my final year and applying the skills that I learnt during placement. The networking opportunities have also been excellent with guest lectures and networking fairs. I am very fortunate to be in a School that has access to top quality facilities that are very useful and in some situations imperative to achieve work of a high standard. 

What activities have you taken part in outside your course?

There are so many societies that are open to anyone and everyone. During my first year, I took interest in the Communication Society (CommSoc) by joining their football team. We trained and played a league game on a weekly basis. I got to meet a whole new group of people who I still even keep in contact now. I would definitely recommend making full use of societies to fulfil your university experience. 

What advice would you give to future students?

It's a fantastic course and there is no doubt you will learn a lot and meet loads of new people with similar interests to you. You will cover both practical and theoretical work but this only adds to variety of skills that you will learn and develop over the course. I would 100% recommend this course if you want to broaden your knowledge on a range of topics instead of focusing on just one.

Why did you decide to do a placement?

When I first applied for the course, I was aware that this included a placement year or a year abroad. Both sounded very attractive but I opted for the placement year as this would give me the opportunity to put what I have learnt into practice and also develop on my skills. I also thought it was key to get my ‘foot in the door’ within the industry that I strived to work in after university.

How has your placement helped you in your career?

My placement as a Creative Developer was with an eLearning company called Dynamic Business Service. I will re-join Dynamic on a full-time basis once I've graduated. It is a fantastic company and there is always a new challenge every day.
A regular day in the office can change from day-to-day which is one of the aspects I really enjoy about working there. You could be designing, developing, on a film shoot, at a client meeting; there are so many different opportunities.
I have learnt so much whilst being at Dynamic. It is very interesting to see how a product goes through all the different stages to when it finally gets handed over to the client. I have also learnt a lot of technical skills from people who have been in the industry for years who have passed on their experience.

I think my placement has helped me to understand how a company works as a whole and what level of skill and ability is needed to be successful in this field. I have learnt a lot by being hands-on every day and also being around people who have a lot more experience and are willing to help you develop your skills.

I would definitely recommend a placement to other students. It gives you the opportunity to put your skills into practice but also learn a lot more. It also gives you the chance to network and meet a lot of new people connected to your field of topic. What I learnt during my placement allowed me to treat my projects as if I was delivering a product for a client.