Wintec communications student Lauren Mann is the 2020 RAMP festival intern, we spoke to her to learn more about the opportunity, her background, studying at Wintec and this year’s digital RAMP connects format.
Festival Director Megan Lyon (Left) and Lauren Mann (Right)
Was there someone (or something) that inspired you to pick communications as a career path?
I’d spent years in the fashion and entertainment industry and had been continuously struck by the amount of uber-talented humans that felt they were being swallowed by the ever-evolving pace of self-marketing and social media etc. I already enjoyed writing, so I wanted to be the person who understood both worlds and could help them out.
How did your internship with Ramp come about?
Through the ‘Professional Practice’ paper at Wintec School of Media Arts, and a very kind tutor who recommended me to the Ramp Festival team.
Noting that you are midway through the opportunity… What are some of your most exciting or unexpected discoveries and experiences to come out of your Ramp Festival internship?
It has been a truly fulfilling experience to work with such inspiring and cool, creative women. They are supportive, encouraging and genuinely excited about the work that they do. It’s infectious, and they probably don’t even realise how much they’ve taught me simply in just conversation over coffee.
What did you love doing most?
Working. Being involved in a process and seeing it through from the ideas and the plan, to launching it into the world, and then watching where it goes and who engages with it. It’s also been cool connecting with creative people and seeing/hearing the different ways they approach their work. Plus, all the extras things they fill their life with as, like all creatives, they can’t possibly exist in one lane of creation. It’s fascinating.
What are the benefits to the RAMP festival being online and in podcast format this year?
Availability and accessibility. It places festival content right in the persons back pocket, to listen to at their leisure. A podcast has given Ramp the opportunity to organically expand its audience and to continue connecting with the wider creative community, which is one of the key intentions of the festival.
Why did you choose to study at Wintec over other schools?
After researching education providers thoroughly, Wintec had the most hands-on learning approach, which appealed to me over somewhere that just threw lectures at you. I wasn’t interested in learning about the skills, I wanted to actually learn the skills and put them into practice, alongside the theory.
What was your biggest challenge while studying and how did you overcome it?
Returning to study from the London workforce as a mature student, and having to assimilate back into a classroom and assessment setting, with generations that operated in an entirely different way. I hadn’t submitted an assignment since I was 17 and I had to quickly gear into academic mode. Listening to critics and learning from my classmates helped. And also, not being afraid to actually communicate, put my hand up, ask questions and double-check anything that would have ended up causing me anxiety in the long run.
How has your ability and confidence progressed since the beginning of your studies?
I’ve honestly surprised myself with just how well I’ve ended up doing. Though the imposter syndrome is still very real, I’m a lot better at shutting it down with more positive self-talk now that I have learnt the skills and (almost) have the qualification.
How do you see your work and practice developing, and what are your main aspirations?
I think my entire life has and will continue to be a state of constant development, learning and exploration, which excites me. All the work and learning so far has been varied but relative, and I’m ready to invest my energy and time into a role that will allow me to do fulfilling and creative work. I originally started communication to help creative people with their marketing, so I endeavour to do that, as well as continue to create and explore myself.
Which piece in your portfolio are you most proud of and why?
Being able to use my skills to help my mother with the rebrand, and creative marketing of her online business. It may not be the most groundbreaking work, but you can see how it makes her life a bit easier. That, so far, has been the most rewarding.