I am just starting my second year of Theatre and Performance at Leeds, so my time so far has been quite short.. One of the things that I’ve loved the most about being in Leeds is that you can pack in about 2/3 years’ worth of “stuff” into one. Three years at university is a short time in the long run, but luckily the sheer volume of activities you can do alongside your degree at Leeds makes it easy to cram it in! As an arts student, the amount of cultural activity going on in Leeds is a gold mine for anyone looking for extra things to fit in whilst (or instead of) studying.
Last year I took on two Student Ambassador roles at The Royal Opera House and Opera North which taught me a lot about the relationship between my degree and the “real world”. Plus, I got to see a tonne of ballet and opera which I LOVE so it made me a very happy bunny. Continuing on from these, I also managed to secure an internship at Opera North (organised through the Careers Centre – who were super helpful) which was amazing! Again, leading on from there.. I received an email to my university account about an internship with Phoenix Dance Theatre, which are a dance company I’ve admired for a long time before moving to Leeds. I managed to get the job and got to work on the Ghost Peloton event, which celebrated the Grand Départ of the Tour de France. Before I came here, I had no idea just how many opportunities would get emailed to us every week/day! I’ve recently become an Undergraduate Research and Leadership scholar, which means even more busy (but fun) time this academic year.
However, last year wasn’t all work experience-y CV-filler stuff. I worked as an arts volunteers at Beacons Festival (9/10: would recommend) which meant I got to see Paul Woolford, Erol Alkan, Action Bronson and Daniel Avery (and more people) for free.. and headed to Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party, Bestival and Field Day. I tried to keep my ballerina dream alive by joining the ballet and modern dance societies and enjoyed taking classes at the union. I sold tickets for an events company (which meant having to get a separate phone at one point), judged The Great Big Dance Off regional heats at Leeds Town Hall, and headed down to London to do a week of workshops with Punchdrunk theatre company (again, 9.999/10: would recommend).
There is literally too much to do in Leeds to NOT get involved with something. If anyone has any questions about art-y type engagement activities I would be happy to answer! And I’ve put some links below of some places that post cool stuff to do.
Volunteering Hub/Arts Employability twitter page/Careers Centre/Ideas Tap/Arts Council England – jobs/West Yorkshire Theatre Network//Faculty Of Arts twitter page/Festaff/Leeds University Union – Give It A Go.