Interview with Annie Robertson, Creative Engagement Trainee at MIF

"It makes me prove to myself that I can do all the things asked of me and more"

Interview with Annie Robertson, Creative Engagement Trainee at MIF

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

Hi I’m Annie. I’m a single mum and I didn’t do very well in school but I have high hopes for my future to support my daughter. Since school I have been raising my daughter and trying out self-employment but now I am embarking on a new path.

And what is your role within the Creative Traineeship Programme?

I am the Social Value Administration Skills and Training trainee. I have been working on helping to plan and create more opportunities to diversify the workforce. I collate and report on the Social Value aims, objectives and targets for the development of The Factory, including things such as work experience, community engagement projects and how we have engaged with priority wards of Manchester.

What does a typical day look like for you?

When I come into the office I sit down and unpack at my desk and say hello to everyone. Once I have got myself settled I start checking my emails and organise my tasks for the day. Throughout the day I check my progress and make sure I’m checking in with myself regularly. Then I have some lunch and tick off my to do list. On some days I go down to The Factory site to speak to the construction company who are building The Factory about social value, and check on the work experience programme.

What’s great about your job?

It pushes me out of my comfort zone every single day with things I never thought I would be able to do. It makes me prove to myself that I can do all the things asked of me and more. I never thought I could be in a position like this with the chance to gain such great experience for my future goals.

And what is something you find difficult or challenging?

I find it difficult to overcome social anxiety when coming into the city centre and walking into the office every morning full of people. Fortunately, I couldn’t be in better hands with such a supportive and comforting team of people. The organisation is a flagship for the right way to look after your employees’ wellbeing.

How did you first get onto the programme?

I first got onto the programme through picking up a leaflet whilst applying for jobs. I rang up, got onto the open day which I really enjoyed and got the email to say I was accepted onto The Creative Training Academy

Why did you apply for the Creative Training Academy?

I applied because as soon as I read the leaflet I was immediately inspired and felt like it was perfect for me. I felt like this could be the opportunity I was looking for at the right time of my life.

What has been a highlight of your experience?

The highlight of my experience so far was probably when we went to Cardiff for the CC Skills Creative and Cultural Awards. We were nominated for employer of the year from aiming to diversify the workforce of the creative sector. The awards ceremony and the trips was an amazing experience.

How have these opportunities helped you develop?

They have helped me develop by gaining skills in areas like Project management, IT, organisation, admin and networking.

Do you now feel more confident in pursuing a career in your chosen field?

Yes, absolutely. I feel more confident than ever and truly believe in myself now.

Do you believe that opportunities like this are helpful for young people looking to get into a creative career or organisation?

I believe that opportunities like this are imperative for young people, and that without these opportunities there would be a massive lack of amazing motivated young people able to reach their potential and believe in themselves.

Was a creative career something you had considered before taking part in the Creative Training Academy?

I hadn’t considered moving into the creative sector, or even considered seeing what opportunities there may be for me here.

You’ve been granted the ability to send a message to 16-year-old you. What do you say?

I would say, don’t listen or care about what other people think. Never stop dreaming, being ambitious and try not to worry when things don’t go right the first time. They will always work out in the end.

Do you have any advice for young people interested in doing your kind of job?

I think the best advice I have is just go for it, don’t be scared of failure. Sell yourself the best way you can with lots of passion and self-belief, this is the most valuable tool you have.

What is unmissable about MIF19?

I think that Skepta’s DYSTOPIA987 will be an unmissable experience. I am really looking forward to seeing how the events’ twists and turns unfold.

We are releasing interviews from all seven MIF Creative Trainees throughout May. To read the others, click here.

Header Image Credit: Chris Foster


Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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