Interview with Heidi Taylor-Wood, Digital Trainee at MIF

Find out what you don’t like and never be embarrassed of what you do.

Interview with Heidi Taylor-Wood, Digital Trainee at MIF

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

Hey! I’m Heidi and I’ve got an arts background.

And what is your role within the Creative Traineeship Programme?

I’m on the digital team so I assist on projects that have a digital element to them.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Get in, finish listening to motivational morning music (usually 80s), eat, check emails, highlight tasks, do some tasks, cuppa, meeting, maybe two meetings, eat, fresh air, catch up with people on art stuff, do more tasks, technical difficulty - go see Matt, return to task, ANOTHER technical difficulty - back to Matt, check emails again, eat some more, finish a task, tie up loose ends, plan what I want to get done tomorrow, go home.  

What’s great about your job?

I’m surrounded by people that are absolute experts in their fields of work. Not only is this handy when I need advice on something, but it’s really interesting talking to everyone in the office because everyone has such a range of interests.

And what is something you find difficult or challenging?

Sometimes I struggle knowing exactly what questions to ask to get the information I need to be able to move on with a task, but that all comes with experience of learning about processes.

How did you first get onto the programme?

I genuinely don’t remember applying for the programme haha, I think I may have seen an advert on Instagram for it though and applied from there.

Why did you apply for the Creative Training Academy?

I saw an opportunity to be a part of shaping what the workforce of the future will look like in the arts. That’s huge for me because I feel that art can be so powerful and emotive; it makes us stop and consider our actions. A more diverse workforce will mean more diverse issues are being raised and as a result more people will feel represented.

What has been a highlight of your experience?

Definitely the relationship the other trainees and myself have formed as a cohort. We’re like a family. We all care so much about each other and just want to help each other grow, personally and professionally.

How have these opportunities helped you develop?

I’m learning so so much about how large organisations work and the essential things that need to be considered when running a festival like MIF.

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

Honestly I’m still not sure what my chosen field is yet but the traineeship gives us the flexibility to explore so many other departments/ fields of interest than just where we’re all placed.

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

Critically. Volunteering is competitive, and not everyone is able to do this financially.

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

I knew I wanted to be working in the arts prior to this, and I’d set myself the goal of working for MIF in 2019 anyway. The Creative Training Academy has given me the opportunity to live my dream job at the same time as allowing me to develop and explore where I want to go in the future. It’s perfect.

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

Haha, wow. Okay, stop and breathe. Listen to yourself and follow your dream, not your school’s idea of what’s expected of you. If your brain isn’t telling you what your dream is, that’s so fine! Explore and experience AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. Go to everything. Find your people. Find out what you don’t like and never be embarrassed of what you do. More people support you than you think. I support you.

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

Speak to everyone. Speak to me! Actively listen (to everyone, not just me lol.) Know who your idols are and what inspires you about them. Speak to them. Remember that everyone is just a person, no matter what their level! Ask questions, question everything. Question yourself.

In your opinion, what is ‘unmissable’ about MIF19?

BELLS FOR PEACE and Festival Square. Yoko Ono is such an inspiration to me; her message of peace is so important and I feel her fame legitimises and gives a platform to this often disregarded utopian ideal. Festival Square is incredibly exciting because I know I’ll experience and discover so many new musicians and other people using other mediums of art… all for free!

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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