Ash studied Media Production at LJMU as an international student. After graduating he set his sights on breaking into the world of video game production, driven by a passion for tech, gaming and gadgets.
We spoke to him about his learning journey at LJMU and how it feels to be exploring not just one, but two career paths of his dreams.
Did you always have a clear idea about what you wanted to pursue as a career?
“I was always fascinated by the premise of media production and I loved making animated films when I was a child. When I decided to study I knew it’d be something revolving around media. I definitely didn’t know from the offset exactly where I would end up. My initial thought was that I wanted to become a TV presenter – but due to my self-doubt (I didn’t think my accent would work very well on TV!) I then thought about working in media production instead.”
Tell us about your work for Tomb Raider and your day job at Salford University
“At the moment it feels as if I’m splitting my time between two careers, both of which I love. At Salford University it’s my responsibility to make sure that our students are aware of all opportunities, events and announcements that may be relevant to them. I control all digital aspects of messaging to our students including intranet development, media production, social media and newsletters. I enjoy helping students to reach their potential by making them aware of all the opportunities they could pursue whilst at university. I hope to become a lecturer one day so this has been a great experience for me.
“My real passion project has been my work for Sony on Tomb Raider: The Dark Angel Symphony. For this, I am a jack of all trades. I manage all communications and marketing aspects of the project, as well as overseeing the brand and ensuring that our designers produce content that follows within our brand guidelines. I also manage our website, as well as all customer and press enquiries. Social media, Kickstarter updates and announcements are down to me too. And because I like being involved in everything, I create animated trailers for the game as well."
What does a typical working day look like for you?
“For my role at Salford University I start at 8:30 am. The first thing I do is check what’s in the press and if there’s anything that our students need to be aware of. I then check if there are any new requests for promotions from our departments before checking our campaign plans – be it scheduling a social media post or working on a video. I also work in our MediaCityUK campus once a week where I liaise with our events team to ensure both of our campuses are connected.
“My work on Tomb Raider starts as soon as I finish my working day at Salford. Since we’ve now published the soundtrack album on all streaming platforms, it feels as if the hard work is pretty much done. Now it’s a case of me checking all of our social media and emails to see if there are any questions or press enquiries. I’ll then schedule a few posts to keep people up to date or to promote our album sales.
“Currently, most of my time here is occupied with logistics as we’re in the final stages of shipping all the album orders to our backers on Kickstarter. It’s exciting times and crazy to hold a physical copy of the album that I’ve helped to create.”
Did you take part in any work experience or placements that you feel have helped you get to where you are now?
“By the summer of my final year, I realised I’d have to get some ‘nonconventional’ work experience whilst studying in the UK, as I couldn’t commit to a Monday to Friday placement at the time. That’s when I started blogging about video games, digital media and gadgets. My blog was soon picked up by Microsoft and I was invited to work in Community Relations with them in Los Angeles, which was amazing.”
How did LJMU prepare you when it came to landing your dream job?
“I was able to involve myself in a lot of exciting projects over the course of my LJMU studies that set me up for the challenges I face in my job role today. The learning you amass over your time at university really is so valuable when it comes to the working world – I wouldn’t be where I am without those learning experiences.”
Where do you hope your career path will take you in the future?
“I’m not too sure. I might be a lecturer in Media and Mass Communications or perhaps working as a community manager for a videogames company. Either of those would be great for me.”
Finally, what advice would you give to any student about to graduate who’s concerned about entering the working world?
“Check out what the university has to offer and take advantage of work experience and intern opportunities. Search for jobs and invest time in your CV and cover letter. Consider what you do outside of university too, and see how you can use this to your advantage. Lastly remember, you’re not alone. Most students feel nervous about the future!”
If Ash has inspired you with his study and career journey, then take a look at our journalism, media and film courses or at our postgraduate study options.
As a student at LJMU, we offer extensive career support to prepare you for life after university. Check out our online guides and resources or book an appointment with a dedicated member of our Careers Team for some extra guidance.