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History student's 'amazing' experience shooting TV advert in India

Jetting out to India to star in De Montfort University Leicester (DMU)’s TV advert was too good an opportunity to miss for one student, who delayed starting his graduate job for the shoot.

History graduate Tom Kimsey secured himself a job on a Ladbrokes training scheme, but he chose to postpone his start date to travel to India and shoot the new commercial.

Tom said: “I thought it was awesome, but because I was starting a new job, I wasn’t sure I’d be available for the dates. Then they said they actually wanted me to go to India.

“I couldn’t really turn down that opportunity! I rang up work and delayed my start date and all of a sudden I was off to India.”

Tom travelled out to Ahmedabad as part of a #DMUglobal opportunity and he got to see some of the positive work that DMU Square Mile India is doing in the local community.

The project supports 120 children at an ashram through a charitable sponsorship scheme to pay for books, healthcare and equipment for the youngsters, who come from some of the poorest families in the area.

The advert filming took place in Ahmedabad, where DMU Square Mile India is based, and Tom visited nearby slums as well as a community centre and the Gandhi ashram.

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The opportunity also made Tom aware of the scale of poverty in some areas of India.

“Going in to the slum was something I’ve never done before; it was a very different experience, very eye-opening,” he said. “The poverty over there – it was like nothing I’d ever seen before.

“The university is linked with an ashram, so we spent a lot of time there, working with the kids, having fun, playing football, dancing around.

“We saw some of the great work that some of the projects out there are doing; working with women who have come out of abusive relationships, seeing how they’re making money and getting work. We did a lot in terms of seeing the good things that are going on out there.”

The scenes in the advert represent DMU’s position as a global university, as well as showcasing the university’s commitment to the public good, and Tom felt that the shoot in India reflected DMU ‘in a great way’.

India-stills

He said: “It shows the whole experience. It just shows the transition of stepping out and doing something different, then also getting the rewards of taking a risk.”

Describing his experience of the advert shoot as ‘amazing’, Tom added: “I know I’ve got family and friends who are very keen to see it so it will be exciting to know what it’s going to look like.

“Working with Max and the team was great fun and they were really welcoming, really friendly, and made me as comfortable as possible.”

DMU Square Mile India is a series of projects sharing the skills of students and staff to make a positive change for thousands of people, adding an overseas dimension to the university’s Square Mile project, and involving DMU’s international experience programme #DMUglobal.

The programme helps to support Indian communities and gives students the chance to gain valuable global experience while helping to make a real difference to the lives of some of the poorest and most vulnerable families in the region of Gujarat.

DMU is a truly global university and was ranked in top 3% of 18,000 world universities in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-16, and top 1.4% of 18,000 global universities for its international impact.

The children in the advert are from the ashram that DMU supports with the skills of students and academic staff. Our students have helped to provide the children with an education, created anti-microbial cushions for the children to sleep on and will help to provide healthcare support as part of the ongoing work with the ashram.

Posted on: Monday 05 September 2016

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