Combining two distinct passions into one career has become a reality for Dan Wildman, thanks to four years at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).
Not satisfied with a Media Production BSc (Hons) alone, Dan went on to study Computing MSc, graduating with a Distinction last month.
“They’re two subjects I was really interested in before university,” said the 24-year-old from Birmingham.
“I was always considered ‘good at computers’ and taught myself to code when I was about 13. I’ve played the piano since I was four, guitar since I was 12 and taught myself to play the drums, so fell into sound production for school shows.”
Following four years at DMU, Dan now works full-time as a web developer at Birmingham-based brand and digital design agency Sixth Story, building websites from scratch and maintaining existing ones.
He said: “After my undergraduate degree I was in a pretty good position in terms of my media skills and experience, but not where I wanted to be with computing.
“My end goal was always to combine the two in a career and my postgraduate degree helped with that. My job pairs the design and visual side of media production with the software development side of computing.”
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As well as the experience he gained during his two degrees, Dan values the industry skills he picked up as a member of Demon Media, DMU’s multiple award-winning student media group.
“Before I went to university, someone told me to prioritise joining a society and I took that advice to heart. I threw myself head first into Demon Media and feel really proud to have played a part in its success,” he said.
Dan’s Demon Media highlights include co-ordinating a 21-hour live television broadcast to raise money for charity and visiting the NBC studios in New York.
Through DMU’s internship scheme Frontrunners, Dan was also paid to build a new website for Demon Media, giving him the real-life experience and professionalism needed to kick-start his career after graduating.
When DMU hosted the Student Radio Association’s (SRA) annual conference in 2017, Dan made an impression as Demon Media’s head of events and has been volunteering with the SRA ever since.
Acting as its events executive in his spare time, he has co-ordinated and directed the last two SRA awards ceremonies.
He said: “Demon Media teaches you from the ground up how to organise your time and manage people. Learning invaluable skills like those and all the other extras are what make it such a brilliant experience.
“Also, there’s little difference between what DMU’s Media Production offers and what you do in industry. I remember walking into the TV and radio studios for the first time and being blown away and the scheduling software used by Demon FM is the same as many stations use in industry.
“For me, DMU gave me the freedom to choose what I wanted to do and the support I needed to do it. I miss it a lot.”
Posted on Friday 1st March 2019