Lakeside Arts
Part of University of Nottingham
Lakeside Arts

Creative Pathways interns at Creative Academy event

University of Nottingham Creative Pathways 

The programme has two strands of delivery – Internships open to Graduates of the University of Nottingham, and the Academy events open to any student at the University.


Hear from and meet inspirational individuals, learn about and build links with cultural organisations, and gain insight into a vast range of careers available in the creative industries sector.

Creative Academy events are open to all University of Nottingham students, especially those who have come through a widening participation route to University. Presentations from previous events including Christian Hewgill, BBC Newsbeat Broadcaster and Podcaster; Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, CEO at UK MUSIC; and Chrystal Genesis (STANCE podcast), David Osei (Marketing Executive) and Cynthia Okoye (Curtis Brown) and are available below.


Tuesday 26 October, 5.30pm

Creative technologies are here to stay and jobs blending the arts and technology are in high demand across a variety of industries. The first Creative Academy of the new academic focused on individuals who have made hugely successful careers in film, virtual and mixed reality. Catherine Allen, Founder and CEO of Limina Immersive, and Alex Ruhl, Founder of the immersive storytelling studio Cats Are Not Peas gave an overview of their respective career paths and insight into the range of opportunities that exist in this sector.

Part of Facets 2021
Supported by the Office for Students, Lakeside Arts and delivered in collaboration with the Department of Cultural, Media, and Visual Studies. With thanks to our partners Broadway and Near Now; and colleagues in the Institute for Screen Industries Research, University of Nottingham.

About the Speakers (click to expand)

Keynote Speaker:
Catherine Allen, Founder and CEO of Limina Immersive

Catherine Allen is a UK leading expert in creative immersive technology, expanding the audience and creator base of the medium. Her approach is playful yet heavily audience-centric and grounded in data. After working on the BAFTA-winning iPad app Disney Animated, Catherine led the creation of two of the BBC's first virtual reality experiences in 2015 - 2016. Finding VR an incredible artistic medium, but with a frustratingly narrow audience, she founded Limina Immersive in late 2016; a VR events and research company dedicated to bringing immersive tech to broader audiences. Limina ran cultural VR events across the world to a total of over 15,000 audience members. Catherine has continuously shared findings about audience needs back with universities and the sector in the form of reports, consultancy, seminars and workshops. She has authored several public reports that have influenced policy, for instance the Immersive Content Formats for Future Audiences report, for Innovate UK and Digital Catapult. Her written work includes expert op-eds, comment and analysis on immersive tech to outlets including Wired magazine, Radio 4's Today programme, The Sunday Times and The Guardian. She received an honorary doctorate in 2021 from the University of Warwick for her work in widening the appeal of immersive tech.

Panel Presenter:
Alex Rühl, Founder of Cats are not Peas

Award-winning VR creator, inspirational TEDx Speaker and Podcast host with Alex makes VR available every Monday, Alex is the first VR creator to be funded by the BFI Network to bring her latest virtual reality drama 'Bad News' into existence. Currently in creation Alex looks forward to building a VR experience that appeals to a broader cinema audience in the future.



Guest Speakers: Chrystal Genesis, award-winning podcaster and broadcaster; David Osei, Head of Marketing and Communications at Creative Access; Cynthia Okoye, film, television, and publishing agent at Curtis Brown, London

About the Speakers (click to expand)

Photos of speakers

Chrystal Genesis runs Stance which is an award-winning arts, culture and current affairs podcast formed in 2017. Chrystal is a presenter, senior producer and arts & culture consultant from London now living in New York City. She runs and hosts Stance and has presented on BBC Podcast Radio Hour & BBC Front Row. She works as a Producer for Neon Hum Media. She produced the launch of HuffPost's weekly women's health podcast Am I Making You Uncomfortable?, and worked as the lead programmer creating courses, workshops and performance programmes for young people aged 15-30 at Southbank Centre and executive produced Southbank Centre’s youth podcast Violet Nights.

Cynthia Okoye joined Curtis Brown (whose roster ranges from novelists such as Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale) and the estate of Ian Fleming (James Bond) to screenwriters & directors like Mickey Down (HBO’s Industry), Shola Amoo (The Last Tree), Hossein Amini (Drive, Gangs Of New York, Star Wars) to actors including BAFTA nominee Paapa Essiedu (I May Destroy You, Gangs Of London), Stanley Tucci and Robert Pattinson). Having graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2008 with a degree in Law (LLB), Cynthia worked with agent Amanda Davis across her list of writers and directors in the theatre, film and television department before setting up her own. Cynthia’s mission is to find and represent unique filmmaking talent and enable them to build careers in the UK film and television industry, and beyond.

David Osei is Head of Marketing and Communications at Creative Access. He has experience of promoting educational, training, and employment opportunities to young people around the world for the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the UK Foreign Office, and most recently for the Mayor of London. Outside of work, he is an avid theatre-goer, loves travelling to learn about different cultures, and (sometimes) enjoys the rollercoaster that is supporting Spurs. 

Image from left to right: Chrystal Genesis; Cynthia Okoye, David Osei



Guest Speaker: Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, Chief Executive, UK Music



Guest Speaker: Christian Hewgill, BBC news, sport reporter, bulletin presenter and journalist, BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat 



Guest Speakers: Sarah Longthorne, Narrative Designer; Harriet Eden and Daniel Punch, Technical Art & Programme, from award-winning game developer Sumo Digital



Guest Speakers: Angela Mann and Ann-Marie Franey, Great Northern Events


Supported by the Office for Students, Lakeside Arts and the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies in collaboration with the Department of Cultural, Media, and Visual Studies. 


The UK’s only city-wide paid cultural internships programme – Creative Pathways Graduate Internships offer seven graduates per year the chance to work for six months in one of Nottingham’s leading cultural institutions. 

Successful applicants have the chance to get a wide range of vocational experience, including event planning, organising and delivery; finance and fundraising; budget administration and management; and marketing, publicity, communications and PR – providing them with a significant springboard into a future career in the sector.

The internships start in October, are exclusively for students who meet one or more of the eligibility criteria and who graduate in the 2020-21 academic year (i.e. between August 2020 and July 2021). They are exclusively for students from the priority groups listed below. This is to ensure that students from backgrounds underrepresented in higher education can fully access the opportunities available to all students and to improve social mobility. To be able to apply, you must be a home fee paying student graduating in summer 2021 from the University of Nottingham, want to gain practical experience to support your future career development in the creative and cultural sector, and meet one or more of the eligibility criteria detailed below:

Applications are now closed.

Eligibility Criteria
  • Have been in local authority care/looked after
  • Have a declared disability
  • Be from a black and minority ethnic group
  • Be a mature student (21 or over at the start of your course)
  • Be a young carer
  • Be under 25 and estranged from your family
  • Be in receipt of a core bursary
  • Be in receipt of a Nottingham Potential Bursary
  • Be a refugee
  • Your home address is in a neighbourhood where participation in Higher Education is low.
    • This can be checked by:
      • Enter your home postcode (i.e. where you lived before University) into the 'Contextual offers' postcode checker on the University of Nottingham's website:
      • If 'You may be elidible for a contextual offer' displays following searching, this indicates your home address is in a neighbourhood that meets the above criteria.
Cultural Organisations

The internships are based across seven Nottingham's cultural organisations: 

  • City Arts
  • Dance4
  • Lakeside Arts, University of Nottingham
  • Nottingham Contemporary
  • Nottingham Playhouse
  • Nonsuch Theatre
  • UNESCO City of Literature.


Aqua Quotation Marks

The Creative Pathways Internships give a welcome flexibility to your professional development. The partner venues are eager to provide experience that will benefit future employability, and are attentive to your needs and ambitions."

Gianluca Scatto, Nonsuch Studios



The best parts of interning with the Participation Team at Nottingham Playhouse are engaging with the community and getting to know our wonderful participants. We’ve recently been able to welcome many of our participants back to in-person sessions at the Playhouse, and I’ve particularly enjoyed going into schools to deliver our ‘Shine’ outreach programme."

Adam Collins, Nottingham Playhouse


The Creative Pathways Graduate Internship made me realise that a career in the arts is by no means unattainable. It's given me the skills and confidence to apply for other creative roles. Through collaborating with colleagues on marketing, project support, and day-to-day admin, I feel like I’ve got a great insight into different creative careers and what I would suit best. I feel integrated and a valued member of Dance4. No two days are the same – one day I could be creating website and social media content and another I could be dedicating a dance to my armchair in a Zoom workshop! I’m so glad I'm at Dance4 to learn how they support artists in their research as well as sharing their resources with young aspiring dancers – I would absolutely consider interning at Dance4."

Emily Tregale, Dance4


Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature is part of an international network of creative cities, which means I am given the opportunity to work with people from all over the world, as well as having real responsibility to assist on projects with exciting organisations such as PEN International and the Women's Prize Trust. I'd wholeheartedly recommend the Creative Pathways Internships and would advise anybody who's considering applying to go ahead and do it!"

Phoebe Stafford, City of Literature


THE 2019-20 COHORT


THE 2020-21 COHORT

a blue picture with a bright light coming out from the middle bottom of the image


Meet and hear from inspirational individuals, start to understand and build links with cultural organisations, and gain insight into a vast range of careers available in the creative sector.

Creative Focus events are open to all University of Nottingham students, especially those who have come through a widening participation route to University.

Presentations from our previous speakers, including Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, CEO at UK MUSIC and Christian Hewgill, BBC Newsbeat Broadcaster and Podcaster, are available below.