For this weeks Alumni interview, I caught up with Holly Leung, to find out, among other things, why she chose CMCI’s MA Art’s & Cultural Management course, how this course helped to prepare her for her career, and what advice she would give to students currently enrolled on the course.
Holly Leung is an expert in video editing and photography, specialising in portrait and stage photography. She undertook MA Art’s & Cultural Management course between 2018 and 2019.
Holly completed her bachelor’s degree in the field Media and Communication (Digital Television and Broadcasting); with a minor in Creative Media at the City University of Hong Kong in 2018. Since 2016 she has worked as a Media Project Manager for Hong Kong Festival Orchestra, one of the leading and largest youth orchestra and choir groups in Hong Kong and a Freelance Video Editor and Photographer, specialising in documentary editing and portrait and stage photography, respectively. In 2018 Holly worked as an International Marketing Assistant for Comms8. Whilst in this role she gained further experience with company commercial video, marketing research and customer liaisons. She is currently studying Contact Studies in New Composition Techniques at the Hamburg University of Music and Theater.
Firstly, why did you choose to study the MA Cultural & Creative Industries course? And why at the CMCI Department at King’s College?
I chose to study the course because I wanted to work in the performing arts industry. I was a communication student, but my previous internship was working in a youth orchestra. The experience working in the orchestra made me want to explore the art industry more, to learn theories that related to the industry, and to know the practice and atmosphere of working in this field in the UK. I wanted to do it in the heart of Europe instead of staying in my own country. To be honest, I applied for similar courses in other universities, but KCL was my final choice because it was the only one located in London.
What did you learn whilst on the MA Cultural & Creative Industries course and how did it help you progress, career wise?
I was given opportunities to understand the operation of the arts organisations and I would say this was the best part of the program. Meanwhile, the course allowed us to think about the sector in a very broad scope from understanding deeply about organisational management, finances, marketing to cultural policy, cultural leadership, etc. I am still in the process of exploring how these help me progress in terms of my career. It would still be a bit too soon to make a judgment now. However, what I am certain of is that it allowed me to experience a different dynamic and atmosphere of the art field when compared to my own country. It strengthened my will of working in this field in Europe.
What advice would you give to students and graduates looking to go into your line of work? Are there any skills, networks or experiences you would suggest they engage in or develop whilst still at University?
The best advice I would give to students would be more open to knowing your classmates from different countries. It is very usual that people with similar cultural background tend to stick together but I think it hinders your ability to explore the world more. Don’t be shy to be the person who starts a conversation. Do not merely consider them as your classmates but make them your personal friends. Think about what projects you can do together. Another piece of advice would be to start finding your internship and think of your research question as soon as you start the program.
Were there any academics that had a strong influence on you during your time in the CMCI department? Why?
I personally think I learned the most from Dr. Johnathan Gross. He was always well prepared for his lessons with abundant content and a structured flow that makes students understand complicated concepts in an easier way.