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Ciéra Cree

Ciera Cree

Ciéra Cree

BA (Hons) Media Studies 2022

1. Tell us about yourself.
My name is Ciéra Cree, and I hold strong passions for literature and all things creative. After completing my degree at ARU's Cambridge campus, I went on to receive a prestigious scholarship to study for an MA in Magazine Journalism at City, University of London.

Over the years I have dabbled in so many different things from being crowned as my county's first female Laureate, being Highly Commended by The Royal Society of Literature and speaking live on BBC Radio, to interning with The Sun’s Sunday supplement magazine, Fabulous, creating magazine publications from scratch, and working with audio.

Today I work in a variety of roles! I'm an Editorial Assistant for Design Anthology UK magazine, a Contributing Writer for Livingetc magazine and a Research/Publishing Assistant for the University of Cambridge's Faculty of English. I work on the 'A Good Death' project with Cambridge, exploring creative ways to open up conversations about bereavement and I also volunteer as a blog writer for mental health charity, Letters Against Depression, and as a poetry writer for Church & Village magazine, writing poems that are delivered to 11 small Norfolk villages. I started up ‘Poet’s Corner’ in the back of the mag over five years ago!

2. What is your fondest memory of Anglia Ruskin University?
Standing back looking at the university building in my graduation gown and truly thinking, "I did it". It feels like only yesterday that I felt the whirl of emotion that came with entering the building for the first time, so timid and afraid yet simultaneously excited for what was yet to come.

Writing and presenting the closing speech for my ceremony, too, is a moment that I'll never forget. My parents got front-row seats!

3. What has been your favourite job?

My work with Cambridge University has been incredibly fulfilling and has truly reminded me why I love being creative and using creativity to try to make a positive impact upon the world. Hopefully by the time you read this, the report and worksheets I’ve been designing and laying out will have gone live on the ‘A Good Death - Cambridge University’ website!

Discovering the world of writing about interiors and design has been a great learning experience as well. I’ve begun to think about interior design in new ways – artistically, philosophically, harmoniously. There’s something very fulfilling that comes with writing about lifestyle and producing pieces that will, hopefully, assist others in cultivating spaces optimal for their needs or aesthetic calm. I get to see lots of beautiful pieces of decor and gorgeous architecture as well!

4. In one word, how would you describe Anglia Ruskin University?
Caring. It may sound cheesy but while I was at ARU it felt like people wanted to see me shine and win. It's something that I miss a lot, the atmosphere.

5. How did your time at ARU help you?
Joining ARU not only taught me a lot about Media, from the coursework itself to spending two years falling in love with magazines by running The Ruskin Journal, but it taught me endless amounts about myself.

ARU helped me to realise that, even as a quiet 19-year-old, I had what it took to pick up my life and move to somewhere new, solely because I wanted to improve myself and my future. It grew my confidence, and although I still get incredibly scared of this big wide world sometimes, looking back to my ARU years and the leap of faith that I took choosing to go there, I'm reminded that I can do anything I set my mind to.

6. What did you love about your chosen course?
I loved the broad nature of my BA Media Studies degree. Every day held something new to learn, and getting to work in so many different areas really gave me the chance to figure out what parts of the industry could be for me.

7. What advice would you give to current students as they’re preparing to graduate?
Even if you're stressed, try to take some time out of each day to be grateful for where you are now in this moment. You have done amazingly to be here and deserve to recognise that.

8. What do you know now that you wish you had known whilst studying?
The value of completing internships to gain "real world" experience. I'm grateful to have done this as well as extracurricular activities while at ARU anyway, but truly it is so important to not only go to uni to complete your degree. Working on an extracurricular, a side project or something like an internship with an external company to your university will make the contrast between leaving education and entering the "real world" seem less abrupt when your ARU years are over.

9. Who was the biggest influence on your career?
I'd say that philosophers like Plato and Aristotle have been important influences upon the trajectory of my life and, thus, career. I remember one day sitting in my room, worrying about the world and what I was destined to be, when I came to the philosophical realisation that knowledge is something that nobody can take away from me. From that moment on I did all that I could to work hard, learn and grow.

10. What advice would you give your younger self?
To try to focus more on what you CAN control instead of becoming stuck in a million anxieties about what you CAN'T control. There's so much that you can do, so do those things. The other things will reveal themselves or resolve themselves in time.

11. Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
When I was a child I was ambidextrous. I'd complete my colouring books with both hands! I also really wanted to write and illustrate my own children's books. This isn't a dream I've given up on. 

12. What’s next?
There's lots of cool projects already on my horizon with my ongoing work (and some secret project plans!) but in terms of personal projects, I'm working on two books. No spoilers! I'm keeping my eyes open for fulfilling full-time career opportunities too. Let's see what the future holds.