Want to build a sustainable career in the creative sector?

Callum Campbell, Discholars, MCE 2019.

Discholars, Callum Campbell's MCE project, offers curriculum-aligned tuition in digital and electronic instruments, in a new way to teach music.

Take your creativity to the market

As a creative professional, it can be difficult to see a straightforward trajectory from honing your craft to earn a living. While doctors, engineers, accountants, and architects have a neatly-laid-out career path from the time they enter their studies, us artists and creative folk can often struggle to see the way forward.

With the government determined to build sustainable careers in the arts, and new technology and ways of consuming art constantly upheaving the marketplace, now is the perfect time for creatives to develop commercial skills. To prepare the next generation of creative professionals, Massey University now offers the Master of Creative Enterprise to help creatives see their art as a marketable skill.

The Master of Creative Enterprise combines research and practice to give you the skills you need to make your mark in the commercial world. According to the programme coordinator, Dr. Jon He, graduates experience the complete cycle of development – from concept to realisation.

“We equip our students to navigate the ever-changing landscape of the creative sector,” Jon explains. “If there are no jobs open in their field, they create their own opportunities.”

Who should take the MCE?

Over the 18-month postgraduate degree, you’ll explore the commercial application of your work and take an idea, service, or project from concept through to a market-ready product. 

Jon says he’s looking for students with drive and vision. “The ideal student wants to develop and commercialize their creative practice and build a sustainable career.”

Industry experts and academics will mentor you on aspects of the commercial creative world, from evaluating market potential and creating a business plan through to developing working prototypes and entrepreneurial skills.

“After 18 months, our students have the ability to undertake self-reflection and self-directed development They’re adaptive, articulate, entrepreneurial, and sentient of the social, cultural and ethical concerns associated with research and enterprise in creative disciplines.”

The range of projects varies with every student cohort, but many choose to put their creative skills to work in the areas of education, experience design, software development, music or video production, and product design.

“We encourage students to think beyond the creative industries to inspire and inform the way they work. Many of our students embrace e-commerce, on-demand platforms, platform-as-a-service, social enterprise, and entrepreneurship.”

Applying for the Master of Creative Enterprise

If you think the MCE sounds like you, then you can apply for the 2020 intake.

An application has three stages. First, you’ll need to check you meet the entry requirements. Then, drop Jon an email and schedule an initial chat. “I’ll talk you through the details of the programme. You’ll be able to discuss your project ideas and get a clear direction for your application.”

After your chat with Jon, if you decide the MCE is right for you, you can submit an application with an expression of interest and a portfolio. Your expression of interest needs to answer these questions:

  • What is your creative practice, interests and intention?

  • Examples of past work accompanied by a summary of each project, your motivations (the why), and how each was produced.

  • What project do you intend to develop in MCE, and which field or research area does it fall within?

If your application is shortlisted, you’ll be invited for an interview to discuss your project and career goals in more depth.

“Entry into the MCE is based on a candidate’s potential in their creative practice and market,” says Jon. “We get really excited about projects that are innovative and viable.”

Jon’s top application tips

  • Book an initial chat. Not starting your application with an informal chat is the biggest mistake students make. We’re here to help guide you toward a successful project.

  • Prepare a clear expression of interest and well-curated portfolio. Don’t overwhelm us with everything you’ve ever done!

  • Start the application early. This will give you plenty of time to put together your portfolio and polish work until it shines.

  • Check you’ve done everything. Make sure to submit all required documentation. 

  • Practice your pitch. Stand up in front of a friend or family member and practice telling them about your idea. Get good at putting across the value of what you do and your goals for the future

  • Be yourself. Don’t try to give us what you think we want to hear. We love to be surprised by our students, so bring it on! 

Fund your project with a study award

Massey are supporting students to fund their creative projects with six Creative Enterprise Awards of $2000. Applications are now open for students with projects in these categories:

  • Indigenous Film or Documentary
  • Sustainable Product Design
  • Immersive Technologies
  • Interface and Interaction
  • Events and Curatorial
  • Innovation in Sound and Music

Got to the Master of Creative Enterprise website for more information on eligibility criteria and to apply for an award.

“This new decade is an exciting time for creatives,” says Jon. “Social, political, economic, and technological paradigms are shifting. I’m excited to be part of how the creative industries will evolve to face these changes, and to experience the value creatives bring to the world in the decade ahead.”

This content was first published on The Big Idea.

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College of Creative Arts
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