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State Talking supports Creative Industries Day at St Matthew’s RC High

Year nine pupils about to choose their GCSE options at St Matthew’s RC High School in Moston heard from people in the creative industries to help them make their choices.

The students listened to talks from a wide variety of successful creative professionals, who explained how they got into their industries and made their mark. All the speakers were sourced by State Talking.

Catherine Boden told students how she went from Toni & Guy trainee hairdresser to owning her own salon, clinic and hair academy specialising in her own unique colour technique.

Catherine explained how she expanded her experience with hair colour specialists in LA and Brazil, as well as spending 10 years as a make-up artist. Now, 20 years after entering the world of hair and beauty, Catherine is a shining example of how far you can go with a hairdressing career.

Onyi Moss is a photographer, filmmaker, singer-songwriter and influencer who showed students how careers can take unexpected turns. Onyi explained how she studied accounting in Nigeria before moving to the UK to pursue a career in finance. She took up photography in her spare time while working in a bank, but her creative side soon took over and she spent every spare minute practising and sharing her photography. It wasn’t long before major brands including Gucci, Carolina Herrera and Giorgio Armani noticed her work, and she was able to leave her role in finance and concentrate on creativity full-time. In 2019, Onyi was named Cosmopolitan’s Best Fashion Influencer.

Mark Stancombe told the students about his more traditional journey into his career as an architect. Mark gained bachelor and masters degrees in architecture from the University of Sheffield, followed by an advanced diploma in professional practice with RIBA North West.

He explained how he spent four years working his way up the ranks as assistant architect on a wide variety of housing, industrial and interior design schemes. After moving to 5plus Architects as an architectural assistant in 2018, Mark was promoted to full his current position as fully qualified professional architect, where he focuses on sustainable, social and innovative design.

Finally, Aidon Bannon showed the students a different aspect of creativity to illustrate how wide-ranging the industry can be. He explained how his role as a senior estimator with a major construction firm includes liaising with designers, architects and structural engineers on high-profile development projects, and how his input is crucial into ensuring cost-effective creative solutions. Aidan, who joined Russells Construction as a trainee in 2004, is an advocate of the apprenticeship route into employment, and outlined the many benefits of training while in employment.

State Talking offers state schools in Greater Manchester free inspirational talks from relatable role models. Contact us at info@statetalking.org to find out more