Kevin Heaman (MA 2021, Queen Margaret University Edinburgh)  

As I was getting closer to finishing my master’s programme, I was trying to figure out what is the next step of my journey. I already knew at this point I wanted to start an independent music label, as that was part of my dissertation project, but I wanted to learn more outside of my programme and network with UK artists, and through QMU, I was recommended SHIFT. After looking at the programme and the opportunities that SHIFT could offer, I thought it would be a great opportunity to take. 

During the week of SHIFT, I worked on developing contacts with artists and creative entrepreneurs, rebuilt my foundations on how to create a sustainable business, and how to create successful marketing strategies. This year was unique as the entire programme was online because of the pandemic, but that did not lessen the learning opportunities that were provided, though it created for some hilarious technical issues moments. The most useful set of seminars was the Finance, Legal, and Operations, where they will split you up into three groups (Freelancer, Founder or Social Enterprise) and go into a thorough analysis into each of the three topics for half of the day. Though these seminars were uniquely draining with having to learn them remotely, a lot of the lessons from them I still use for work. 

After SHIFT, I continued to work with festivals both in Edmonton and Edinburgh in both Fund Development and Box Office Management while I am building my independent music label. By using the skills that I learnt in SHIFT, I have been able to make a career in the field and even start a creative business!  

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