ARU Spotlight Podcast

A series of interviews with students, alumni, academics and technical staff from the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at ARU, exploring their personal experiences of education, career paths, projects and interests, and their advice for anyone hoping to work in the same field.

Hosted by Gareth Long, Faculty Communications Co-ordinator.

Follow @ARUCreative on Twitter for details of new releases, or find it on all top podcast platforms including Spotify and Apple.



ARU Spotlight Podcast #13 - Dr Jon Stone, Lecturer in Creative Writing

Jon is a poet and poetry editor, and co-founder of award-winning small press publisher Sidekick Books. We discuss the relationship between poetry and games, the importance of communities in creative writing, and why the advice ‘be yourself’ might not actually be very helpful.




ARU Spotlight Podcast #12 - Megan Herdson, BA (Hons) Writing and Film  / MA Creative Writing graduate

After graduating, Megan used her writing skills to secure a career in marketing, and now works as Senior Campaign Manager at ARU. We talk about how her time as a student helped her get used to sharing her writing with others; how she transferred those skills to a marketing environment; and how her role now allows her to tell the stories of other ARU students.




ARU Spotlight Podcast #11 - Blessing Raimi, BA (Hons) Graphic Design graduate

Blessing now works as a Junior Graphic Designer at Conscious Communications. We cover how the course helped prepare her for working in industry, including placements and professional studies modules; how walking around Cambridge inspired her graphic design work; and her current work on a campaign against harmful sexual behaviour.




ARU Spotlight Podcast #10 - Michael Bruce, BA (Hons) Writing and Film student

Michael is an international student from Macon, Georgia, in the US. We talk about how Doctor Who and fish and chips were key to his decision to study in England; the difficulties and pleasures of moving to a new country after a childhood spent in home schooling; and how his passion for making horror films was inspired by movies like Silence of the Lambs and Insidious.




ARU Spotlight Podcast #9 - Connie Esavwa, BA (Hons) Graphic Design graduate

Connie, originally from Kenya, talks about the she designed and produced for her Major Project, to publicise small businesses in her home nation, and also how the supportive atmosphere of the course helped build her confidence as well as her skills. This interview was recorded in May 2021, shortly before Connie graduated.




ARU Spotlight Podcast #8 - Julia Johnson, Co-Course Leader, BA (Hons) Photography

Julia, a professional photographer with a focus on mental health and marginalised communities, talks about the visual significance of the black lives matter coverage, the difficulties of critically analysing students’ subjective expression, and a toolkit she has developed for the therapeutic use of photography. This interview was originally recorded in March 2021, when the UK was still under national lockdown because of the Coronavirus pandemic.




ARU Spotlight Podcast #7 - Mark Pickering, Technical Officer & Associate Lecturer in Audio and Music Technology

Mark talks about how he and his brother helped bring higher production values to grime music videos; the importance of keeping up to date with current trends in music and video; and how attitudes and behaviours have changed in the music industry since he was a student. This interview was originally recorded in March 2021, when the UK was still under national lockdown because of the Coronavirus pandemic.




ARU Spotlight Podcast #6 - Toby Venables, Senior Lecturer in Screenwriting

Professional screenwriter and novelist Toby talks about his creative work, including BAFTA-winning Netflix horror film "His House"; how he was drawn to both horror and history from an early age by the story of Beowulf and Grendel; and the importance of enthusiasm when teaching to bring a subject to life for students.




ARU Spotlight Podcast #5 - Monique Brown, Technical Officer for Fashion

Monique talks about her work as Animatronic Model Designer on feature films including The Fifth Element and Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; the importance of experimentation in creative projects; and how emerging digital technologies might affect both fashion and costume design in the future. This interview was originally recorded in March 2021, when the UK was still under national lockdown because of the Coronavirus pandemic.




ARU Spotlight Podcast #4 - Joe McCullagh, Head of Cambridge School of Art

Joe talks about how his inspirations like Brian Eno and Roxy Music led him to an appreciation of multidisciplinary practice; his thoughts on how digital culture has shaped art education; and what the future will be like for creative courses and careers. This interview was originally recorded in March 2021, when the UK was still under national lockdown because of the Coronavirus pandemic.




ARU Spotlight Podcast #3 - Dr Apurba Kundu, Deputy Dean of Education

Apurba talks about his time as Captain of the University of Leeds rowing team, his co-founding of ARU’s Black and Minority Ethnic Network, and what working life was like under the Coronavirus lockdown. This interview was originally recorded in March 2021, when the UK was still under national lockdown because of the Coronavirus pandemic.




ARU Spotlight Podcast #2 - James Ward, Head of Cambridge School of Creative Industries

James talks about his career route; the inspiration he takes from people who work across a variety of creative disciplines; and the importance of keeping an open mind and seeking out different opinions to your own. This interview was originally recorded in March 2021, when the UK was still under national lockdown because of the Coronavirus pandemic.




ARU Spotlight Podcast #1 - Chris Draper, Course Leader, BA (Hons) Illustration

Chris talks about his journey as a practising illustrator, from education to professional life; his early experiments with a music career that got him into the top ten of the indie dance charts; and how working as a freelance illustrator, particularly with New Scientist magazine, opened him up to new ideas he had never before considered. This interview was originally recorded in March 2021, when the UK was still under national lockdown because of the Coronavirus pandemic.