Why take a Sandwich year?

At the end of my second year at university I began to realize that I wasn’t ready to graduate in just 12 more months. I have so much more to learn about filmmaking and photography and if I want to run my own business when I graduate then I had a lot to learn about that too.

People came in to talk to us about taking a sandwich year and maybe studying abroad as part of that. Although that sounded like a great way to learn more and extend my time studying it wasn’t quite what I was looking for.

Then I met our new skills instructor, Stef.

Stef has studied Media Production at Coventry a few years earlier and she explained how she’d opted for the sandwich year but had chosen to work freelance rather than study abroad. I’d had no idea this was an option.

I knew other people who were doing placements in the uk as part of a Professional Enhancement year but no one else who was working for themselves. I started to look into it and I have to admit it’s not that easy to find out about. But with a lot of enquiring and a lot of help from both Stef and Mani (our Employment Personal Tutor) and the univesity’s Health and Safety Manager I managed to sort out the paper work and apply to spend my sandwich freelancing.

Unfortunately when you do a sandwich year the funding is very different and there isn’t much you can apply for through student finance. This meant that I would need to ensure I had enough work to pay my bills, and when you’re working for yourself you can often have busy and quiet periods so I would need to budget very carefully.

It’s quite daunting but also really exciting. A new step in the right direction!

I have a lot to learn during this year.

I already know far more about Public Liability Insurance, Health and Safety, business plans, accounts and invoicing just from the application process.

I hope to try and balance my work between paid and voluntary community work and ultimately make enough money to buy some equipment for my graduation start up.