From education to employment

Jamal Edwards‏ MBE returns to West London College

West London College welcomed back star alumni Jamal Edwards MBE, digital entrepreneur and founder of SBTV, to deliver a masterclass on entrepreneurship and self-motivation to an audience of over 50 students in partnership with the Creative Mentor Network.

The event took place at Ealing Green College, where Jamal studied an Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production. He was welcomed by his former tutor Gareth McLennan, who during an engaging interview with Jamal discussed various topics, including entrepreneurship in the Creative Industries, self-belief, motivation and advice on how to overcome failures and reminisced about Jamal’s time as a West London College student.

Jamal said: “It was really good being back at my old college, loads has changed but it was great to see my teacher Gareth McLennan and talking to the students.

“I remember having access to cool equipment like the TV studio – things like that really helped me when I was at College. It’s important to me that they’re still supporting the students with more equipment to boost their creativity.”

Students from Art, Design and Media courses had the opportunity to ask questions, learning how whilst a student at West London College Jamal started SBTV as a YouTube channel and built it into a world-recognised multimedia brand, helping to break the careers of many established artists such as Rita Ora, Jessie J and Ed Sheeran. They also heard about his plans for youth projects in the local area and how they can get involved.

As part of the event, the Creative Mentor Network (CMN) introduced mentorship opportunities to pair young people with industry professionals in preparation for employment in their chosen creative field. Many students expressed an interest in joining the scheme, which includes opportunities at Sky.

Isabel Farchy, CMN Founder and CEO, said: “The Creative Mentor Network’s mission as a charity is to support young people who don’t have the networks to go into careers in the creative industries.

As someone who inspired young people to have belief in themselves to achieve their ambitions, we’re really pleased to have the support of Jamal Edwards as an ambassador and are looking forward to working with students from Ealing Green College. They will be part of our mentoring programmes and we will have the opportunity to move to creative careers in the near future.”

Gareth McLennan, Head of Curriculum IT, Digital & Creative, said: “It was great to welcome Jamal back to West London College. It has been 10 years since he graduated from our Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production course and his journey was an inspiring story for our students to hear.

“This was a really successful event and we are excited to explore opportunities to work further with Jamal and the Creative Mentor Network in the near future.”

The event concluded with a question and answer session where students interacted with Jamal.

Abdulrahman Ibrahim, Creative Media student at West London College, attended the event. He said: “Meeting Jamal was great, he is an inspirational figure and listening to his journey has made me realise the opportunities available in the industry.”

West London College Creative Media courses are based at Ealing Green College next to the well known Ealing Studios. Students who enrol on the courses there develop both practical and theoretical cutting-edge media skills, learning with industry-standard equipment and software applications alongside a fully working TV studio. They also have access to work experience opportunities with media professionals on live projects.

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