Looking to make it in a creative industry? Well, according to commercial and portrait photographer Scott Choucino, getting an education in a seemingly unrelated subject could be the key to success.
Scott is a Leicester-based professional photographer, who credits his success not just to his skills with a camera but to his MSc in Health Related Physiology – the post-graduate qualification that the Sir Thomas White Loan Charity provided him with the funds to obtain.
When asked about his non-traditional approach to education, Scott explained: “Wanting to study science to work in a creative industry is probably not the usual route to go. It has certainly worked for me though.
“I have always been interested in science and statistics. I think having a solid MSc or BSc background is really useful when you go to work in the arts. Most of my clients are not artists and find it easier to work with me because of my background.”
According to Scott what he actually learned wasn’t necessarily the most important thing about his scientific education, but the way it taught him to approach learning has made it invaluable.
“In terms of work ethic and the way that I teach myself my trade, my alternative degree has been really useful. I am always confident that if a client requests something I have not done before that within 48 hours I can learn exactly how to do it. I am not sure if this would have been the case if I had studied photography for my degree,” Scott said.
This adaptability allows Scott to satisfy his clients’ needs, and retain clients who might go elsewhere if he was unable to deliver the services they require. His ability to learn new skills is what Scott says gives him the edge he needs to succeed. He feels if it weren’t for his education he wouldn’t be in the position he is now – and he also says if it weren’t for The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity then he wouldn’t have been able to complete his master’s degree.
Expanding further on the importance of his education, Scott said: “The people I met at university were incredibly supportive of my passion in photography and the skills I learned, in terms of research and professionalism, really help when working in a creative industry. Coming from my background, I would not have been able to get this level of education without the Charity’s support and I certainly would not be in business now.”
Scott says that he never really aimed to become self-employed, but that he never wanted to work in a traditional full-time job. The main plus points of working for himself are the flexibility of his day-to-day schedule and how he directly benefits from the success of his work: “I suppose I have never really wanted the nine-to-five life, although I also never really thought about being my own boss. The biggest perk is that when things go well, I get the rewards. I can choose the direction that I want my company to go in and I can also decide how I work.”
The majority of former borrowers who have gone on to start their own businesses have noted this positive impact – although the work is tough, the ability to coordinate their work and home life to suit them makes it worthwhile.
Borrowers such as Scott demonstrate how whatever your goal and whatever path you want to take to achieve your goals – we can help you. Even if you’re not completely sure which direction to move in, when you apply we can provide you with support and advice to guide you.
To find out more about Scott’s work visit www.scottchoucino.com.
Thinking of applying for a loan from the Charity? Scott says: “Go along and talk to them. They are really friendly people and you can be very open with them about what you want to achieve and how you would like to go about it.”
The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity provides loans of up to £6,000 to support students in post-graduate studies. For more information on these education loans CLICK HERE.