“I never expected to see this much of a change in myself, but I can’t wait to see where it takes me”

Special Edition is a programme run by TRC Media designed to give ambitious women in the digital sector the skills and confidence they need to achieve their career aspirations. Aside from a number of skill-based sessions, the programme also includes a four-day trip to San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Our guest blogger this week is Louisa Gallie, a senior 2D artist at Hunted Cow Studios in Elgin. In her blog, she talks about getting onto the programme and how it helped her focus her personal development.

Louisa Gallie - Special Edition Pixar Visit 1The first thing I’ll say to any woman reading is this: If you don’t think you’re experienced enough, senior enough or confident enough to apply for ‘Special Edition’ – apply anyway. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

I didn’t think I would get in. Once I did and I saw the list of incredibly talented women I had been selected alongside, with titles like ‘Head of Design’ and ‘Founder’, I was sure there had been a terrible mistake. I was clearly the most inexperienced woman there and thought I would be completely out of my depth. However, it wasn’t until the first day when we all stood up and gave a short presentation about ourselves that I realised every single one of us felt the same way.

Kirsten Murray, the one brave enough to give her presentation first described it as“Imposter Syndrome” I remember a lot of enthusiastic nodding and laughing from around the table. We all came from different backgrounds, levels of experience and disciplines, yet we shared so many insecurities and challenges and ‘Special Edition’ is designed to turn our doubts into confidence. After all, if we knew it all, why would we need to apply for a training course?

We had six sessions in total, with wonderful speakers coaching us in everything from teamwork to time management. The absolute highlight of these sessions for me was from Alex Dalton. She worked through our daily schedules, helped us highlight our “time gremlins” (my new favourite phrase for the habits and tasks that suck time from us), and then showed us how to build and carry out our plans for ‘world domination’ through structured goals and steps. Okay, so maybe our individual goals were on a smaller scale than that (for now) but the practical skills she taught us left me feeling more energised and motivated than ever before.

Then of course, we went on a trip to San Francisco, visiting loads of high-profile digital companies. It was a jam-packed whirlwind, visiting companies like Pixar, Pinterest, Facebook, Pixar, Design Studio, IDEO…( and did I mention Pixar?) The creative spirit and energy running through so many of these companies was palpable, from the newer ones like Pinterest to the more established ones like Facebook.

However, the most fun and rewarding aspect of my time San Francisco came from getting to spend four days with the wonderful women on the programme. Together, we soaked up the inspiration from our visits, and bounced them around the minibus between visits, over breakfast and of course, when clinking the occasional glass at night. There’s no doubt that the San Francisco trip is an incredible experience but it’s the support and friendships you’ll gain from Special Edition that will make the biggest impact on you.

I thought when I was accepted onto the programme that it would be an exciting six months but I can confidently say that the effect is ongoing. Since ‘Special Edition’ finished, I’ve approached each day with a newfound sense of energy, optimism and enthusiasm. I’ve learned techniques and skills that are helping me to live each day more productively and speak more confidently. And the progress I’ve made in developing my personal goals in the past five months has been more than I have achieved in the last two years. I never expected to see this much of a change in myself, but I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

The deadline for applications for Special Edition is Friday 12th June. For more information and application form visit here: http://trcmedia.org/training-development/special-edition/

If you would like to see some of Louisas artwork work, you can access her website here at http://www.louisagallie.com

Also, you can follow her on Twitter @LouisaGallie

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