At The Iver Make-up Academy, we offer opportunities to break into film, TV, theatre and fashion for ambitious young people like nowhere else in the UK. Our base at Pinewood Studios, one of the hubs of the global film industry, provides a unique experience for our students, giving them access to cutting-edge techniques and some of the best tutors in the country.
Our alumni is incredibly diverse, and we strive to give young talent the chance to progress their careers regardless of their circumstances. This is why, every year, we’re proud to open our bursary scheme, which gives two students who wish to enrol in our course a bursary of up to 80% of the course fees.
To give a first-hand insight into our bursary programme, we recently caught up with some of our graduates who excelled in their courses and are already embarking on exciting careers, working on blockbuster films and brand-new TV series.
Deciding what path to follow regarding higher education or moving into the world of work is a tough choice for any young person. With rising fees and a highly competitive job market, these decisions aren’t getting any easier! Financial circumstances often dictate these choices and can unfortunately lead to missed opportunities.
This is why we open up our bursary opportunities to offer a great introduction to our industry, and invaluable experience ahead of a unique career. As recent graduate Sedi Kukwikila said: “When I was offered the IMA bursary to study the Foundation Hair and Make-up Artistry course, I felt like it was a sign to finally pursue my truest passion. I was honoured to be chosen for such an incredible opportunity to learn from the best tutors in the industry.”
Sedi’s gratitude for being offered a bursary by the Iver Make-up Academy was echoed by fellow graduate Neesha Francis. Neesha was meant to join Iver in April 2020 but lockdown meant this was delayed until September, but her enthusiasm at joining hadn’t waned: “I always wanted a career in hair and make-up in film and television. As soon as I visited IMA I knew it was where I wanted to study. I applied for the bursary and I was fortunate enough to be selected – I was so happy when I received the news, and I am so grateful for the opportunity!”
Once our bursary students are chosen, they embark on an in-depth course which offers industry insights and practical work experience, paving the way for a career with limitless opportunities.
Every day is different when you’re studying with us, and our recent graduate Fatuma Odwar helped document the variety of her training by keeping a diary from start to finish. The excitement came early, as Fatuma says: “First day we are given our kit and it feels like Christmas! Top-end brands and equipment that I can’t wait to find out how to use. The nerves are still there but the rest of my class seem really nice.”
After the initial introductions we start to look at specific techniques, which is where our students really come into their own and begin to find their niche. For example, eight weeks into the course Fatuma started working on Period hair and make-up, and she recalled: “I thought I would find this more challenging than I have. The tutors are very good at breaking down each technique and getting the core skills right so that as you move onto some of the more complicated techniques it seems much easier. I really enjoyed this module!”
Finding each student’s individual strengths comes from our appreciation that everyone is different, with different skills. The breadth of content that we cover and the way we teach also means that there are opportunities to thrive in all disciplines, and Fatuma gave an insight into the overall experience throughout her studies, saying: “It’s amazing to get taught here. It feels like a home away from home and really was everything I hoped for and more. I thought I may find it a bit stressful because it’s an intense course, but you’re taught and trained in such a clever way. When I look back, my skills have developed so much, and my confidence has improved.”
One of the things we pride ourselves on the most at The Iver Make-up Academy is the career opportunities our graduates have available to them as soon as they finish their courses with us. Many of our tutors are still active in the industry and the relationships our students develop with them provide a wealth of options.
These opportunities are being bolstered further by significant investment in the film and TV industry in the UK, with increased output for platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Video meaning more and more jobs are becoming available.
Our three graduates we’ve focused on in this piece have already been involved in some thrilling projects, with Sedi saying: “Not only have I learnt lifetime skills, I graduated with the confidence and belief that I can truly achieve anything and be successful in the industry. Since graduating, I have worked on short films, commercials and photoshoots, which have been great learning experiences. I have just been offered by first full time trainee position on a TV drama. It’s safe to say that I am living the dream!”
Other recent bursary graduates have been very successful in their careers so far, being involved in productions such as James Bond, Sex Education, Batman, Singin’ in the Rain at The Adelphi, and the English National Opera, along with a great variety of photoshoots and promos.