Callie Seymour

Programme: MSc Innovation, Creativity and Leadership, 2018

Current role: Community Manager, ARTGYM

I worked in US politics as a political consultant for six years, specialising in political communications and marketing. Professionally, I was ready for a different challenge  – one that would allow me to create change. I decided that taking an MSc would give me the space to explore my next career step.

I found the MSc in Innovation, Creativity and Leadership at the Business School (formerly Cass) – a unique interdisciplinary programme, exploring creative leadership and innovation in business, the arts, law, psychology, design and digital technology.

The programme takes a diverse approach which is really powerful. It’s very broad in scope, so you get the opportunity to understand a lot of different industries. You’re really challenged to jump outside of your comfort zone and try all sorts of things that you never imagined you would. There are a mix of sessions with academics, who have an industry background, and practising professionals.  For example, we covered topics ranging from patent law, taught by a lawyer, to creative writing sessions taught by a novelist and scriptwriter. It’s an interesting mixture and all of the professors and lecturers are great.          

On this particular MSc,  students are required to have spent at least three years in a work environment. So members of the cohort were all professionally experienced, and it allowed them to bring in insights from various industries. I’m still living and working in London, so I’m still in touch with them and we often meet up.

My personal highlight of the programme was my dissertation as I was able to merge my past experience in politics with my learning from the MSc. I had the opportunity to spend time inside a political party and use some of the innovation processes that we had been studying, working with them through workshops to create something that felt more like a real-world professional project.

Overall, the MSc is a wild ride. Once you go through the process you really understand what you can get out of each of these completely diverse spheres of knowledge, and how it all comes together. It also opens your eyes to the career opportunities that are available in this sphere.

One of the main things that we focused on is understanding the psychology of people – how they create change, innovate, and access their creativity – and how you can lead that process. As a result of the MSc, I now work for an innovation agency called Artgym as a Community Manager. We focus on people development, creativity, leadership development programmes and coaching. The role is very related to my MSc, as we encourage people to be more creative and understand how to tap into that creativity to drive change in organisations.

My time at the Business School armed me with the tools that I needed to make a career switch into a new industry, and gave me the foundation, help and courage to make that change possible.