XpoNorth, the Highlands and Islands creative economy support network, has appointed Ellie McLaren, a final year student at the University of the Highlands and Islands, in a newly created role of Student Ambassador.
The role was developed following the highly successful partnership with the University of the Highlands and Islands which saw XpoNorth and the university launch a ground-breaking LevelUp! programme last September to help creative industries students into careers.
The LevelUp! partnership has been instrumental in strengthening XpoNorth’s relationship with the innovative and creative talent at the University of the Highlands and Islands and the remit of the Student Ambassador will be to further develop this partnership by bridging the gap between student networks and the XpoNorth sector specialists.
Ellie McLaren, 21 from Braemar, Aberdeenshire is currently in her final year at Lews Castle College UHI, where she is studying towards a BA (Hons) in Applied Music. Her role as Student Ambassador will include raising awareness of the resources and opportunities XpoNorth offers to students, exploring new occasions for students and XpoNorth to connect as well as developing the reach of XpoNorth into emerging professional networks with academia.
Talking about her appointment, Ellie McLaren, Student Ambassador at XpoNorth said: “I’m really excited to start this role with XpoNorth and it is a fantastic opportunity for me. I think that it is important to try and get more students and young people who are aiming to start a career in the creative industries, to engage with the organisation and the opportunities it has to offer. As a student myself, I believe that I will be able to bring a student’s perspective to the role and hopefully make XpoNorth more relatable to those who are studying creative degrees.
“It can seem quite daunting when you’re coming to the end of your studies, beginning to job hunt and this is made even more challenging with the current pandemic. However, the university and XpoNorth has been here to help those like me, who want to start a creative career. I’m a Scottish traditional musician, but I am also interested in the broadcasting, media, marketing, writing and publishing industries and XpoNorth offer sector support for all of the above and so much more. Therefore, I aim to help students gain a better understanding of XpoNorth so that they don’t miss out on the wide array of opportunities and experiences on offer.”
Dr Iain Morrison, dean of students at the University of the Highlands and Islands, said: “We are delighted that Ellie has been offered this excellent work experience opportunity to build her skills and connections ahead of graduation. Our strong partnership with XpoNorth is incredibly valuable, helping us to respond effectively to the needs of employers, learners and our communities as the creative economy continues to evolve.”