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Callum Costello

Career Path: ESL Teacher, HESS Education Group
Location: Xizhi District, Taiwan

I spent nine years as a freelance film professional with credits on productions such as Spectre, Free Fire and the Crown. I have had my own work created and exhibited by Tyneside Cinema, BAFTA, Manchester International Film Festival and more. I transitioned to teaching after film industry collapsed due to Covid-19 pandemic and moved to Taiwan in 2021 to become a full time English as a Foreign Language Teacher at a bilingual primary school.

What are you doing now?Callum Costello

I am living and working in Taiwan, teaching

 English to children at a bilingual primary school.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

I am from the North East and was happy to stay closer to home for financial reasons and was lucky that Northumbria University offered a challenging and suitable degree. I think my time at Northumbria University was a turning point in my life, personally and professionally. I also met my wife through Northumbria University.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

I loved the staff on my course and felt lucky that they were willing to facilitate my requests and questions. I always felt challenged, never felt overwhelmed and left feeling like I really got value for my money.

How connected was your course with industry?

I did a work placement through Northumbria University which initially was for two weeks but I was kept on for two and a half years. That experience was huge for me, and taught me how to adapt to the professional work environment and network. I don't think I would've found the success I found in the film industry or felt confident transitioning to a new profession and country without that experience.

If you took on a placement during your course how did you feel this helped you in your career/ with your studies?:

I learned what hard work was on my placement. I saw the challenges of working in an adult, professional environment and saw the impact of decisions made in real time.

What was the best thing about your course?

I found the curriculum fuelled my passion and turned my dreams of working in the film industry into a plausible reality.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

It gave me the confidence to succeed.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

How to be a closer - plan your work, work your plan. Get things done on time and do it well.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

The work, but lazing around outside the student union having a beer with friends in the sun wasn't too bad either.

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

You will enjoy it. You will enjoy Newcastle and what you put in you will get out - Northumbria will meet you halfway.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Fun, challenging and fulfilling.

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