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Alumni

Mr Nigel Paton

Career Path: General Counsel, ICI Paints
Location:

I am a retired corporate lawyer who had always wanted to write. When I got to the point where I was able to consider leaving the law I looked around at various potential ways of achieving that and eventually felt that the Creative Writing MA at Northumbria was the best start point. I was right.

What are you doing now?

I currently use the writing skills to create scenario based real time learning courses for in house lawyers. I didn't mean that to happen - it just did. Among other things I was asked to write a short play as the finale to a global conference which was performed in Chicago in November 2014 with professional actors. I'm also a non-exec director of a mental health care NHS Trust and I chair my old school's bursary campaign. I write short plays and stories for a hobby.

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

The course was a perfect fit, with a focus on the creative side rather than the journalistic, and I was able to do it part time over two years.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

he course was mostly lecture based, but with lots of critical sharing of the participants writing. I found the feedback very constructive, although I do think if you are to get the most out of the course you have to be prepared to take the rough with the smooth. Not everyone found that easy.

What impressed you most about our academic staff?

They were all professional writers in their own right, and they all knew what they were talking about, albeit with very different styles. They were generally very approachable, and very engaged with the subject matter.

How connected was your course with industry?

Up to a point. There were interesting guest lectures from an agent and from recently published authors, but the main focus was on giving you, the student, the craft and the tools to develop whatever talent you have.

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

Not at all, because I was retired from my main career when I took the course. But it did help unlock another part of life for me.

What was the best thing about your course?

Sharing with other writers, without a doubt

How would you describe yourself in 3 words before coming to Northumbria?

Frustrated, curious writer

How would you describe yourself in 3 words after completing 1 year at Northumbria?

Enlightened enthusiastic writer

How would you describe yourself in 3 words after graduating Northumbria?

Educated competent writer

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

Opening up the creative side of my (occasional) talent

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

Just do it.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in 3 words?

Fulfilling and enlightening

 

 

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