A chat with our new starters : Nick and Howell

Today we sat down with our new starters, Nick and Howell, to ask questions and get their answers on various topics. In this post, we discuss their experience, skills, and get a glimpse of what they enjoy. Keep reading to learn more about our newest team members Nick and Howell.


So, how did you find out about Acumé? What sparked your interest?

Howell: I had been looking for a media role for quite some time, but it was proving difficult to find something in the area of creating corporate shorts. I came across Acumé whilst job hunting online, and it caught my attention due to the nature of the work and the unique element of multimedia editing. I thought that I’d be a good fit for the role because of my multimedia experience.

Nick: I was on the hunt for digital forensic companies in West Yorkshire to try and gain some valuable experience whilst studying at university. Acumé Forensic was one of the few companies that appeared in Google search and after researching their services and staff experience, I was convinced that this was a perfect fit for me.


Interesting, what are your experiences with multi-media?

Howell: I previously went to college to study Media Film Production as I had a strong interest in short films and documentaries. After that, I wanted to expand my knowledge and express my creativity by going to university to specialise in that area. I got my degree and landed myself a job in time-lapse editing, and then moved on to working for HMPPS. I worked there for 4 years in the day to day running of surveillance and communication within the interior and exterior of the prison.

Nick: My experience has mainly been in full-time education at university, where I studied Audio and Music Production at Liverpool John Moores University. This also led me into choosing a current Masters course studying Audio and Video Forensics. Now my studies have shifted to part-time, I have time to work for Acumé and acquire all the relevant skills and techniques I need to progress in this field.


Oh so you both have degrees! How integral where the university courses in influencing your career choices?

Nick: For me, my university course was very influential. The degree I studied had a very broad design which exposed me to a lot of different topics and areas of audio. From this, I could cherry-pick elements that grabbed my interest and develop them further. For example, one of my final year modules focused on restoration of vinyl records, which led me to discover the Audio Forensics field.

Howell: When I went to university, I was open to any kind of film/media challenge as I had developed a broad interest and skillset from my time at college. I attended as many lectures and workshops as possible to further develop my skillset – whilst also gauging if there was a particular area that I wanted to develop. At the time I enjoyed working with production equipment, but then I ended up focusing more on post-production towards the end of my studies. I am still a techie generalist at heart.


So multi-media is a big part of what you do. How do you think these skills translate and help you in your role?

Nick: At university I was able to gain experience with lots of different software (both audio and video based) which has benefited me massively, as I know that Acumé operates the same or similar programs. Aside from technical skills, my degree offered situations which encouraged me to strengthen my soft skills e.g. time management, creative thinking and communication, all of which have supported my role at Acumé so far.

Howell: At university I gained a lot of experience with using professional post-production software and techniques which has been similar to what Acumé operates. Whilst I was at university, I was also able to plan productions and events that encouraged my creative and punctual skills when entering the industry.


It sounds like you both have benefited a lot from developing your skills and studying at university. What advice would you give to students looking for placement or graduates looking for employment?

Howell: Whether you’re looking for your first graduate job in any given subject, being able to promote your work is a valuable skill. In my opinion, promotion can be as important as the content. My advice would be to build a creative portfolio and a showreel so that you can put yourself out there for employers to see and be ‘wowed’. I was someone who was very nervous when public speaking before I set myself the task to overcome this, so I would recommend trying to get out of your comfort zone – talk with the confidence of your skillset.

Nick: A key thing for me was getting feedback, and when I didn’t receive any feedback, I would make the effort to try and get some. From this I made adjustments, gradually improving my CVs and interview performance. Don’t put too much emphasis on getting the job on your first application, and certainly don’t give up if you don’t get anything straight away. After a few failed applications you will have a better idea of what your target employers expect and require from potential candidates. In due time, your application will stand out for the better.


Okay now on to some fun stuff. Where do you draw inspiration from?

Howell: I enjoy looking into new technology because it helps me to adapt in terms of what the industry demands. I’m a bit of a techie, so that applies to both hardware and software! I also draw inspiration from people’s stories, so music is a good source of inspiration for me. Musically, I’m a big fan of Rag’n’Bone Man and the Manchester band Elbow. Rag’n’Bone Man’s latest album, Fall in Love Again, is now a favourite.

Nick: I can draw inspiration from many creatives to be honest. People who dare to be different, forward-thinking and innovative are all good traits. For me, a few standouts in the arts are the band Radiohead and film director Wes Anderson. I really like that you could be shown a single frame and know it’s a Wes Anderson film, just because of things like colour and the framing of a scene. My favourite film from Wes Anderson has to be The Grand Budapest Hotel. I also draw inspiration from people in my life, such as my brother.


And finally, what’s your favourite thing to snack whilst sat at your desk?

Howell: Carrots 🥕🥕🥕

Nick: Bananas and Oranges 🍌🍊


Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed reading our new starters blog post, take a look at what our resident Facial Comparison Expert has to say in:
A Day in the Life of an Expert Witness.

Posted by Acumé

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