Future Academy 2021

A partnership with Moncler and The Face, Future Academy is a program providing paid opportunities, mentorship and resources for young people who want to get into the creative industries. The Future Academy Class of 2021 consists of a group of 52 young creatives from around the UK, and final year GMD student Eliza Gromova-Gulbe is one of them. Here Eliza describes how the experience has changed how they think about networking…

“The Face x Moncler Future Academy application asked to submit a multimedia response to what the future of creative industries meant to me, and to describe what my last three screenshots contained. At the time, I was working on a feminist machine learning project and exploring the history of digital memorials and death on the internet, so I had screenshots with reference to these projects. It didn’t ask for a cv or portfolio, nor did it ask for much of my time in the form of spec work, or anything that was longer than 200 words, 30 seconds, or the instance of an image. That is also why the selected group is full of exciting people – they are busy doing great things and, hopefully, have learnt not to waste their time on applications that drain hours out of their day, or days out of their week.

I think it’s important to acknowledge the organisations and companies who respect the time of people that they are offering learning and networking opportunities to, especially when addressing underrepresentation, diversity and disadvantaged circumstances. You can tell when a brand is clout-chasing, and when it’s done in good faith. And good faith always gets the best clout. 

Before the pandemic, I wasn’t good at networking nor did I see its value. As my degree slowly and (mostly) virtually comes to an end, I have sensed a lack of community and serendipity in terms of human, professional relationships. Online-based initiatives like these have encouraged me to make new connections. Similarly, writing an email and arranging zoom calls seems much easier than walking directly up to people and joining in on an IRL conversation. People who might have previously dismissed networking due to shyness or anxiety can really benefit from the current mode of the industry.”

Eliza Gromova-Gulbe


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