3rd Contact – Cat Wilson – Photographer The Changing Lives Programme Experience

The Changing Lives Programme is an organisation within Coventry University that takes ten students on a trip to learn about different cultures and enhance their employability. It helps to encourage students to have a different experience to change their lives as well as the community they visit. They have local partners that allow the students to have a unique experience in activities that include, workshops, tours and projects.

Their aim in these communities is to help community development, youth development and peace building.

There are many aspects that students take part in from workshops, volunteering, and interactive tours and facilitated discussion groups covering historical, political, social and environmental perspectives. It helps the students to understand and broaden their view of the world of many cultures by engaging with local communities and individuals.

In previous years there have been trips to in Jordan, Morocco, and Israel & Palestine and the trip takes place in April, June and September.

I was successful to be able to take part in the Changing Live Programme. There was only one position to fill from my faculty and I was proud to be a part of this once in a lifetime experience, Not only was I going to be hired as a filmmaker/ photographer which is great for my CV but also gain a contact with the photographer, Cat Wilson that will help me during this experience.

While applying for this experience, I contacted the organiser and asked a simple question, on what they were looking for and how I could be successful with my application?

I find that by doing this it shows that I am passionate and they recognise my name before making the decision. I did the same thing when I applied to The London Film Academy and I was successful. I spent a lot of time perfecting the application and sent it in early. I feel like this is a lesson to be learnt when I start applying for jobs in the future.

After I was successful I started planning what equipment I need and insurance and started talking to Cat to make sure she was happy and if she needed anything specific for this experience. I built skills of organisation and communication.

During the whole experience, I made 2 videos and took a lot of photos that went on the social media pages of The Changing Lives Programme. Having Cat available made me more confident that I could ask her questions and learn on the go. The best place to make mistakes and to have someone there to consult with made the experience more educational. She also taught me how to use Adobe Lightroom to bring out the best of my photos.


I am so grateful for taking part in this experience and it has brought my CV and portfolio to a professional standard. I hope to keep in contact with Cat and I hope to do more projects like this in the future. It has developed into my passion.




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