Yewande – a dentist who documented her journey to dental school on YouTube

Yewande

In 2015 upon receiving an offer to study dentistry at university, Yewande uploaded her first YouTube video, explaining her journey into dental school. She never intended to start YouTube fully, rather had the aim of helping aspiring dentistry students through her experience. Her channel soon escalated into a lifestyle, offering knowledge and advice concerning the field of dentistry and gaining popularity from aspiring students and the general public. This is the story of Yewande, a dentist who expresses her passion through her creative skills in graphic design and video editing.

It was not until after her first year of dental school that Yewande decided to continue posting videos offering tips and advice on dentistry. She describes her motive as “to inspire people who may have been in a difficult situation or who didn’t get in the first time.” Aware of the difficulty of applying to dental school, she wished to reassure people who were like her. She particularly emphasises the importance of sharing your failures and often receives messages of praise from students explaining how through the videos they decided to try again and not give up on their path to dental school.

Attending a Dental Elective in Ghana prompted Yewande to take video editing and her YouTube platform seriously. It was there that she built a passion for educating the public about oral hygiene after learning things that most everyday people were not aware of. She mentions an example of how one should not rinse their mouth out with water after brushing their teeth as the fluoride in the toothpaste is what helps strengthen the enamel.

So what exactly does Yewande’s channel revolve around? It consists of a combination of advice to dental students and oral health education. Why exactly did she start posting consistently? It was her desire to educate and empower an audience and to encourage the younger generation through her platform.

A career could in some cases be well thought out and something that you have dreamt of becoming your entire life. But in Yewande’s case, growing up in a single-parent home with no dentists in the family given that her mum worked as a hairdresser, her interest in dentistry was very much unexpected. Her first encounter with the field of dentistry was through research. Nevertheless, she knew that she wanted to pursue a career within the healthcare sector as she enjoyed studying science, particularly biology. She was interested in working with others, communicating and working in a hands on profession. Searching for work experience was a demoralising experience for Yewande. Receiving a countless number of ‘no”s’ for the very requirement needed on her personal statement was challenging. Despite this, her perseverance persisted and eventually, after about 30 to 40 emails she finally received an opportunity to do work experience at a dental practice that was a two-hour journey away from her home. It was this work experience that confirmed her decision to pursue dentistry.

In pursuing her career in dentistry, Yewande has often branched out through her use of creativity. As a creative person who enjoys making videos and posting content, she could showcase her creativity on the popular app Instagram. She taught herself skills in graphic design and film editing enabling her to offer knowledge and advice regarding dentistry through creativity.

Whilst university is an enriching experience, it tends to affect those who are simultaneously working in the creative industry. I was intrigued to find out whether her university experience at Plymouth had an impact on her output of creative content. She explained that she found it difficult to balance her studies with YouTube, hence she took a break. Her main goal was to prevent anything from getting in the way of her path to obtaining her degree. She experienced nightmares of her failing university so she decided to take a break from YouTube and focus on studying. But she made sure that she did other things outside of academia such as fitness and socialising with friends. She mentions the importance of not merely focusing on studying and rather maintaining a balanced lifestyle at university.

Being a creative in the UK is an experience in itself. I questioned Yewande as to whether or not she believes that UK creatives get the recognition that they deserve. She believes that UK creatives are getting more and more recognition due to the rise of social media. According to Yewande, “the world is starting to appreciate creative talent a lot more than in the past”. Although she still thinks that creatives are quite underappreciated in the UK, for instance, how if one were to tell their parents that they wanted to pursue a creative career, they may not be as supportive due to preconceived beliefs that the field lacks financial security and stability. Further, Yewande debunks the misconception that content creation is simple and expresses her appreciation of all UK creatives. Overall, she believes that UK creatives do not get the recognition they deserve but believes that it will improve as time proceeds.

I asked Yewande about advice she would give to an upcoming creative? She encourages creatives to master their craft and use every opportunity to learn and grow. She assures creatives that even if you are not getting enough recognition, that does not necessarily mean that your content is bad, it takes time to build an audience. The last words of Yewande are as follows – “Do not write yourself off too early and keep on pushing with your content. If I gave up after my first video I would not be where I am today. Believe in yourself and your craft and do not give up.” Quoting Nelson Mandela “In life you never lose you either win or learn” she continues – “Take every loss and failure as a lesson and keep on going. When the going gets tough you have to keep on pushing. To anybody reading this, you have your own individual aspect about you that people love and never take that for granted. Being you is your superpower and don’t try to emulate other people, be authentic to who you are because that is what will take you far.”

Written by: Claudia, founder of Space2Uplift

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Paula Melissa – the digital content creator who started a creative digital agency in 2020

Starting out in the UK creative industry with minimal experience is not always the easiest of tasks. Her early blog stages, university experience and life post-graduation created the pathway to launching a digital content agency. This is the story of Paula Melissa, a digital content creator who recently launched her new business “Paula Melissa Co”.

In the summer of 2012 after deliberation Paula Melissa started her creative journey. Growing up Paula faced battles of insecurity and her ability to understand herself as a person. Launching a blog on WordPress gave her the opportunity to discuss aspects of her life, in which she refers to her writing as being “too transparent” at times. Her blog served as a space of expression where she had the freedom to voice her thoughts. In the words of Paula, her blog was an “outlet to the world”.

Between 2015 and 2019 Paula studied journalism at the University of Sheffield. There is a common belief that choosing to study a “non-traditional” degree or rather a course that offers limited job vacancies often poses a tough decision. But in Paula’s case she does not regret studying journalism as despite her not being a practising journalist, it granted her with the skills she needed to pursue a career in digital media. The course also immensely grew her confidence. In the words of Paula, “I started in 2015 as a nervous 18 year old and left in the summer of 2019 as a super confident woman.” Studying journalism revealed the value that she brought to the world through her various achievements and the individuals she met. This confirmed her belief that God had placed her exactly where she belonged. Paula perceives her personal growth to have been the most significant during the course of her time at university.

When asked whether studying journalism at Sheffield helped her pursue her career within digital media, Paula positively agreed. Although she already ran a blog and a YouTube channel prior to starting university, her platforms grew much more during her time at university. Her department offered access to high quality, new equipment and she learnt how to professionally film and edit. Further, obtaining a scholarship from the Royal Television Society during her degree meant that she was able to attend exclusive events, meet intriguing people and expand her knowledge of the media industry. Paula deems these opportunities to have “grown and prepared me for where I am today.”

One of Space2Uplift’s aims is to shed light on the stories of UK creatives and recognise talent within the UK creative industry. However this objective stemmed from the belief that UK creatives are not recognised enough. When discussing this topic Paula expressed that some UK creatives get the recognition they deserve but not all. Despite this, she does believe that most of the individuals that have been grinding for years are at the top of their game now, she mentions Patricia Bright who has been posting on YouTube for 10 years as an example. Also Paula speaks on how Munya Chawawa, who also attended the University of Sheffield had been creating comedy sketches online consistently for years, but in 2020 his platform exploded granting him the recognition and support he deserved. All in all, according to Paula not all creatives are getting enough recognition but those who have persevered the most are now getting more recognition within the industry.

As a creative, one often strives to achieve goals. Paula describes her award for runner-up as Young Blogger of the Year at the Premier Digital Awards 2019 as her greatest achievement so far within the creative industry. This experience is described by Paula as an “unexpected blessing”. Additionally, in 2020 reaching a milestone of 1000 subscribers on her YouTube channel is something that Paula is extremely proud of.

In late 2020 Paula launched her very own creative digital agency – “PaulaMelissaCo”. Working full-time and freelancing as a side hustle posed an inevitable hassle concerning taxes. Paula experienced yearly struggles of paying either too little or too much tax due to the uncertainty of her income from freelancing. Hence registering as self-employed seemed much simpler for Paula as it enabled her to clear her taxes a lot easier. Interestingly, a friend of Paula’s advised her to do “Paula Melissa – speaking, writing and content creating” full-time. Initially Paula was a bit anxious to do this given that she believed that she needed to establish herself fully first. However her friend prompted her to start the business. In the end Paula did it as she knew that the ultimate goal within her career is to work for herself full-time, her business launch was “a leap of faith”.

Creatives within the industry have differing paths and experiences, but it is always nice to hear advice from the very individuals who experience both the benefits and struggles of being a creative in the UK. Paula who started her creative journey quite early deems that if she had been consistent throughout the whole duration of her on-going experience she would have probably been more established today. For Paula consistency is key as it is crucial not to compare yourself to others and instead merely focus on your own path to success. While Paula does strongly believe in quality over quantity, she reminds creatives not to let the ‘perfectionist’ mindset stop them from creating. Leaving large gaps between creating slows down the momentum and exercising of all your creative muscles. It is important to find the happy medium between creating things you are proud of and are of quality and having a plan which means you are consistently creating! Paula prompts upcoming creatives to put their content out there despite the inner beliefs that can arise implying that it is not perfect.

She also mentions the importance of networking and making a variety of friends within the industry – those who are smaller, similar and bigger than yourself in terms of traffic. Friends can be useful for encouragement and to simply bounce ideas off. Paula sums up her advice as the following: “Believe in your sauce and don’t compare yourself to other people.”

Interested in following Paula Melissa’s journey?
Instagram: @paulamelissaxx
Twitter: @paulamelissaxx
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1G380Q2ey30bOdtPWTtRYQ
Blog: https://paulamelissa.com/
Company: https://paulamelissaco.com/

Written by: Claudia, founder of Space2Uplift

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Megan Chibba – WWE blogger

In the midst of lockdown she sat frustrated with nothing to occupy herself with. It only took a tweet requesting for a wrestling-related job for her to spark an opportunity to start writing weekly wrestling blog posts. This is the story of Megan Chibba, a wrestling blogger.  

Lockdown has certainly been a strange experience for us all, often resulting in self-reflection and change. It is a time where ideas roam around most of our minds. Megan was in this position during lockdown, only that wrestling was the principle part of Megan’s life. This was when she decided to put out a tweet asking if anyone could offer her a job talking about wrestling. Little did Megan know that her tweet would serve as the starting point of her creative journey. Somebody who happened to view her tweet was captivated in what Megan had to offer and decided to give her a platform to share her opinions on a weekly basis. 

What exactly does Megan do? How exactly does her work pertain to the creative industry? Every Sunday Megan posts an article outlining her top five best and worst moments of the week in WWE Raw, Smackdown, NXT and NXT U.K. On some occasions she includes other side shows and paperviews. 

Megan has always been a wrestling fan, whilst wrestling has not always been a constant obsession, it is always at the back of her mind. In her words “I have dipped in and out throughout the years but it’s always been something that I would come back to.” Her passion and love for wrestling as a child is very much alive till this day. Roughly two years ago Megan came to the realisation that wrestling was the source of her happiness and hence made the decision to make a career within the industry. Last year she began training martial arts and was set to start wrestling training but this was pulled to a halt due to the pandemic. This was a primary reason for her shift to instead discussing wrestling given that she could not train. Megan regards this as “a new way to release all of my emotions and express my opinions.” 

Creativeness usually stems from some form of inspiration. For Megan, that inspiration was the people that she follows on social media. She was amazed by how people had set up their own wrestling YouTube review channels. Prior to starting her weekly articles, Megan found writing longer pieces of text quite difficult. But her passion and drive for wrestling restored her desire to write, making it a lot easier. Concerning her biggest achievements within the creative industry, Megan believes that she is yet to reach her full potential as she is constantly thinking of new means of pushing herself and growing her audience. But she enjoys when she receives messages from people telling her that they have been able to better understand the storylines through reading her articles or that they simply loved reading her thoughts. Being able to help one person and get positive feedback from peers and wrestling fans drives her motivation to work harder. 

At Space2Uplift we are passionate about the creative scene in the UK. However most of the writers that Megan works with are based in the US which makes it tougher for her to participate in collaborations. According to Megan there are not many big UK writers relating to the wrestling sector, which is expected as most of the wrestling events being covered are based in America. “Having NXT U.K. as a newer show for WWE could help create a bigger gap for more people in the UK to talk about wrestling and show their passion.” Megan is eager to see more opportunities for writers in the UK. 

Many aspiring or current creatives tend to be curious as to what advice a creative has for their fellow peers. Whilst Megan does not believe that she is in the best position to give advice to people at this stage of her journey, her best advice is “to be honest and stay true to yourself.” Also to express your opinions regardless of what others may think as long as you have a purpose and passion behind it. The final words of Megan are as follows – “Show your passion and don’t shy away from it. Always keep thinking and never settle, keep trying to grow and improve every day even if it’s only something small.” 

Interested in following Megan’s journey? 

Written by: Claudia, founder of Space2Uplift

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