Talent Campus 3.0… Facing my fears by Leah Dike


LSF 2016, John Yorke day. I was sat in the auditorium, minding my own business, when a crowd of people entered, whooping their heads off and waving their arms wildly. “Who are these fruit loops?” I wondered. When they had settled, (disturbingly close to me) I asked and was told “we’re from the Talent Campus. If you ever get the chance to do this, you must”. Note to self: I’d like to be involved in that but need to enquire whether whooping is compulsory.

2017, I became one of those fruit loops. And I am so grateful I had the chance to do that.

Talent Campus a very carefully thought-out and unique programme that combines 3 strands: overcoming fears and developing self-belief; understanding how the industry works and developing the necessary skills to navigate it and, of course, developing your writing skills. My primary aim was to understand the industry.  Whilst I had been beavering away for 5 years on writing for my own pleasure, I had no idea really of how the industry worked or how to get projects going. Each day is non-stop, packed full to the brim with the most amazing opportunities to meet and hear from top industry professionals who give generously of their advice and experience. We heard from people who had overcome problems with their work and shown persistence and determination while getting their projects realised, which was inspirational. I came away with a much clearer picture of a world and processes that had seemed closed, confusing and intimidating.

But I drew something much more valuable than that from the experience, something I could never have anticipated. I realised I had been going wrong in so many ways in life and unknowingly holding myself back by simply avoiding things that made me feel uncomfortable. I had never really questioned why certain things make me feel uncomfortable or explored an alternative approach to dealing with them. Because so much trust is build up between delegates, along with a supportive and caring environment from the team, personal growth becomes inevitable. There are so many real opportunities to go out of your comfort zone –which are completely different for different people- that before long you think “Shit, if I did that, what else could I do?”

All the barriers to you achieving what you want in life suddenly go from insurmountable to mountable. I watched people transform before my eyes and felt it happen to me too.

I cried, I laughed, I hugged, I made friends, I found a pathway, I shed a skin.

Oh, and I whooped, of course.

Leah Dike
Talent Campus 3.0