Your Future Plan, Your Way: The Matthew McEvoy Podcast
27th May 2020
My name is Matt McEvoy, and I host and produce ‘The Matthew McEvoy Podcast’, as well as run the website ‘The Modern Curriculum Vitae’, where I upload articles and post updates about my research and what I’m doing. I post meaningful content on topics that I enjoy, hoping to spark interest in my readers and listeners.
This isn’t a position I came to overnight, and it wasn’t ever something that I thought I would be doing. When I started studying at the University of Gloucestershire in 2018, I had no idea what my future career was going to be; I figured I’d do my degree and somewhere across the line I’d stumble across an opportunity, and that would be me. Nowhere along this did I consider using my interests to create my own opportunity.
Like many of us, I seemed to surround myself with YouTube videos, podcasts, websites, articles. I spent so much time surfing the web whilst I should be working, having many interests outside my subject area, like fitness, the latest tech, and whatever my favourite celebs were posting about, the stuff we follow links on Facebook or Instagram to from time to time. I listen to Joe Rogan talk about sports with top athletes, or Matt D’avella would do a comical podcast on the struggles of being productive in the morning. I’d always kept these things separate in my head, my interests and then whatever would earn money when I graduated. Repeatedly I’d always be asking ‘wouldn’t it be great if I was doing this too?’ I’d be talking to my housemate about the latest video I’d watched, saying it would be great if I could do this too. Then my opportunity came, in the form of an assessment. Here, I learnt to turn distractions into a constructive, creative platform.
For one of my modules, I had to create a piece of outward facing work, something I could present into the world. I was stuck and had no idea what to do. When it came to start my work, I opened my laptop, opened my notes, and immediately checked YouTube for my latest fix of interviews, content, vlogs and reviews. Then this little nudge in my head started to push and push forward, why don’t you give this a go? Call me daft, but the idea then of producing a piece of media as a way of completing an assignment seemed ludicrous. Why would I want to record an interview on the environmental crisis with a professional ecologist? Well, why wouldn’t I?
I ended up going home for a weekend and caught up with some mates in a pub. A friend of mine is doing an apprenticeship in accountancy always talks about LinkedIn and networking, and I’d always assumed as a philosophy student, that wasn’t for me. I put my idea to him anyway, just to see what he thought. He encouraged me to do it, and said it would be great for my future, as it shows I’m driven, creative, productive, and happy to take chances to do something as well as my studies. This is what then set me on the path to start up my website as a way of showcasing all the work and research I’d been doing at university, turning left over notes into engaging articles. I wanted to make something for me, just for the fun of it, without any pressure to create content for other people, but when I realised this could quickly become a valuable networking tool, I started to take it more seriously.
Don’t get me wrong, this was the most nerve-wracking venture I had taken. I was feeling extremely nervous about putting myself out there for the world to see, but the desire to turn my interests into a way of advertising good employability skills for my future took over. The fact that I couldn’t get feedback like a musician on stage, judging a reaction from an audience, I was apprehensive about the sort of response I would get. However, I found that once you start creating content, there’s so many young people trying to better themselves that you form little communities, and I’ve already found connections. This then paved the way for me to begin podcasting, something that had always seemed too good to be true, but now was in my grasp. I had found that I’d been having so many great conversations with friends recently, some serious, others where you’d have a laugh and a joke, but always inspiring and meaningful – just like the content online I love so much. It made me realise that I’m not so different from these internet creators after all. I decided to record some of these chats I’d been having and managed to find a platform online to edit and produce them on. It was different from anything I’d done before, I’m not an IT whiz, but that didn’t put me off. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but after some trial and error, I became proud of the content I was creating, and it gave me a sense of purpose and satisfaction in what I was doing. I had learnt to take something I enjoyed myself and create my own version. I didn’t expect it go anywhere, but since I started creating content, I’ve gained an international audience, been asked to write for other blogs, and have collaborated with other podcast hosts.
The skills I’ve picked up have also been invaluable, learning to network effectively, email professionally, manage online data and information. I feel its really set me up as an individual who’s capable of so much more than I thought I could.
For anyone who has ever wanted to make something for themselves, but may be frightened of putting themselves out there and taking that risk – I would urge you to do so, because you never know what opportunities you could gain.
Thank you to Matthew for sharing his experiences with us. If you’d like to share your stories with other students through the YFP blog (and we’d love you to!), then please get in touch with Catherine Hamblin in the YFP team: firstname.lastname@example.org