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Bethany White

A Laidlaw Scholar case study

Some things are meant to be challenging.

Film and Television Production student Bethany White has been keeping herself busy since she came to the University of York. In her two years as a student she has participated in the York Award and the York Futures programme, written short film scripts and published three short stories, as well as recently becoming the new Film and TV Editor and Deputy Editor for Content of The Yorker magazine. Bethany is also a 2017 Laidlaw Scholar.

“Writing is something I’ve always enjoyed so it’s great that I can focus on writing a script as part of the Laidlaw Scholarship. There is still a significant gender inequality within the global film and TV industry so I am focusing my research on the role of women on screen, specifically how violence towards women is portrayed.”

Bethany is considering doing a Masters after she completes her undergraduate degree and has the long-term career ambition of becoming a screenwriter. She feels that her research project will provide her with a better understanding of how to portray women in a relevant and realistic way and the script she is developing will be helpful in gaining employment.

As well as using the scholarship to progress her writing skills Bethany was also keen to progress her negotiating and presentation skills and felt that the programme provided a safe platform to do so. After completing the first week of the leadership programme Bethany feels that she will be more discerning about future career opportunities:

“The leadership development training taught me so much, both in terms of my own preferred way of working and leading and also about how organisations and workplaces function. In the film and television industry there is a lot of competition but the leadership training has taught me that I need to think about my strengths and not sell myself short: I need to set the bar high and go for the career opportunities that interest and excite me.”

Bethany considers the Laidlaw Scholarship to be challenging but that this is a good thing. She has learnt how to motivate herself and develop her work ethic by creating and sticking to a daily work schedule. So what would she say to someone considering applying for the scholarship in 2018?

“Even just applying for the Laidlaw Scholarship focuses you to think about what you really want to do and what’s important. If you have a project or a passion that you want to develop, the Laidlaw Scholarship is ideal for you.”