Duncan Hine – BSc (Hons) Mechanical Design and Manufacture graduate

Current employer: Vertical Horizons Media

Current job title: Company Director and Aerial Cinematographer

Current location: Plymouth

“Studying at Plymouth gave me the opportunities to expand my horizons and to learn social, team working, and life skills which are so crucial for any career. It’s a cliché but university gives you the chance to discover who you really are.”

Tell us about your career path since graduation.

Whilst revising for my final exams I decided on two things: firstly, that I did not want to go straight into a nine to five office job; and secondly, that I wanted to do something creative and which I would love doing. This spurred me on to set up Vertical Horizons Media. I now direct a company working with clients to provide cinematic video footage as well as georeferenced spatial modelling and technical reports using cutting edge drone technology.

What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?

Taking financial risks is always going to be a difficult challenge. When you have limited start-up capital, deciding on where you are heading will have a huge, initial impact upon investment and the equipment you use.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

Since starting the company I have had the pleasure of working for BMW, Channel 4, National Geographic, various government agencies, and a number of other amazing production companies. From chasing a super-car around a racetrack, to flying through Tower Bridge, every assignment is exciting and fun in its own way. This makes up for the enormous amount of paperwork and logistical planning involved.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?

No job is as glamorous as it seems, and working for yourself is even less glamorous. Expect to work hard, with long hours, to go above and beyond clients’ expectations. Communicating, working with people, and being able to develop novel concepts and ideas will help you immensely. Getting involved in the running of student clubs and societies will help you to develop these crucial skills.

How did studying at Plymouth help you?

University is so much more than the course you are registered on. Studying at Plymouth gave me the opportunities to expand my horizons and to learn social, team working, and life skills which are so crucial for any career. It’s a cliché but university gives you the chance to discover who you really are. Get out there and take part in all that there is on offer at Plymouth, and not just drinking and studying!

What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth?

I was so fortunate to be involved with the UPSU Adventure and Expeditions club (caving, climbing, mountaineering) and in my final year had the honour of leading the committee. Part of my role involved organising fortnightly trips for our 220 members. We were awarded UPSU club of the year for our achievements. I will never forget all of the people I met through the club and all of the experiences shared. From taking groups of freshers for their first caving experience, to teaching climbing or navigation in the Welsh mountains, I have loved every moment.

Inspired by this story?

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