We've got a fabulous team at Future First, and we thought it was high time you got to learn more about them. Get to know Alumni Programme Manager, Akeem-Chavez Williams...
Where are you from, and where do you live now? What do you like about those places?
I was born in Sutton Coldfield but I grew up in Tamworth (bar 1 year where I lived in Australia). I now live in Stockport. I love where I live now, I am about 20 minutes away from the centre of Manchester.
What did you study at college/university and why?
I did my A levels in Media Studies, Theatre Studies and Philosophy and Ethics.
I went on to study my BA in Film and Television studies at the University of Nottingham, where I also completed my MA in Screen Industries.
I chose this subject honestly because I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I knew I loved film, and this was one of the only courses I saw in my research that I was able to see that allowed you to study television.
Tell me about your career history, from your part-time jobs to how you got here
My first job was checking the marks for my grandparents who marked exams. After that my next job was also from my Grandad, I was paid to digitise everything for him. As a former academic at the University of Leicester he collected lots of papers over the years and he paid me to digitise those, that then turned into turning his CD collection into MP3s, and uploading all the photos we had.
I left university with no work experience and found it very difficult to get a job. I applied to every employer in Tamworth and received only one interview for the SnowDome, after getting the job I was quickly made supervisor.
I then left to open a coffee shop/bakery for someone I went to university with. I taught myself how to be a baker, and I ran the shop for a year whilst I started my PHD.
After this I applied to be part of a team who were opening a new bar, and I spent the next few months running the first bar, and helping them to launch two more bars.
After this I decided to go into a 9-5 so that I could spend more time on my PHD, and I started working for the University of Nottingham Student recruitment centre. I was made a support officer during the Merger of Admissions, Recruitment and Conversion. I led a small team in social sciences, and started working on events, having briefly worked at an events company over the holiday period.
After this I moved to the University of Manchester where I became an admin in planning, compliance and special projects, and then became a student support officer for engineering, and I helped work on exams and timetabling.
I then landed the role here at Future First!
What are you passionate about?
Musicals (currently obsessed with Six!), I love musical theatre, I actually attended a performing arts high school in Australia before my GCSEs.
I love drag, as an off duty drag queen, I love the power of drag. I love that it gives me the opportunity to create mini moments of theatre. I also love my dog!
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Watching tv, performing in my living room to my dog (note the picture), spending time with my friends and family.
What’s it like working in the education/charity industry?
Exciting, challenging, rewarding.
What have been your work highlights from the past few weeks?
A really exciting debate in one of my workshops on whether homework should be banned!
What’s one unusual or interesting fact about you?
I performed on the mainstage at Nottingham Pride in 2018 to a few thousand people.
Which of your role models would you most like to meet and why?
Cher! I think she has an essence and a tenacity that I would love to experience in real life.