Charles Bloch's Creative Data Academy experience

Filter By

Show All

Connect to


'I have grown and developed in many areas such as confidence, determination, the art of networking and a wide range of knowledge about the industry.'


As the 2018 Creative Data programme nears kick off, we sat down with past student Charles Bloch who’s registered blind to discuss his experience and why he encourages other people with registered disabilities to apply.

Which DMA Talent programmes have you attended?

I have had the great opportunity of attending three amazing events held by both the IDM and DMA. The first was the Creative Data Academy in March 2016. This was a course delivered over three days, where I learnt more about the importance of data within marketing and how it can be used to create more targeted advertisements. The second was an informal DMA networking event in Manchester and the third, and most recent event I attended, was the Big Book Crit (hosted by the DMA & GRT) in London.

What encouraged you to apply for these programmes?

I am a third year student at De Montfort University, studying a BA Honours degree in Digital Marketing and Social Media and it was in my second year, before my placement year, that during a lecture one of my favourite lecturers, Mark Prescod, introduced us students to the IDM and mentioned about the Creative Data Academy. I was amongst a large number of fellow students in my class that applied for a place on the course and I was lucky enough to be offered one. I felt that by attending the events held by the DMA and IDM, it would be a fantastic opportunity to increase my knowledge and make valuable contacts within the industry and on reflection of all the events that I have attended, they have massively delivered in both of those aspects.

What’s the standout thing you’ve taken from attending?

Alongside being a student at university, I am also registered blind and have a Guide Dog called Carlo. At first I was always very self-conscious of my disability and felt that it might restrict me from connecting with people and relating to visual topics. Thankfully, I was very much mistaken by that because it has given me a great conversation starter, and lead to professionals saying that the industry is very accessible to get into and that I shouldn’t struggle with getting a job. This has meant a lot to me and raised my confidence massively and, has been one of the main things I have taken away from the events that I have attended.

Has attending the programmes encouraged you to want to work in the industry?

I feel that from the first event I attended, I have grown and developed in many areas, such as confidence, determination, the art of networking and a wide range of knowledge about the industry. These all have really changed my life and given me the competitive edge and enthusiasm to carry on learning about the industry, and potentially embark upon a career in something that I really enjoy.

Would you encourage people with registered disabilities to apply for our programmes?

I would strongly encourage any person, despite if you have a disability that restricts you or not, to get involved with the IDM and DMA and see what amazing opportunities they have to offer that could further your interest or career aspects. They have been very supportive and beyond accepting to my situation and I cannot thank them enough. I disclosed at the beginning that I was registered blind and that Carlo my guide dog would be attending all the events with me and we have been welcomed with open arms.

How do you think we can give people with other disabilities the confidence to apply for our programmes?

Encourage everyone to disclose if they have a disability or not and give examples of how they can be supported. Personally, I am quite open about my blindness, because Carlo my guide dog gives the game away usually, but not all disabilities are visual and some disabled people feel very reluctant to disclose about their conditions to everyone. By being supportive and willing to begin a conversation about the disabled person’s abilities and restrictions, they will understand the importance of disclosing it.

Creative Data academy applications close on Wednesday 14th January. Click here to find out more information on how to apply, or to discuss any of the above, please feel free to get in touch

Hear more from the DMA

Please login to comment.