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Craig Laycock

UCLan graduate living a virtual reality after landing his dream job

Self-confessed Proud Prestonian Craig Laycock is at the forefront of a technological revolution after graduating from UCLan with a first class honours degree in Journalism.

Almost a decade on from his university days, Craig now works for global corporation HTC as its Community Marketing Manager and Virtual Reality Product Specialist.

As an expert in virtual reality, Craig works closely with cutting-edge Vive Virtual Reality headsets, a high-tech device that HTC describes as “a first-of-its-kind”. He said:

“My current job involves travelling to events around the world, managing our social channels and developing and making content to engage with our audience”.

As a journalism graduate, Craig’s decision to step into the unique world of virtual reality was the result of a lot of hard work in the video gaming field. He said:

“I worked across a range of creative marketing roles at a games development studio famous for the Total War series and ended up managing a large team of content creators.

Craig Laycock

“My television production experience at UCLan helped me pull all of that together.

He added: “The amount of on-screen and off-screen experience I gained, perfectly positioned me to move into the cutting-edge field I now work in. It’s been a lot of late nights and long, long years!”

On reflection of his achievements, Craig spoke about why he chose UCLan and how the Journalism course prepared him for this high-tech profession:

 “I chose UCLan because it’s in my homeland of Preston and has one of the best Journalism degrees in the country - I’m so glad that I did it!

“It taught me how to work fast under pressure, how to talk to people on an incredibly regular basis and how to get the most important information quickly.

He added: “I’ve always been a keen writer and used to make radio programmes on cassette tape for my sister. I ended up getting quite good at it, and creating them became a big passion for me. I loved the idea of learning how to do that properly!”

Craig’s university experience is one that he is truly proud of as it enabled him to get his career off the ground, so for current and prospective students he thought he would share some top tips. He said:

“Do as much as you can and work as hard as you can on creating and producing your own content. Ask yourself the question… Would you read or watch this if someone else made it?

“Have purpose in everything you do and do as much of it as possible. Put yourself in different positions and move outside of your comfort zone - the future you will Thank You!”

As a virtual reality specialist, Craig’s vision for this ground-breaking technology is for it to become more prevalent in everyday life. He said:

“I’d like to see Virtual Reality become something that takes everything forward in terms of interaction. Virtual Reality news broadcasts, sports, gaming, socialising… you name it and it’s possible.

“Hopefully VR will explode as I believe it will and then who knows! I would love to be a Marketing Director someday, hopefully here at HTC.

He added: “Being at the forefront of a revolution in technology and one of the guys on the ground trying to make it a reality is a dream come true!”

by Donna Sladen