Icenian Interview: Anya-Lee Temple

What year did you begin and leave Langley?



If applicable, which A-Levels did you gain?

English literature, Art and Psychology


During your time at Langley, did you know what career you wanted to pursue?

I never had a clear idea of exactly what I wanted to do. I just wanted to pursue something creative. I remember this seeming pretty unrealistic as I had no idea of the number of jobs out there in the creative fields.


Which extra-curricular activities were you involved in and have they been useful, for example helping with transferable skills?

One of the extra-curricular activities I particularly enjoyed was debating. I put this to good use in sixth form when I applied to be a prefect, proposing a new role for the arts. I spent as much time as possible in the art block although there wasn’t a big push in creative extra-curricular activities. I hoped with this role the arts would be given more of a voice, as well as being more encouraged. I also took any of the creative options on offer such as textiles and photography which encouraged me to experiment with my art practice.


Have these activities helped you since school, for example via transferable skills?

Activities like debating definitely helped fuel my interest in pursuing English Literature as I love to write, research and construct arguments. Public speaking also caused me a great deal of anxiety but pushing myself out of my comfort zone to take part improved my development and confidence as a whole.


If you went, what did you study at university?

I studied Art and English Literature at the University of Reading.


If you’re working, how did you career begin?

I recently began working at a local breast cancer charity called Little Lifts, as a branding and marketing executive. I had a degree but not in the specific area of brand and marketing. Instead, I had started posting my artwork online in around 2018 alongside my degree and built an organic following of over 40k, taking part in local sellers markets but mainly selling online. Something I thought would be nothing more than a hobby gave me vital experience for the role as well as direction. I found engagement and content production really fascinating. I am able to use my skill set to help improve people’s well-being through their experience of breast cancer. I was thrilled to get the job and love being able to make a real difference.


So far, what have been your post-school highlights (in your career, onwards studies, family, travel etc.)?

The opportunities that sharing my artwork has given me such as working with Sunday Riley to design one of their subscription boxes, selling work in person at markets such as Norwich Pride and even people having my art tattooed. My job has also meant I have been able to meet some incredible people through the community Little Lifts has built. From the small but mighty team I work with to people who have been effected by breast cancer. A fashion show was held with John Lewis in October which was a moving evening, it brought to light how many lives we positively impact and it really is a privilege to be involved in something making a real difference. I have been very lucky to have made some amazing memories with my family and friends. Some of my closest friends I made at Langley and I am grateful to have such lovely people in my life.


On reflection, did your time at Langley help your attitude towards career choices and progression?

My sixth form experience in particular encouraged me to pursue English Literature and Art at university. The teachers at Langley cared and their enthusiasm for their subjects was inspiring.


What advice you would give to students considering Langley, their A-Levels or careers?

I would encourage students to take a path that makes them happy even if it isn’t the conventional route. I absolutely love my job; it was always very important to me to have a job that I am excited about. As the pandemic happened through half of my university experience it brought to light to enjoy all of the experiences you have whether if that’s travelling or having a coffee.


Your fondest memory of Langley?

I have many fond memories, being able to reminisce with my friends about them is great. One is walking back to the buses over the muddy field during winter and losing my shoe. The whole bus had to come and search for it. My shoe is still buried somewhere in the grass.

Any final thoughts, shout-outs or people you would like to see complete this form in the near future (we will try and track them down!)?

Just want to say a massive thank you to Mr Ogden and Mr Wood who helped so much towards my university application and growth within their subjects (art and English). As well as, Mr Ogden letting me spend so much time in the art block having a cuppa together. Mrs McRobert and Mr Sitch also played integral parts in my general progression and growth. Tilly Kitson has a really interesting job after completing her masters in Forensic Mental Health. Bella Matthews-Cook, studying veterinary at Surrey. Harry Foulkes who is now living in Spain doing his masters.

Life after Langley
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Published On: January 30th, 2023Categories: Icenians, News, Senior