BA (Hons) Multimedia and Digital Animation
Class of 2004
After graduating, David Sessford went on to develop a company which helped worldwide clients with their websites. His current online business is one of the biggest national property buying companies in the UK. As well as this, David co-owns a very popular ‘Crystal Maze’ themed escape game in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Where are you from originally?
Newcastle upon Tyne
What made you choose the University of Cumbria?
Staff, environment and friendly students.
Why did you choose your particular course?
When I started the Multimedia and Animation course, I was very interested in design and using computers to aid design. The course interested me mainly because it was so versatile and offered a multitude of career directions. From games and interface design to websites and even CG movies – it offered me career directions I hadn’t even thought of before I started it.
What did you like most about your course?
Staff support, access to latest technology and great working environment.
What was your favourite experience at university?
Meeting new friends, learning new skills and student life in general.
When I started the course, I knew very little about Photoshop, Dreamweaver and other industry standard platforms. The course expanded my knowledge at a very fast pace and allowed me to focus in on what I liked best.
Studying in Carlisle offered a slightly less lively experience than another big city may have done – however, I feel it allowed me to develop a better work/social life balance.
Do you have any particular memorable/funny stories to share?
Myself and a small team were tasked with creating a presentation about ‘convergence’ and someone thought it would be a good idea to do a rap at the end about the subject.
Unfortunately, none of us were destined to be the next Eminem or Jay Z. However, it was funny and brought us all together as friends.
How did coming to university change your life?
It made me mature, and helped steer me to a more independent life when I left.
What were your career ambitions when you started studying and do you think that you have achieved them?
My ambitions were very unclear when I was at university. I knew I wanted to work in a technology/internet related niche, but I was unsure what it was.
After a few different roles I discovered SEO (search engine optimisation), and internet marketing. I went on the develop my own website, Rank Warrior, which in 2012 was selling on average 25 packages per week, I had nine part-time staff working for me, and was assisting clients with their websites across the globe.
I now mainly focus on lead generation; working in multiple niches, and have internet marketing websites that generate leads for my clients.
My main website is property related, and I am known as one of the biggest national property buying companies in the UK.
I have also recently set up a live action ‘Crystal Maze’ themed escape game in Newcastle called ‘Never Give Up!’. Yourself and your team of up to 12 players are locked in King Tut’s tomb for an hour, and challenged with various physical, mental and skill-based games.
This particular business venture has had me working with some of the skills I haven’t used in a long time; but were initially developed on my degree. Skills such as video editing and graphic design.
The course interested me mainly because it was so versatile and offered a multitude of career directions. From games and interface design to websites and even CG movies – it offered me career directions I hadn’t even thought of before I started it.
Would you be where you are today, without your degree?
I would say definitely not. Although I don’t work 100% in any of the topics that I was taught at university, I feel that being on the course helped me focus and helped me push myself in the right direction.
What are your career ambitions now?
I am currently working on developing the next floor in Never Give Up which will be a creepy dungeon. I will be working on the games, working with engineers to make sure the games are practical – and then marketing the new floor to the public when we go live.
I am also in the process of setting up a ‘for sale by owner’ website, and possibly an app for homeowners looking to sell their property themselves without the use of an estate agent.
What are you most proud of?
If anything, I’m most proud of my children and family. They have always supported me in my career directions, and we have been through difficult and rewarding times.
I’m also proud of my personal drive and determination. It’s the only thing that really helps you get what you want to in life. There is only so much help you can ask for, the rest you need to do yourself. I think this way of thinking was imbedded in me from my time studying at the University of Cumbria.