My career has progressed through hard work, enthusiasm, creativity and a sharp mentor

About me

Katherine C.
History of Art
History of Art
BA
James
2014
United Kingdom

About this profile

Alumni Publications Officer
St John's College, Cambridge
United Kingdom
Journalism and publishing
Large business (250+ employees)
2016
£26,000

About the job

What I do

I'm a writer and editor with experience working in the arts and, more recently, in higher education. My skills include writing, interviewing, editing and commissioning, as well as digital marketing, social media community-building and audience development. I recently founded a digital magazine called selfPortrait, which showcases outstanding self-portrait photography from across the globe.

Skills I use and how I developed them

Editorial skills - reading and researching, writing, proofreading, editing, sourcing content, scouting new talent.
Communication - liaising effectively with makers, PR, writers and council members. Social media, website management, marketing, blogging.
Design, branding and print project management.

I developed the above skills during my degree. In my third year at York I founded a digital publication called Yorkshire Art Journal, which sought to explore the best art in Yorkshire, both contemporary and historical. This led me to manage a small team of voluntary writers while writing articles myself, involving research, image sourcing, marketing and excellent communication at all levels.

Additionally, having just graduated, I volunteered at a local art gallery, and eventually they took me on as a Press Officer, freelance. I juggled this with the Journal and working for an ACE arts organisation in Scarborough, where I worked as a part-time Communications and Admin Assistant.

I built up some solid marketing and audience development experience in this role and soon moved on to apply for editorial positions in London, which led me to working as Assistant Editor of Ceramic Review - the international magazine for ceramic art. I am now working as Alumni Publications Editor at St John's College, the University of Cambridge, while editing selfPortrait, an international magazine on self-portrait photography.

What I like most

Taking a publication from concept to finished product.
Working with creative and innovative people.

Finding and applying for the job

How I looked for work

I was always keen to work in the arts in some way, so my primary site for job searching was artsjobs.org.uk - I found both my job in Scarborough and my role at Ceramic Review on there.

Applying for a small number of quality roles you are definitely interested in and passionate about is great, as you can write solid and genuine cover letters and ensure that your experience matches what the employer is looking for. Research is key and enthusiasm vital at interview stage.

How I found out about the job

Online jobs board

My career

My career goals when I graduated

To work for an interesting arts organisation.

My career history

selfPortrait magazine (selfportraitmag.org) | Editor, 2018–present
St John’s College, University of Cambridge | Alumni Publications Officer, 2016–present

Ceramic Review magazine, London | Assistant Editor, 2015–2016
Yorkshire Art Journal (yorkshireartjournal.com) | Founding Editor, 2014–2016
Crescent Arts, Scarborough | Communications Assistant, 2014–2015
Graduated from York, History of Art BA (Hons), 2011
Cambridge Contemporary Crafts | Gallery Assistant, 2012

What has helped my career to progress

Hard work, enthusiasm, creativity and a sharp mentor.

Where I hope to be in 5 years

I aspire to run my own successful magazine full-time and for its content to be engaged with and loved across the world.

My advice to students

My advice to students considering work

If you don't have the experience for the industry you want to get into, create it. I'd advise you to get out there in your spare time and engage with that industry in some form, so long as it's affordable. I created the Journal at very little cost, and could work on it in my own time at home or while in frees at university. It was far more cost-effective than becoming an intern in London over the summer, as it involved no commuting and my deadlines and work hours were my own.

Contacting me

I would be happy to hear from any students or new graduates who would like advice on how to establish a career in the arts (especially in communications or editorial) or in higher education.


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