|History of Art|
|History of Art|
|Alumni Publications Officer|
|St John's College, Cambridge|
|Journalism and publishing|
|Large business (250+ employees)|
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A day in the life of a Alumni Publications Officer in the United Kingdom
My career has progressed through hard work, enthusiasm, creativity and a sharp mentor
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.
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 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.
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.
If you like the look of Katherine’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Katherine a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Katherine to be your mentor.