Katharine C.

Hardware Editor
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Katharine C.
English and Related Literature
United Kingdom

My employment

Hardware Editor
Reedpop UK
United Kingdom
Journalism and publishing
Medium-size business (50-249 employees)

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A day in the life of a Hardware Editor in the United Kingdom

Keeping up with the latest technology is a big part of my job, but the biggest challenge is writing about it in a way that makes sense to your average reader. It's not easy, but it's very rewarding.

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

I write about PC gaming hardware for Rock Paper Shotgun, a PC gaming website that's part of Reedpop UK (formerly Gamer Network).

What do you do?

As the hardware editor, I'm responsible for leading the site's PC hardware coverage. That means shaping its editorial direction, reviewing the latest bits of hardware, writing news and commissioning freelancers. I'm also responsible for growing the site's affiliate revenue.

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

My English and Related Literature degree certainly helped to develop me as a writer, but it didn't really have any direct bearing on what I eventually went on to write about as part of my career. I initially wanted to write about video games as they're one of my biggest passions, but I ended up falling into tech journalism instead. I didn't have any prior training in it, and I wasn't a huge tech nerd either. I did most of my 'training' and learning on the job.

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do after university. I had a vague idea about being a magazine journalist but wasn't sure how to go about it so I ended up doing a law conversion course and the Legal Practice Course instead - the 'sensible' career option! I didn't enjoy that nearly as much as writing, though, so in the end I went back to that hazy idea about writing for a magazine once I'd finished my legal training. Luckily it turned out all right in the end!

Describe your most memorable day at work

The memorable days are often the days you work hardest - the weekends you spend benchmarking all day to hit an embargo or the evenings you put in to finish a big graphics card test for a new game release - but for all the extra hours you put in, you also get the opportunity to interview some amazing game creators and travel to countries you wouldn't be able to otherwise (at least before 2020, anyway!).

Are there any challenges associated with your job?

Keeping up with the latest technology is a big part of my job, but the biggest challenge is writing about it in a way that makes sense to your average reader. It's not easy, but it's very rewarding.

What’s your work environment and culture like?

I work remotely, so there's lots of tea on tap and I get to work with my cats! It does mean I have a spare room full of cardboard boxes and old tech components, but I enjoy working by myself and not having to commute. Half of my team is based in an office in Brighton, though, and I occasionally travel down there for editorial meetings and team activities.

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

I spent a lot of time at YSC while I was at university, running front of house and doing the occasional bit of projection, but I wouldn't say I built up many transferable skills doing so. Unless you count being able to talk to people and presenting yourself as a friendly face? But that's just common, professional courtesy, really.

What would you like to do next with your career?

I'll probably stick with my current career path for the time being, if only because I'm still just as clueless about my ultimate career goal now as I was when I left university. If anyone tells you they have their whole life mapped out, they're probably lying.

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

Recruitment sites are next to useless for writing and journalism roles, so keep your eyes peeled on publishing company websites for full-time vacancies. Don't be afraid to pitch articles as a freelance writer, either. Budgets are tight at the moment, but most publications accepting freelance pitches will have a pitching guide telling you what kind of articles they're looking for. Most importantly, though, identify the kind of voice that publication has and practice writing in it. No one wants stiff, academic writing in the real world. Puns are everything.

What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?

Anything about getting into journalism, how to pitch to publications, writing about tech or games... Whatever you want to ask, I'll do my best to answer!

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Write about what you care about - it makes the job a lot easier!

Next steps...

If you like the look of Katharine’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Katharine a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Katharine to be your mentor.

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