Katherine S.

Communications & Marketing Manager
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Katherine S.
History of Art
History of Art
United Kingdom

My employment

Communications & Marketing Manager
Clare Hall, University of Cambridge
United Kingdom
Advertising, marketing and PR
Small business (0-49 employees)

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A day in the life of a Communications & Marketing Manager in the United Kingdom

A typical day involves sourcing news stories and blogs; producing social media; editing the website; and promoting events, talks and lectures via these channels and email.

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

Clare Hall is a research-based college within the University of Cambridge. It maintains the largest programme for visiting academics in either Oxford or Cambridge, and hosts annual endowed events of international significance including the Tanner Lecture, the Ashby Lecture and the King Lecture, along with high profile classical music recitals and contemporary art exhibitions.

What do you do?

I manage the communications and marketing strategy of the College. A typical day involves sourcing news stories and blogs; producing social media; editing the website; and promoting events, talks and lectures via these channels and email. For the past year I have been leading a website redesign project, which is due to launch this August; it has been a huge challenge and a fascinating experience.

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

I'm passionate about writing high quality stories, and at the University of Cambridge there is an abundance of fascinating stories to tell. As a student at York I created a digital arts magazine and loved writing and editing articles for that. I then graduated and worked for an arts magazine, and this taught me a great deal about working to deadline, having excellent attention to detail and what makes a great piece of news. Throughout my career it has always been topical, time-sensitive and exciting news stories I'm drawn to producing, as well as fun and informative social media content, so my current role fits these areas of interest very well.

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

Yes, I thought I'd always be in the arts - but actually you can find the arts in higher education. For example, at Clare Hall I'm often promoting art talks or exhibitions that the College is running, or interviewing art historians from the University about their research.

Describe your most memorable day at work

An exhibition I built publicity on from the ground up had a very atmospheric private view, and I could see many faces I’d personally invited in attendance. That kind of direct evidence of one’s work isn’t always present day-to-day in marketing, so it’s lovely to see.

Are there any challenges associated with your job?

Each week whizzes by and in a marketing role it often feels like you could do even more towards a given project, if you weren’t also juggling those ten other things…!

What’s your work environment and culture like?

I work in-house at the College a couple of days per week and from home the rest of the time. No two days are the same and our small team is collaborative, energetic and hardworking. During the weekend I can completely unplug from work and am not expected to check my emails.

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

I created my own digital magazine (as detailed above) called Yorkshire Art Journal. Through this I learned masses about writing; editing; collaborating with artists and fellow writers; and marketing, too. I highly recommend producing your own project and putting your heart and soul into it, if you have a little time. It's great for your CV and gives you something wonderful to discuss at interview.

What would you like to do next with your career?

Keep on growing and learning!

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

Being creative and a self-starter is highly valued by employers.

When you are asked to interview, they already think you could do the job, so don't forget this is an opportunity for you to learn about them as much as vice versa!

If you don't get a job you're really interested in, be kind to yourself. There will be other opportunities for you to shine :)

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

Writing (news, blogs, social media content)
Editing and proofreading (for magazines, publications and websites)
Higher Education (guidance on getting into this sector/making a good job application)
General career tips

Next steps...

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.

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