Tell us a bit about your job?
I am the Royal Institution’s Marketing and Communications Officer but I do a bit more than that title suggests. I have been with the organisation a year now and over that time a lot has happened, my responsibilities have grown and I’ve had opportunities to develop that many graduates do not. My overarching responsibility is to promote the programmes we run throughout the year, communicate the organisation’s charitable work and aims and continue to build its profile through social media, print advertising, email comms and reciprocal marketing. Underpinning all of this is a mission to connect science to people’s everyday lives.
What are the key ingredients for success?
Self-discipline, motivation, autonomy, initiative, adaptability, and wonderful colleagues.
Describe a normal day?
I’ll wake up early, around 5.20am and walk to catch my train in. I need a good hour in the morning to prepare myself mentally and physically for the day ahead. I tend to listen to a podcast. I arrive early to work and check my diary, prioritising the day’s tasks and looking ahead to the rest of the week. It’s normal for me to have multiple projects running at once and so this part of my day is non-negotiable.
No two days at the Ri are the same; I may be working on marketing our public programme of events, writing newsletters, arranging reciprocal marketing, creating ads for paid social, designing print advertisements, creating Ri Membership brochures, designing posters for the toilets etc. The list is ongoing.
Because we are a small team, my role varies from one day to the next and often crosses over with our Digital team; we’re all multi-hyphenates at the Ri. I am constantly learning in this position and that’s one of the great things about working here – it’s fast-paced but there’s never a dull day at the office.
For those trying to break into the industry, could you explain how you got to where you are today?
This is my first job out of university, where I studied Drama and Music with the intention of becoming an opera singer. I then decided that wasn’t the path for me on a long haul flight to Australia but knew I wanted to work within the Cultural and Creative Industries and, as annoyingly noble as it sounds, I knew I wanted to do some good.
I had some experience working in the industry from a placements at another Arts charity and was also the Social Media Manager for vegan condom company, HANX. In addition to this I have always been highly creative; I draw, take photographs, write and design at my leisure and all of these skills were suitable for this role.
However, it didn’t hurt that before the interview for my current position I researched the Ri and overprepared. Candidates were tasked to think about how to promote the public programme but were not required to bring anything concrete with them to the interview. I didn’t follow this advice and put together a document detailing how I’d communicate the event using the organisation’s tone of voice in email communications and how I would use social media. For this, I created content on Adobe Spark and replicated the brand’s visual identity. I was also genuinely enthusiastic about the position. It is becoming increasingly difficult for graduates to get jobs they actually want and so there’s a tendency to apply for anything and everything. This is all very well but I do think a genuine desire to work for the organisation you’re applying for comes through during the interview process.
What are you reading, watching and listening to now?
I don’t tend to watch television unless it’s something really worth it; I feel quite guilty if I sit down to watch a boxset as I know I could be doing something more productive. However, one show that I have been enjoying is The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel. It’s set in the 50s, which I always over-romanticise and features a witty and strong female lead. What more could you want?
I’m also trying to make more time for reading, stealing the odd minute here and there and have been very interested in how our brains function. I’ve just finished a few books by Oliver Sacks and I’m now reading The Brain: The Story of You by David Eagleman. It’s a fascinating inside into our heads.
Listening: Kate Bush on repeat and maybe some Harry Styles thrown in, but I’m yet to be convinced of his new album.
The Christmas Lectures will be broadcast on BBC4 at 8pm on the 26th, 27th and 29th of December.