Occupation: Digital Journalist and Social Media Editor for Glamour Magazine
Which means: I make the decisions on how we manage our different online channels and the ongoing content strategy that sits behind them. I work with the wider editorial team, working closely with my online editor and the print team to ensure the brand stays strong across all social media channels. I’m also a freelance journalist for a whole host of different magazines and I am writing a book.
Did you go to uni? I went to Southampton and studied English Literature and Film studies. Mark Kermode did a few guest lectures, which was cool. I graduated in 2010.
What have you been doing for money since then? Lots of things. Copywriting, editing, book-writing, social media consulting, branding, doing talks, workshops, events, commercial projects and freelance writing. Fingers in pies, basically.
Have you always wanted to work somewhere like Glamour or did you have anything else in mind? Yep, I always wanted to work at a magazine. Even as a toddler I’d waddle straight over to the magazine section in supermarkets. I’ve always been obsessed with mags, books and online editorials. As a strong-minded woman who loves culture, fashion, tackling women’s issues and reading interesting features it was always one of my ideal places to work.
Do you have to have a degree to do your job? (Be honest!) Or is work experience more important? I can only speak to my own experience on this one. If I’m 100% honest, I don’t think my degree was useful in the sense that I’m in debt and I don’t remember anything I actually learned in my essays or seminars. In the three years post-uni I achieved things beyond my wildest dreams just by rolling up my sleeves and DOING IT. University was very hypothetical and I didn’t really enjoy the experience. I wish I could have dived on into the industry at a younger age, but then I don’t know if I would have even got my first job without a degree on my CV. So, it’s a catch 22 because back then it was all about the “grad scheme”. Now, I think there are lots of other “apprentice schemes” which means no degree needed. For me personally, yes, I did probably need my degree to get where I am today, but I can’t help but think it could have been shorter; three years was a long time to bum around and do a small amount of learning.
I love your blog. Why did you set it up and how much of a part did it have to play in landing your current role? I started my blog in 2010. I don’t think it played a huge part in me landing my current role as I’d had 5 years of social media and writing experience on my CV, separate from my blog, but it’s definitely a nice added bonus when someone notices you have one and that you keep it up! I totally recommend blogging for your own personal pleasure.
What’s a typical day at the office for you? No day is ever the same! One day it could be that we’re out in the afternoon at a hotel location interviewing a celebrity or that they are taking over our Twitter, or we’re in a planning meeting, or I’m out meeting commercial clients, or spending a day at my desk doing presentations or lots of emailing, scheduling interviews, writing a feature up or hosting a brainstorm. Lots of different things. I normally go out for lunch with a PR, or grab something with a colleague.
Is working at Glamour… glamorous? Ha ha ha. I’ve been asked this before. I guess it is! It’s Britain’s number one magazine based in Mayfair, how can it not be? But everyone’s really down to earth and cool. It’s NOT Devil Wears Prada.
What’s the dress code and what do you suggest wearing to an interview at a magazine? Be yourself but look smart and feel good. There’s no real dress code. Lots of people dress up, some dress down, some dress in the middle. I can’t do “casual” in the office because I like getting “in the zone” on my way to work, but as Winter approaches I will definitely be getting the woolly jumpers out! I think smart-casual is a good middle ground, so you don’t feel too dressed up but you feel CHIC.
What’s the best thing you’ve been asked to do in your job so far? Interviewing Lena Dunham.
The worst? When I was asked to go and buy my boss some underwear.
I hate when people ask what you think you’ll be doing in ten years from now- I don’t even know what I’m having for dinner tonight! So I’ll ask you where you see yourself in two to three years time instead. What are your achievable goals? I think I’ll still be writing and working at a magazine, hopefully working on book number two!
As a creative, are you nervous that the industry is changing? I personally find it really exciting. As a blogger and working in “traditional media”, I think I’m quite good at noticing trends in both areas. I think new formats and platforms are growing so it’s up to the people behind a brand to move with the times, change platforms and understand people’s behaviour. Basically, you need to reflect on where you’re at every few months and see if you need to “upgrade” your site or change direction. Same with blogging. I find it worrying when people think YouTube is just a phase. I find people who say “that’s not how we normally do it” or refuse to change process or take risks quite frustrating, because the Internet changes so quickly that it’s important to keep up with new trends. You have to watch your competitors extremely closely.
And finally, what one piece of practical career advice would you give to your younger self?
Say yes to everything. Then learn to say no to stuff. Be confident with what your worth.
Emma is one of my favourite bloggers and an all time lovely lady. Super talented and always friendly, she is sort of my inspiration in that she is publishing a book next year. So, basically, she’s living the dream. Or at least my dream. I guess now I know one way of going about doing it too.
If you have any questions for Emma, say hello!
*photo credit goes to Olivia Purvis of What Olivia Did*